Springing forward

It’s the weekend when the clocks go forward. The first tulips are out. In the nearly-three-years of this project, sketching plants has taught me a lot about time. But today, it shows me a parallel universe. This project started in the surreal stillness of lockdown, in an unseasonably-warm Spring. I … Read More

A visit to Mother Nature

Mother’s Day. Neither mother, nor with a mother to visit, I head instead for what’s newborn in the garden. The tulips are in bud. But what catches my eye first is a magnificent caterpillar. I should mind its nibblings – but look at it, an elaborately-plaited braid of a thing… so … Read More

Out of the old

There’s a dead shrub in the garden, undermined by the ivy, left standing for bird feeders. But wandering my urban plot for things to draw, I see that it’s hosting new life, green with lichen and this year for the first time, sporting rich red-brown fungus, waxy, gathered into its … Read More

As the rose goes

Stripes. Borders. Feathers of tightly-folded leaf unfurling. Wonderfully alien-looking serrated scrolls presenting new stems. Colour so vivid I have to start with highlighter. Never mind the chill wind – the roses are going for it. It takes a lot of colour (and a lot of looking) to show this new growth. … Read More

A closer look

It’s chilly, back to Winter after last week’s glimpse of Spring. So I pick a stem of narcissus and a fallen-over crocus for a closer look indoors. I’ve picked the crocus for its saffron – but as soon as it’s in water, it flings out its petals, demanding my attention for … Read More

Pop go the colours

The garden seems to have got the message… I’ve been sketching indoor flowers this week in a fragment of time between design tasks. Then, as I glance out on a slow Saturday morning, narcissi. The pop of colour draws me out into the garden and as I get my eye … Read More

Hearts and flowers

Loo rolls. Not the most glamorous things to write about in this week of hearts and flowers. But I save them for sowing sweet peas. Their delicate roots don’t like being moved so these, I can plant whole. Cardboard and compost aren’t the most glamorous things to draw either – I … Read More

Rebellious nature

It’s been a bruising week. But as I get my eye in to the hydrangea, I see that below the spent flower heads, dark and hunched, bright buds are popping open before my eyes. I add messy swirls of colour for some animation. The Forsythia has a flower out, leading … Read More

Hope sprouting

It’s hot lemon and ginger season, colds everywhere in my city. The garden seems to be in sympathy, the iris corms knobbly in the rich, dark earth, sprouting tough, bright leaves, yellow to green to blue-grey. The snowdrops are glowing like exquisite little lamps. As I draw, I notice spikes … Read More

Flotsam and jetsam

On a frozen day, I nip into the garden looking for flotsam and jetsam – stuff on the soil, leftovers, things blown in on the wind. Snails have left their shells, a chance to marvel at them. Each unique, all whirl and mark and ridge, drawing them I notice that they … Read More

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