In celebration of mess

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 speckled borlotti bean pods and inside, beans like crackle glazed ceramic.

Two snails have taken luxe lodgings on a verbena flower head, plaiting with the fennel in the wind and visited by passing hoverflies.

And the hydrangea, my everything-at-once shrub, has some flowers drying from pink to speckle to intricate lacework.

So here’s to mess, loved by the wildlife and full of treats to draw.

Ballpen, watercolour and fineliner on waste paper.

I’ve been illustrating some bigger habitats for 26 Habitats, a project by writers’ organisation 26 with The Wildlife Trusts, now on to its second part, 26 Pledges. There's a Q&A on my work here.

In my Teemill shop, my Autumn / Winter range, sketched from saved seeds, printed to order on organic cotton garments and delivered in plastic-free packaging.