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

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

A good year for jasmine

Normally, I pay it attention only to give its tangled limbs somewhere to go. But this year, the jasmine is in flower. And today, it rewards my stillness with glorious wafts of scent, echoes of perfumes gone by. Drawing, I notice that its flowers have just four almost-oblong petals, curled … 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

Catching a moment

I used to think of a garden as a slow sculpture. But some things change so quickly that I have to catch them as I spot them… The first ripe alpine strawberry zings out among flowers and green fruits. Just typing this has reminded me to harvest it – they’re intense … Read More

New leaf

There’s a point in the year when everything bursts into leaf. Trees sparkle. Winter-dull shrubs are tipped with perky green. The hydrangea, pruned of its dried flowers last week, is all furl and curl. Pairs of leaves hinge out from stalks speckled with the pink of its Summer plumage. The … 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

Garden ink

Sun, rain, sun, rain… though Spring is a week away, it’s making the garden pop with fresh colour. My starting points for this week’s sketches are natural ink washes. It’s interesting having a base note of the main colour in the plant I’m sketching – it frees me to look at … Read More

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