Oddly oblong

I went out to draw the fennel. Over the week. It’s been showing me how its umbrellas escape their rolls of leaf and today, there are tiny yellow bobbles of flower, a few starting to throw out pollen for the pollinators (for which I use an bit of kitchen scourer … Read More

Showtime for the flowers

I’ve been waiting for the right flower for a heavily-textured piece of paper and here it comes – the first courgette flower, like an elaborate piece of smocking. Drawing a bud, I swear that the petals are emerging as I watch. Over the past three years, the garden has taught … Read More

A good year for jasmine

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

Poppies popping

There are early morning errands to do. There are new poppies open, and bees. Poppies and bees it is, then. That’s less frivolous than it seems – in an hour, the sun will have moved and the bees will have moved on. So I take my coffee outside, taking care to … Read More

Pods and pollinators

I’ve been doing No Mow May. Showers forecast, I should cut the grass before it turns into a June jungle. But as it’s grown, so has my love for its floral loveliness, self-seeded nigella dotted amongst the daisies. So I honour it with a sketch, in early morning, daisies tinged … Read More

Summer’s curtain call

Technically, this is the start of Autumn. But Summer is doing its curtain call. The sound of bees led me to the verbena, an ordinary fly there too, zinging with iridescence in the sunshine. The cucamelon that I planted more on a whim than in expectation of actual fruit is … Read More

Garden at work

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

Something old, something new

Pink. There’s a lot of it in the garden at the moment and it’s always more complicated than it looks. Perfect, then, for trying out some portable materials before a live sketching assignment at a wedding. I’d actually gone out into the garden to draw forage, starting with the new … Read More

In your own time

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

Treasure in the shade

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

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