One of the nice things is the anticipation of spring! I have planted up the three black pots with tulips and overplanted them with forget me nots in pink, blue and white which I grew from seed.
A friend and I are gardening together through the winter. Just half an hour now and then in each others gardens. We raked leaves in hers and planted tulip Purissima in mine the other day (that sunny one!). Twice the pleasure, half the work.
.. to make wreaths while stems and branches are still pliable. I use the bines of the golden hop which grows by the front door and I am trying dark clematis stems. The leaves will fall off, but I think just a few strands of the plum coloured stems might make a beautiful minimal wreath.
I find it best to always weave in the one direction, and to dry them flat.
A lovely occupation for an autumn day.
I will be at the gallery tomorrow at 2pm for a Meet The Artist session -heavy rain and strong winds are forecast, so I hope I do meet someone! See Studio page for details.
I have just learned that one of the common names of astrantia is Melancholy Gentlemen!
This lovely one is called Hadspen's Blood. I told this to a visitor on an open day (we used to open the garden in the yellow book scheme). She exclaimed Husband's Blood! That's a strange name for a plant!
Hadspen was a wonderful garden in Somerset, sadly no longer in existence.
I am enjoying The Proms on Radio Three and the wonderful Icelandic pianist Vikingur Olafsson. I love listening to him talk about his art. When someone commented that he made it look easy, he replied that it is easy. You have to love it, he said. If you love it enough to spend the time required on it, then it becomes easy.
What an excellent point.
I am looking forward to his concert this Saturday.
It's the time of the Perseids meteor shower, but I saw only one shooting star before the cloud came in from the west.
But one star is enough to make a wish on!
Have any of you ever grown this pretty climber ? It is cardiospermum halicacabum or balloon vine or more poetically, Love in a Puff. The tiny flowers produce a large seed pod and the seed is black wth a white heart shape on it. Waiting impatiently - it has been very slow to get going..
Today's work is to find the exact coplementary colour of the lilac. I use complementary colours a lot for vibrancy and a very 'active' surface to the canvas. Much inspired by Bonnard who wasa a master of this. I've used an iridescent oil paint for the first time. I was worried it might be a bit gimicky or tacky, but it's very subtle and interesting....
I had to roll up the rug in the sitting room for Japanese Snow. The studio isn't big enough.
The big black pots are bursting with bloom. Lime green and lilac petunias and shooting out of the tops nicotiana sylvestris with their gorgeous evening scent. I had forgotten how huge the leaves of this nicotiana are and had to keep cutting them off as they were smothering everything else.
How is your garden growing this summer?
We are having a spell of wonderful weather, which the Mother of Pearl poppies and I are loving. I hope you are too.
I am taking a bit of a blog break while I try and establish a work routine in the studio. It's a long time since I worked full-time!
If you are one of the millions who have been working all through the pandemic, keeping the world functioning I want to take this chance to say a huge thank you.
THANK YOU SO MUCH.
I love the way the meadows change each year. (They are just areas where I stopped mowing.)
Cat's ear, hypochaeris radicata, is dominant this year. The flowers don't open until about 8 o'clock but then the garden is ablaze with their brilliant yellow.
More orchids are still appearing, and I have put in wild cornflowers which I grew in plugs So vibrant beside the yellow!.
Makes me smile every day.
I love he brilliant leaves of the golden hop, humulus lupus aureus against the black walls of the house. It grows quickly to about 10 feet or more every year, and tries to get into the house! You cut it to the ground at the end of summer and the bines are useful for making wreaths.
I also grow it on a wigwam of blue painted canes, where this year it has been joined by clematis 'Dark Eyes'. (£1 from the supermarket.)
I sowed this pretty annual in pots but they got straggly and leggy as I didn't pot them on or pinch them out at the right time. However they are flowering profusely n spite of my neglect and I was puszzling how to support them when I remembered some white painted twigs from Christmas. Just tje thing.
These are Schizanthus x wisetonensis Dr Badger's Mix from Chiltern Seeds.
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)