I’m Lydia Thornley, a designer, creative director, reportage illustrator and prolific filler of sketchbooks. Dispatches from a Small World started as a lockdown project, reporting from my London garden in sketches. This blog takes that journey of discovery into a third growing season.
Normally, I pay it attention only to give its tangled limbs somewhere to go. But this year, the jasmine is in flower. And today, it rewards my stillness with glorious wafts of scent, echoes of perfumes gone by. Drawing, I notice that its flowers have just four almost-oblong petals, curled … Read More
Deadlines. In my other creative life, I’m a designer – and I’m working the weekend. But coffee brewed, I’m pulled out into the garden by the first sweet peas, a new variety grown this year (I can only remember the Grandiflora bit, which won’t help you at all…). All showy Edwardian … Read More
It’s wild garlic season. Wandering out to survey my small landscape, I spot the first flowers sparkling in the shade. It becomes a trio of Spring firsts… The aquilegia, drawn in leaf last week, is now in dainty green-purple flower. I notice nibbles in the leaves. There’s an orderly queue … Read More
Today, I’ve been torn between drawing my one Queen of the Night tulip before it goes over and recording plants from friends. I’ve done both – but for entirely different reasons. Settling in with the tulip, I see that nature has done its colour scheme thing. Sage flower buds gather round, … Read More
There’s a point in the year when everything bursts into leaf. Trees sparkle. Winter-dull shrubs are tipped with perky green. The hydrangea, pruned of its dried flowers last week, is all furl and curl. Pairs of leaves hinge out from stalks speckled with the pink of its Summer plumage. The … Read More
While waiting for a glacially-slow backup to run – my other life is as a designer – I seek entertainment in the garden and there it is, in tulip form. The parrot tulips show their stripes early. I had drawn smart green buds a week ago, presenting themselves like two-tone ties. Now, … Read More
I’d never noticed before how triangular tulips are. But as I wandered out, there it was, seen from above, three-pronged stamen, trios of petals, neat, three-sided colour change at the petals’ base. Cue drawing tea break… Having got my eye in as I drew, I started seeing the particular shapes … Read More