Small harvest

As trees fruit, winds blow and Summer veg go over, there’s an air of gathering-in about the garden, and not just for me…

The rainbow chard, spindly this year, keeps going so I harvest little sprouting tops to add to a stir-fry. And it’s only in drawing it that I notice the fine red stripes in the green and yellow leaf stems, a nod to their burgundy neighbours.

The pigeons have already snacked their way halfway down the holly tree. They’re messy eaters, the ground scattered with dropped berries. Picking some up for drawing, I spot the ridged seeds exposed as the berries dry. I’ve never stopped to look at them before, only the baby holly trees popping up here and there.

And blown in by the wind, crab apples from next door’s tree. Squirrels, new residents in these parts, will have most of them but for now, here they are, like tiny russets. Simple in shape, there’s a surprising amount of work in these to get in all of the colours and textures. It’s worth the time to appreciate these little visitors.

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. 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.