New blooms

Deadlines. In my other creative life, I’m a designer – and I’m working the weekend. But coffee brewed, I’m pulled out into the garden by the first sweet peas, a new variety grown this year (I can only remember the Grandiflora bit, which won’t help you at all…). All showy Edwardian stripe, their scent is surprisingly dainty. But still, it heralds the season of my favourite flowers.

The Nigella bud I drew last week is out, this, the first of many, some in the lawn, left to flower in No Mow May. There’s something chandelier-like about it, as though hand-blown in glass, its petals glowy hues of blue from green centre to near-mauve point.

Sowing fresh marigolds this year, I expected – well – orange. Instead, these feisty little flowers are deep rust red, yellow-edged.

Which all seems very floral in a well-behaved, cottage garden sort of way. But I’m sketching in a lunch hour grabbed from a day at a screen, I have stripes to draw and I want to get my hands dirty. So out come the watercolour pencils and pastels, and from my bag of handed-down paper, some pieces with heft.

Which suits my urban plot’s unruly late May lushness.

Ballpen, watercolour, watercolour pencil, watercolour pastel and fineliner on handed-down watercolour paper.

Rose sketches from this project are available as greeting cards, from the Garden Museum shop in London and at Hackney Wick Underground.

On my Teemill shop, watercolour and line sketches on t-shirts and tote bags. 

What does our work sound like? The third episode of Studio Snack, my collaborative podcast with Narcis Sauleda, explores.