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 – I should have divided them – they’ll be busy clumps this year. I use a highlighter under the watercolour to push out the green.

The soil, I spot, is being pushed up all over the the place by new arrivals, just along, little round bowls of sedum, grey-green, a hint of lemon here and there, bluer as the leaves mature.

Strange waste paper, this, made for printing. It soaks up the watercolour, then dries it back to something subtler, so there’s guesswork in the mixing of my paints…

Light turning blue and fingers following, I do a last quick sketch, of a cheeky curl of leaves. They’re in such a hurry that they’re taking the soil with them (I use a bit of kitchen scourer for that). Come Spring, these will be tulips.

Spring. Thank you, garden, for reminding me that it’ll be along in a while.

Ballpen, watercolour, fineliner, highlighter on waste paper.

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