Inside out, outside in

A soggy Saturday calls for drawing what I have indoors… And that starts with a view, surprisingly zingy, through raindrop-scattered geraniums. I bought them last year when desperate for windowsill colour. They’re flanked by two houseplants put out because I’m so terrible with them that however chilly it is, they’ll … Read More

Short day, bright things

On dark days, this, near the Winter Solstice and dark of news to match, I’m happy to see any glimmer of brightness that the garden will offer. Here, bobbing in the chilly breeze, the first snowdrop of Winter. It’s a few weeks early, brought, perhaps, by mild weather but it … Read More

Prunings

I’m terrible at pruning roses. My late mum taught me to sculpt them, looking for the directions of the buds. But I let stems ramble until they’re finished with flowering, reach to trim them and accidentally, take off a stem still in flower. These opening buds, stopped in their tracks … Read More

Faded grandeur

In my urban garden, faded has its own grandeur. Once vivid, the roses are blooming in soft pastels edged with cherry pink, some round like little peonies, others presenting their petals to the garden. The jasmine’s sharp green leaves have only now taken on tones of russet, their rolls and … Read More

Starting with a tiny toadstool

I’ve been trying to draw it all week – a tiny toadstool in the improvised grow-bag that was home to the courgettes and now, with no intervention from me, hollyhocks. Studio work has come first but today, its neighbour nibbled, I’ve grabbed the last of the daylight and crouched down to … Read More

In celebration of mess

The temptation to tidy is sometimes overwhelming – but aside from sprawling limbs of ivy and roses to dead-head, this is the season when I let things lie for a bit. This week, the garden has rewarded me with a hidden harvest…. hiding among leaves that looked done-for, I’ve found gorgeous … Read More

Fresh flowers in October

It’s October – but just as I expect to be drawing all things Autumnal, the garden gives me fresh flowers. The ivy is alive with bees and wasps. Interested mostly in the top flowers, they let me snip off a sprig to draw, its yellows needing the glow of a … Read More

Outside in

It’s been a blustery, rainy start here to Autumn – a time for nipping out and gathering in for drawing in the kitchen. A stem blown down by a squally shower, the red amaranth looks like a flower designed by an upholsterer. The flower head grows tufts and twirls, tiny seeds … 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

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

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