The Rudbeckias are doing most of the work supplying colour in the garden at the moment. There are other things but none as brash or self-assertive as these tall brightly coloured flowers. There are some marigolds which can compete in colour but not so much in height. They do very well in their own little world.

I wanted to paint these before they succumb to the weather and lose their petals.

Flower tower

Some places have hanging baskets to prettify their surroundings. Others have window boxes. In Stow on the Wold they are big on flower towers dotted around the town, to bring some welcome colour to the summer months. The place is also big on vehicles, making it hard to find anywhere to park unless you get up really early in the morning. In reality, there were lots of cars parked behind the tower, and something obscuring some of it in front, so I suppose they have to stack their flower pots on top of each other, otherwise no-one would ever see them.

From little seeds

The Poppies have been beautiful this year and are always a welcome addition to the garden whether planted on purpose or a gift of Nature. Although their delicate petals do not always last long once the wind blows, their tall elegant seed heads add another sculptural element to the borders.

Garden pots

Turned out to be quite humid today but not as much sunshine as expected. However there was a brief moment early afternoon when I found an opening to sketch some garden pots with French Marigolds and Petunias before the shadows disappeared again.

No sun, but have flowers.

As we are lacking natural sunshine at the moment, I thought I’d import some from the supermarket in the form of Sunflowers. Although they are still a little shy, one of them has pried itself a bit more open than the rest, and I have been playing with it this morning.

Everything in the garden is about a month behind where it usually is at this time of year, possibly due to the frosts which kept on coming right into May. We are told things will perk up by the end of the week. Meanwhile, flowers, shy or otherwise, are always lovely to paint.

Flowers for a Prince

As I came to the last page of my current sketchbook, I noticed that the small tulips, planted in a pot I painted a few weeks ago, were just starting to come through. What better way of ending one sketchbook before starting another ?

Coming back indoors, I heard the sad news of the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, two months before his 100th birthday. Truly the end of an era.

March blue

The sketchbook I am nearing the end of at the moment has turned out to be much more of a floral affair than usual. I’ve painted daffodils in the garden before, plenty of times, but I haven’t often painted a hyacinth. This one is out the front of the house, and I think there are a few more on the way which look as if they are going to be much darker.

As we are now able to meet other people in our gardens, and there are signs that lockdown is to be lifted gradually over the next few weeks, this might be an appropriate moment to be ending one sketchbook and opening another.

Yellow Rose

The house has been full of bouquets recently, not from the garden, but delivered by post (some flat-packed!). All have been lovely and thankfully survived their various ordeals in reaching us. This rose in particular caught my eye today and I wanted to sketch it before the petals begin to drop. I used a Winsor yellow and an Indian yellow and a touch of Cadmium scarlet.