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

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

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 … Read More

Visitors in May

I thought I was done with drawing the aquilegia. But brava! Here they are, in the sunshine, like a visiting troupe, flowers full-out, all costume and show. And the show brings fans – I sketch in a passing hoverfly… The buds, though, are like something from the imagination of a … Read More

Here, good cheer

It’s wild garlic season. Wandering out to survey my small landscape, I spot the first flowers sparkling in the shade. It becomes a trio of Spring firsts… The aquilegia, drawn in leaf last week, is now in dainty green-purple flower. I notice nibbles in the leaves. There’s an orderly queue … Read More

Living palettes and a brush tree

Today, I’ve been torn between drawing my one Queen of the Night tulip before it goes over and recording plants from friends. I’ve done both – but for entirely different reasons. Settling in with the tulip, I see that nature has done its colour scheme thing. Sage flower buds gather round, … Read More

Come the creatures

A glorious Easter Saturday. Years of community gardening taught me to seize the day – and in drawing, I have to seize the moment. Once tulips get to that louche stage when they throw their petals around, they only need the slightest gust of wind to shrug them off. As they … Read More

The shape of Spring

I’d never noticed before how triangular tulips are. But as I wandered out, there it was, seen from above, three-pronged stamen, trios of petals, neat, three-sided colour change at the petals’ base. Cue drawing tea break… Having got my eye in as I drew, I started seeing the particular shapes … Read More

Ahead of the equinox

The flowers have declared it Spring. And who am I to argue? In bud last week, the first tulips are fully-open in the morning sun. By the time I go out to draw them, they’re closing for the day, speedy sketching a race to catch the tricorn hat of yellow … Read More

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