January Jewels

If you suffer from mid-winter blues, I would encourage you to plant bulbs next autumn. One January or February morning, you will see tiny green shoots, and within a week or two, a little paintbrush smudge of flower. A few days later, as if the flower were spring-loaded, petals will have burst out in all directions, and this gorgeous little warrior will be standing proud.

Froth and Fizz

In May, the Kentish country lanes are full of froth and fizz. They are overflowing with hawthorn blossom and the cow parsley. It reminds me of filling a champagne flute and seeing if it overflows.

Painting with Tulips

I can’t paint or draw. Gardening is my way of splashing around with colour, creating new combinations and having a few happy accidents. My media, right now, is tulips.

The Birth of the Tulips

The birth of the tulips has been laboured and slow this year, but their emergence is a triumph.

The Shy Tulips

Nature has a way of correcting herself. If she overreaches, she seems to reflect, and modify her trajectory to get back on track. And so, in the second week of April, as always, I am beside myself with anticipation for the arrival of the tulips.

Tight-knit

Tight-knit: adjective: closely integrated and bound in love or friendship

Spring at Sissinghurst

When I am photographing plants, I often favour my macro lens in order to capture the details of flowers. Today I made a conscious decision to use a different lens in order to capture the bigger picture. I enjoyed playing around with angles so that I could capture detail in the foreground, but give a sense of space and perspective in the background.

Early Risers

Hyacinths are the easiest of bulbs to grow in the garden. They are reliably hardy and perennial, and bulk up each year. Just remember to wear gloves when planting, and don’t touch your face!

A Certain Flair

There are some rather wonderful words for describing the shape of a flower’s stigma. ‘Plumoso’ describes a feathered shape. ‘Lobado’ describes a lobed shape. There is conicoid (conical), discoide (disc-shaped) and con pelos (with hair). I would describe a crocus stigma as plumoso. Lucky crocus.

Bumbling

I love watching any type of bee, but bumblebees are especially endearing. Especially when they dive nose-first into a flower and tip up their furry bums.

Ice Queen

You can see the intricacy of the markings. They remind me of a school chromatography experiment when we made an ink spot on blotting paper and then dipped it in water. The pigments in the ink slowly separated and spread out over the blotting paper.