Thursday, April 26, 2012

Patience is a Virtue

One of the many pleasures of gardening is the constant mulling over, of what to put, where?
One such conundrum for me last year, was how to edge the herb garden. Temporarily some surplus frilly-leaved lettuce seedlings looked good.... until the chickens found them!

Then one day, unable to resist the seduction of a handwritten sign, I came home with my problem solved. A single wild strawberry plant, all jagged leaves and simple white flowers, nestled in a little cardboard box with chocolate mint and sorrel. 
 It looked lovely in its new home. I was so very tempted to rush out and get a couple of dozen more to fill in the gaps. 
Over the past year however I have been transplanting runners from the mother plant so I now have my coveted twenty-four hugging the brick paths. 

And what's more, the chickens don't even bother to snaffle the tasty strawberries!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


The Easter break has come and gone and seemingly any hint of good weather with it. Frosty mornings mean my tomato and cucumber seedlings are sulking in the greenhouse and the neat rows of my tulip cutting bed are all at sea. Last year I couldn’t bear to cut and leave holes in the serried ranks. This year their silken petals cling on like tattered sails to a shipwrecked mast. 
There have been highlights however. Last week we were juggling hailstorms and sunny spells in East Yorkshire. Curiosity took us to Bridlington, seaside resort and home to Hockney for the past few years.
The brassy end of town was jangling with coloured fishing boats and gaudy fascias, while a string of pliant, grey- backed donkeys idled on the deserted beach below.
Up in the the narrow red bricked streets of the old town, polished windows paraded vintage collectables and steamed up cafes concealed hot pots of proper tea.

We drove away from the town along Woldgate to Kilham, a ten mile single track road, now immortalised in Hockney’s brilliant ‘Arrival of Spring’ iPad drawings. Blackthorn was just bursting into flower in the hedgerows, its white blossoms laced around black branches, and oilseed rape flecked the fields with outrageous colour. Just an ordinary country lane but at the same time utterly extraordinary in its diversity of colours and shapes. Thank you Hockney for reminding us to appreciate the minutest detail of the changing seasons. 
So, on with the rain mac, I’m off to check out the blossom in the orchard.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Get yourself a copy of Country Living, two of my new illustrations and plenty of advice on how to keep busy over the Easter Weekend... enjoy!

Copyright Country Living Magazine

Monday, April 2, 2012

Nesting instinct

"Bees come out of their hive, the partridge begins to pair, the blackbird whistles and the field and woodlarks sing".                                                                                            J.C. Loudon 1882 Encyclopedia of Gardening

Well, I haven't had much time in the garden lately but the bird population have been  compensating for my absence, not only with their romancing and whistling. Sitting painting quietly in my studio it sounds as though an army of builders have arrived, with a resonating tap and a scrape as moss is salvaged from the tiles and debris scratched from the gutters. Perfect materials for a 'new build' elsewhere.