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 second growing season.
I spend a lot of time apologising to spiders at this time of year, their carefully-spun webs across the garden wrecked by one galumphing human. This week, I got to appreciate some of their handiwork without breaking it – two lavender seed heads stitched together, here, with a passing hoverfly. The … Read More
In holiday season, I find myself hard at work on things with Autumn deadlines. I’m in good company, the late August garden heavy with productivity… Snails’ work is not something I enjoy, in the normal run of things. But pausing to draw one that I’d spotted in the courgette patch, I … Read More
Some plants make an entrance at the traditional hour. Some arrive fashionably late. And all are worth a second glance… I always plant more seeds than I need, sharing the seedlings with friends. My spare chillis have been bursting into splendour in a nearby kitchen, while mine have been a … Read More
A showery day, sharp light clamped under rain clouds, brings up the contrast between the shade and the things that grow there. All the better, then, for spotting treasure. A solitary white sweet pea has its own complex scent, holding its own against the lavender I’ve climbed over to investigate. … Read More
When I spend time with plants through drawing, I notice things about their structure that I haven’t thought about before. The hollyhocks are in bud, in flower and going over all at the same time, throwing their iced cake decoration buds skywards, shaking out petals and serving up generous portions … Read More
A few short weeks ago, these were texture: tight little heads of green buds; sculptural grey-green leaves like a Grinling Gibbons carving; flat stems rambling over low shrubs. Now, the garden is in full Summer plumage. The hydrangea is popping out ice-cream coloured flowers. Little red double-headed poppies are out … Read More