The Rainbow Garden – one woman’s mission to bring some colour to Accrington
by Northern Life
In a time of uncertainty and sadness this one woman’s garden is sure to bring a smile to your face. Andrea Elleray is a textiles teacher from Accrington, Lancashire, and I had the pleasure of talking to her about the wonderful rainbow display she has created in her front garden.
I chatted to this colourful character about her inspiration behind her rainbow enthused garden. “It came about on Mothers’ Day, after I’d been on a drive and noticed people putting rainbows in their windows. Mothers’ Day was different for me this year and I couldn’t go outside to relax in the garden because it was too cold, so I decided to paint rainbows. I was meant to be decorating part of a window, but I ended up doing the whole of upstairs and downstairs!”
“PEOPLE ARE GETTING TO SEE THE INSIDE OF MY HEAD”
Andrea then became a part of the Rainbow Trail, a trending phenomenon throughout the UK aimed to spread hope and positivity in this difficult time. Andrea decided to add a rainbow wreath she had made the previous year and uploaded a photo to social media, where it received 1.3K likes. Realising she was on to something, Andrea continued to craft each day. “At the beginning I was uploading a new craft every day,” said Andrea, “but it got a little overwhelming to keep up with alongside all my family responsibilities. Instead she opted for a weekly project, ‘Creations of the Week’.
The display is made up of around 90% recycled materials, making it not only inspirational but also ecofriendly! “All the flowers behind the gnomes are made of plastic bottles which people have donated,” she grinned, “and, the big flowers at the side of the house are made from painted wheel trims and coat hangers!” Andrea even got the bench from her next-door neighbours who were planning on sending it to the tip,
instead it has been given a rainbow makeover!
A display as bright and inviting as this is bound to attract visitors, so I asked Andrea what the community response has been like. “It’s great,” she smiles. “People just stop and chat and ask what is happening next. There are kids that come every day with their mums to see if they can spot anything different. I had one of my pupils bring me a rainbow they had made, and somebody left me a shell on the gate post.” Due to ill health Andrea had had time off work sick since the middle of January and was ready to go back just before lockdown. Because of this she has been making her home and garden into a rainbow sanctuary where she can be creative and express her personality! It is not just the outside of Andrea’s house that is awash with colour and vibrancy!
Andrea told me that creating the display has been extremely enjoyable and that crafting comes to her naturally. She teaches textiles at The Heathland School and her ideas come to her while working on a project and seeing where it goes. My husband said that people are getting to see inside of my head. The inside of my house is the same. It’s just who I am really and it’s nice that who I am has had such a positive response.”
Andrea posts on her Facebook page, so if you want to help spread the positivity and get in on the fun go to The Rainbow Garden Accrington for all the information and rainbow inspiration you need!