When the garden has other plans

When you’re drawing sweet peas and a load of bumble bees rock up for the hydrangeas…

I had planned to report on the astonishing palette of colour in the sweet peas – one cultivated plant a palette of pinks and purples, the wild sweet peas the fashiony show-offs of the garden – and make some ink from petals I had saved.

But the hydrangeas were full of tiny servings of pollen and the bees were carrying their haul like shoppers in the mall up the road.

And the ink? Well, weeks of squirrelling away purple petals gave me… green. I’m happy with that – it’s a green that’s fiddly to mix in a way that looks convincingly-natural.

So drawing with an open mind, the garden has shown me more than I came for.

Biro, watercolour, fineliner, on waste paper.

Read my article about Dispatches from a Small World in Sublime magazine.

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