Hello, mini meadow

Well, not a meadow as such… but a lot more interesting than it was when it was a lawn. I’ve been doing No Mow May for the flowers and the bees – but even in less-than-reliable weather, allowing the grass to do its own thing has given me all sorts of … Read More

Wallowing in nature

These are noisy, scattered, uncertain times. Now and again, some stillness is called-for – and that’s a challenge. Even before the pandemic, I was terrible at doing nothing. But I can wallow endlessly in nature. Put me by a plant and I can lose myself in its miniature community of wildlife. … Read More

First flush, last knockings

Before I started this project, I would think of the gardening season as something with a beginning, a middle and an end. But reporting from my garden in sketches, I’ve realised that there are many stories and cycles, all happening at once – and sometimes on the same plant. I … Read More

One day, these will be…

Cucamelons. No, I have no idea why I sowed these either, though goodness knows, come seed catalogue time I was ready for some frivolity. And glamorous they are, mini vines, already throwing out their first fronds. The black hollyhocks will, if they do well, be ink. Growing in wavy formation, they’re … Read More

Bluebells – my bit of countryside in the city

Bluebells. I didn’t plant them – they just… arrived. What I’ve always loved about them, apart from that earthy, petally scent on a woodland walk, is their almost-purple. Drawing them, I notice deep blue too, where flower joins stem. Dark stamens show off zingy pollen. Green takes on mauve in stem … Read More

Reporting from an urban garden

This is the launch month for Dispatches from a Small World so I give you… the whole garden! I’ve been drawing all of it periodically, when I spot something new. I notice what dusk does to the greens, how snow highlights the kind of garden it is – and at … Read More

On drawing in the rain

You’ll find me drawing a lot of tulips at this time of year and these, which I’m growing for the first time, do that wonderful thing in nature of no two flowers, or leaves, being of the same stripe, which, I always think, tells us something about beauty. But that’s … Read More

Movement, colour and sculpture – red tulips

I’ve appreciated tulips all the more in lockdown, seeing how they open and close during the day, the petals that aren’t really petals revealing colours I didn’t know were there and the fabulous sculptural curl and stripe of the flat leaves around the stems. Biro, watercolour, fineliner on waste paper.

Cheery little forsythia flowers

Reliable Spring visitors, these yellow flowers were so vivid that I dashed in from my chilly perch to grab a highlighter. But as I drew, I noticed another colour – the pale grey-green of seeweedy lichen. Biro, watercolour, highlighter on waste paper.

Crocuses – little pops of purple

Back in the Autumn, I planted a job lot of bulbs, knowing that after a lockdown Winter, I’d need the good cheer of Spring flowers. Spending time with these little pops of purple, I found blends to blue inside and a surface sheen of deep pink. Biro, watercolour, fineliner on … Read More

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