Nature, engineer

When I spend time with plants through drawing, I notice things about their structure that I haven’t thought about before.

The hollyhocks are in bud, in flower and going over all at the same time, throwing their iced cake decoration buds skywards, shaking out petals and serving up generous portions of pollen as they set seed lower down the plant. The lemon balm pops out its flowers in a circle, handy for the pollinators. The sepals that wrap the rose buds fold back to present the petals. And the poppy heads, their tops flat when green, rise as they dry to open tiny mediaeval tower windows for the seeds.

Even on the laziest of hot Summer days, the garden is full of plants designed for action.

Biro, watercolour, fineliner, on waste paper.

My April illustration of the whole garden is on show at Town House Open, Spitalfields, London, from 10 July until 12 September.