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.
With the beautiful weather we have been enjoying, I had to post something from the garden to celebrate the arrival of Summer. In the world of borders and beds, plots and allotments, things have stepped up a notch, and there seems to be so much to do. I am not sure if the late frosts were entirely to blame for the lack of enthusiasm in the seeds to do anything this year, as there was a lot of time spent trying to find the right kind of peat free compost. Eventually we found one which seemed to find favour and our seedlings are now marching away as happy as anything!
Wow, it’s been longer than I thought since I last posted. No real reason for the delay, just been busy with classes restarting, craft fairs starting and fitting in some gardening between lots of rain. I took advantage of a brief sunny interlude to paint this in the hope that there will be many sunny days to come throughout the months ahead. If we keep believing that, it’s bound to happen, right?
A weekend spent in the garden preparing for what we all hope will be a good summer. It is tempting to start planting seedlings but we are still having frosty nights. Lovely to see the Bluebells starting to come out and loads of Forget-me-nots. Things are certainly on the move.
Some seeds are taking a long time to do what they are supposed to. I don’t know if it is the weather or the peat-free compost we all have to use. Does anyone actually like the stuff?
This morning I had time to paint in the garden while waiting for a delivery. I took the pots of tulips on the steps as my focus and grabbed the sun while it was there. It was lovely to feel some warmth at last. I used a lot of yellow ochre here, in the walls and steps and combined with cadmium scarlet for the pots. It is also in the foreground with some winsor violet. Such a versatile colour and especially useful in garden and landscape painting.
As the day wore on, the clouds rolled in and it became much chillier – and the delivery didn’t arrive until much later.
Well, we all know April can be capricious, but having spent yesterday pottering in the garden, thinking how lovely it was in the sun, I really did not think we would get up this morning to a blanket of snow. April showers, I suppose.
It is just as well I made a quick sketch as soon as I was able, as it had mostly disappeared by lunchtime. Proof once more that you should never put off a sketch until another time. The chances are it will never be the same.
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.
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.
Another sketchbook entry from flowers which dominate the front garden at the moment and looking their best.
As an antidote to painting 100 people last week, I wanted to find something a little less demanding with no time frame looming over me. So now Spring is here, I decided to turn my attention to the garden, a subject without end as soon it will change every day once things start to grow. Also, although it may not happen for a while yet, the weather will become drier and warmer, and we will be able to sit outside without being battered by the wind.
At last the garden is beginning to come to life again, it is very blue and yellow at this time of the year- our favourite colours. We are short on Tulips however and last year we planted some bulbs in various pots to see if anything would happen, and I am pleased to say that some leaves are emerging. With any luck we may even have some flowers at some point and I will be able to paint them again.