The ArgusDitchling gran admits stealing garden flowers to make greetings cards (From The Argus)

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Ditchling gran admits stealing garden flowers to make greetings cards

The Argus: Gillian Coburn Gillian Coburn

An eccentric grandmother has taken to snatching flowers from neighbour’s gardens to make her own handmade arts and crafts.

Gillian Coburn admits that she could be called a thief, but uses the flowers to produce a unique range of greetings cards with the front faces made entirely out of bits of plucked flora and fauna.

The 83-year-old from Ditchling said she does not hesitate to pick neighbours’ blooming flowers, “particularly if they are hanging over on my side of the fence.

“But I never take more than one flower – I leave plenty for the bees and for next time,” she added.

Her daughter, Kim Stephenson, who helps sell the quirky products, said that residents have become accustomed to the sight of Gillian leaning over nearby walls into gardens to snag a few extra blooms.

She said “She tells me she does it and I think the neighbours are just used to seeing her now.

“She can look at something and see something else; instead of it just being a flower it could be an ostrich, or a dress, or anything.”

Gillian also grabs flowers while she takes walks across the South Downs, with Kim describing her as “South downs born and bred”.

The painstaking process of arrangement requires Gilian to have a light touch as she arranges the fragile pieces of petals and stems onto the card.

Kim said: “Over the years she has turned her hand to crafting Edwardian brides wearing cow parsley lace, ladies in gossamer gowns and quizzical birds fashioned from thistles and dandelion seeds.”

Gillian’s hobby started five years ago but her talents did not go unnoticed, and with the help of her daughter her work is now on sale in retailers in Sussex and on www.dandelion-press.com – a website managed by Kim.

There will also be a stall for Dandelion Press exhibiting her work at the British Craft Trade Fair in Harrogate from April 6 to April 8.

Comments (8)

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7:29am Thu 20 Mar 14

qm says...

Naughty Nanny - big spanks :))
Naughty Nanny - big spanks :)) qm
  • Score: 3

9:13am Thu 20 Mar 14

plantwoman says...

She'd better not come around here - I would tell her where to go! I don't spend loads of time and money on my garden to have someone STEAL the results.
She'd better not come around here - I would tell her where to go! I don't spend loads of time and money on my garden to have someone STEAL the results. plantwoman
  • Score: -1

9:18am Thu 20 Mar 14

Tis I says...

Maybe she could do something with a Tea Leaf next!
Maybe she could do something with a Tea Leaf next! Tis I
  • Score: 1

10:06am Thu 20 Mar 14

clubrob6 says...

Tell her to go to the several bowling greens the council have filled in some in preston park the greens have planted wild flowers on them,but leave the poppies as the council needs the seeds so they can make decisions in there meetings.
Tell her to go to the several bowling greens the council have filled in some in preston park the greens have planted wild flowers on them,but leave the poppies as the council needs the seeds so they can make decisions in there meetings. clubrob6
  • Score: -2

10:12am Thu 20 Mar 14

maria m says...

It is against the law to pick wild flowers anywhere.
It is against the law to pick wild flowers anywhere. maria m
  • Score: -3

10:42am Thu 20 Mar 14

cookie_brighton says...

she steals her neighbours flowers then includes them into her hobby of making greetings cards.............th
en she SELLS THEM.............at no point in the story is there any mention over the 5 years of her stealing the flowers that she has compensated her neighbours by way of say.............a box of chocolates.
The thought is nice.
she steals her neighbours flowers then includes them into her hobby of making greetings cards.............th en she SELLS THEM.............at no point in the story is there any mention over the 5 years of her stealing the flowers that she has compensated her neighbours by way of say.............a box of chocolates. The thought is nice. cookie_brighton
  • Score: 9

11:13am Thu 20 Mar 14

Goldenwight says...

An admission of theft in a newspaper? I suspect Sussex Police have sent the SWAT team, armed response units and the helicopter to Ditchling while they talk with her about it!
An admission of theft in a newspaper? I suspect Sussex Police have sent the SWAT team, armed response units and the helicopter to Ditchling while they talk with her about it! Goldenwight
  • Score: 7

7:22am Fri 21 Mar 14

John Steed says...

It costs nothing to ask, or to say thankyou, its a simple matter of manners and upbringing. apparently lacking in this case
It costs nothing to ask, or to say thankyou, its a simple matter of manners and upbringing. apparently lacking in this case John Steed
  • Score: -2

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