Green shoots, three ways

Fog. It’s the sort of bone cold grey day that never quite clears… But as I clip and shape the hebes, determined to have some time outdoors on a working Saturday, I get my eye in. Out from the murk shine shoots of iris, their surface-sitting roots like ginger. Undisturbed … Read More

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

At the turn of the year

Sometimes I go out into the garden with a story in mind. As often, I’ll draw what I’m given. And at the turn of the year, a flurry of toasts, hopes and fireworks, it’s soothing to see what nature’s up to on this unseasonably-mild day. The Forsythia is exuberantly in … 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

Seizing the day

On a blustery day, in a pocket of sunshine, I nip out into the garden to collect things blown in for drawing in the warm. But on my way back, I spot a tiny snail on tidying-up duty, working through strawberry leaves in troughs that will host Spring flowers. So … 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

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

Garden at work

In holiday season, I find myself hard at work on things with Autumn deadlines. I’m in good company, the late August garden heavy with productivity… Snails’ work is not something I enjoy, in the normal run of things. But pausing to draw one that I’d spotted in the courgette patch, I … Read More

Nature, engineer

When I spend time with plants through drawing, I notice things about their structure that I haven’t thought about before. The hollyhocks are in bud, in flower and going over all at the same time, throwing their iced cake decoration buds skywards, shaking out petals and serving up generous portions … Read More

Nature, designer

Drawing a plant is full of discovery. Drawing the garden over time has shown me that it’s in perpetual motion. I’ve drawn the allium a couple of times and was wondering if I might need more than one sketch here to show the umbrella-frame buds, flowers open and now, seed … Read More