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 its vintage pinks, are zingy green leaves. There’s ground cover, some year-round, the three-cornered leeks early (and welcome Winter greens for the kitchen). The hebe wears a hat of fresh new growth. Seeds left for the birds will soon be cleared – they have other snacks in their sights, zipping back and forth between the bird feeders and neighbouring trees. Just the odd rosebud now – but there’s an outlier in full bloom that’s climbed the holly tree, now near-bare of berries and cheekily, made its own display there. Bright at the back of the garden, the jasmine, usually dormant at this time of year, is throwing out new stems.

But no garden is an island. As I pull up the blinds at start of day, I’ve been spotting a pair of jays visiting the crab apple tree next door. So far, they’ve been too quick for me to sketch but on a gloomy day of drizzle the few vivid fruits feel festive, with strings of raindrops between.

The other way, there’s escaped climber, on sunnier days teeming with bird life, today, just passers-by, branches festooning on their own.

On the next dry day, the nature outside my door will tempt me out, to trim, prune and compost for the coming season – and to spot my next finds to draw.

Ballpen, watercolour, fineliner and highlighter waste paper.

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