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.
In my urban garden, faded has its own grandeur. Once vivid, the roses are blooming in soft pastels edged with cherry pink, some round like little peonies, others presenting their petals to the garden. The jasmine’s sharp green leaves have only now taken on tones of russet, their rolls and … Read More
I’ve been trying to draw it all week – a tiny toadstool in the improvised grow-bag that was home to the courgettes and now, with no intervention from me, hollyhocks. Studio work has come first but today, its neighbour nibbled, I’ve grabbed the last of the daylight and crouched down to … Read More
The temptation to tidy is sometimes overwhelming – but aside from sprawling limbs of ivy and roses to dead-head, this is the season when I let things lie for a bit. This week, the garden has rewarded me with a hidden harvest…. hiding among leaves that looked done-for, I’ve found gorgeous … Read More
Chilly in the garden, spotting rosehips I gather some in and go foraging for more warm Autumn colours for kitchen drawing. The rosehips, red from a distance, have a subtle blend of reds, brick and brown, layers of colour needed, especially on this waste paper, coated for print. At first … Read More
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