Three stripes and a gorilla

While waiting for a glacially-slow backup to run – my other life is as a designer – I seek entertainment in the garden and there it is, in tulip form. The parrot tulips show their stripes early. I had drawn smart green buds a week ago, presenting themselves like two-tone ties. Now, … 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

Beautiful hooligans

Three-cornered leeks. I have no idea how they got into my urban garden but they’re hooligans, spreading their way around. Handy, then, that they do their partying in one space when there’s not much else going on. First, drifts of their triangular leaves, then chandeliers of green-streaked white flowers. They’re … Read More

What the storm blew in

Storm Eunice lashing London, my cold frame escaped its moorings. In its journey to the other end of the garden, it revealed a view I don’t normally have of Spring bulbs in pots that will, come Summer, house tomatoes. So I made the most of it and did a quick … Read More

Winter posy

Frost-chilled, wind-blown, wild weather forecast, the doughty little roses in my garden looked ready to jettison their petals. So as it was too chilly even for wrapped-up drawing, I snipped off a couple for a posy. Even the colours look cold. The full rose petals are bleached to the palest … Read More

Tiny trees

“So how do holly trees have babies?” I had been telling a group of friends about a new generation that I was off to draw. Presents from the birds, we used to call them in my family – plants that arrive, neither sown, nor planted by us. It’s the wood pigeons … Read More

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

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

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

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

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