Texture to colour

I’ve started my drawing day bimbling around sketching the lilies given to me by a kind neighbour, partly because I promised myself that I would and partly as an excuse not to go outside. It’s chilly. This should be no surprise – it’s November. But in this year’s strange climate, it … Read More

New leaves

Blustery showers blow leaves and windfalls into the garden so I head out in search of Autumn colour. I’m diverted by the hydrangea. Topped with dry flowers that owe more to a parched Summer than seasonal turn, it’s grateful for the rain. Pairs of buds are tucked into each pair … Read More

Keeping on

It’s been a sombre week. As I step into the garden, I’m not quite sure what I’m looking for. Permanence, maybe? Timelessness? No – nature shows me something else. Just as the giant sunflower heads dry, two smaller sunflowers are bursting into bud, tight little knots of fresh green on hairy … Read More

Late Summer colour

I go into the garden to draw a one-out, one-in story about new growth and moulted feathers. But today, the garden has colours to show me. The fennel is reaching its mid-point between flower and seed. It’s full of colour I’m not expecting – dusty blue, turquoise, mauve, blended with … Read More

Oddly oblong

I went out to draw the fennel. Over the week. It’s been showing me how its umbrellas escape their rolls of leaf and today, there are tiny yellow bobbles of flower, a few starting to throw out pollen for the pollinators (for which I use an bit of kitchen scourer … Read More

Just watching

“I’ll do the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch while I draw outside for the blog”, I thought. “I’ll listen out for the birds, then I can glance up”. But with a human outside faffing around with art materials and a line full of washing flapping about, sensibly, they stuck largely to neighbouring … Read More

Endings and beginnings

Boxing Day, garden glossed by rain, is a chance to see what the whole garden is up to. At a time of year that seems all about endings, its shapes, patterns, textures and colours speak of a place in perpetual motion. Peeking out from the late Winter hydrangea, handsome with … 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

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

Summer plumage

A few short weeks ago, these were texture: tight little heads of green buds; sculptural grey-green leaves like a Grinling Gibbons carving; flat stems rambling over low shrubs. Now, the garden is in full Summer plumage. The hydrangea is popping out ice-cream coloured flowers. Little red double-headed poppies are out … Read More