Candied Flowers for Easter….

Happiest when I am about to tackle a new challenge and happier still if the job involves flowers, I set off into the frozen wastes of the Cottage Garden to see what I can pick. This wasteland of dried stems with the odd pernicious and very hardy weed is hardly an oasis of verdant growth … Continue reading

Compulsive Carrot Disorder

When other artists were painting landscapes, portraits and flowers, I was painting vegetables.  Big blowsy bunches of Beetroot and gentle bunches of Carrots with feathery fronds. The buyers at my exhibitions bought paintings of strings of garlic, onions and the like and for my private views I wore silver earrings in the shape of carrots. … Continue reading

Sewing the Garden…..

Swept up and cast aside by the sparkle of Christmas and washed away by months of rain I slither and slide down the slippery path of the New Year into my waterlogged garden. Seeing all my sad and sodden potted Primulas and Cowslips, I gather them up lovingly and head for the greenhouse. Surely these … Continue reading

Nasturtium Butter…..

My pre-breakfast morning walk is a push for power; for a fast-paced, heart-pumping, energizing surge where battling against the wind and weather helps me to reclaim some of the adrenalin driven lifestyle I once had. Yes, I rise when the bats are still following their flight paths home to roost and with a torch strapped … Continue reading

Making Hay…….

Days and days of burnished, golden, Indian Summer sunshine sees the late autumn flowers blooming for the bees and my skin turning a pale caramel. This sublime, mellow weather with its misty mornings clearing to deep azure skies and a honeyed, warming light, brings with it a feeling of calmness and contentment which runs very … Continue reading

Dartmoor Jewels…..

The low clouds, heavy and weary with rain, sink lower still to smother gigantic Tors, whilst warm, peat-scented mist rolls over ancient granite and streams. This is Dartmoor; high ground where we live and breathe humid, nebulous air, moistened with gentle drizzle and where for days on end we view the world as if through a … Continue reading

The Gentle Art of Dead-Heading……

Removing faded blooms from Summer flowering plants is essential if you want to prolong blooming. But am I the only one who finds it tedious? But with some flowers, like these Poppy seed heads, it is really easy. Each little pod in shades of soft bluey green through to  pale olive is a mini work … Continue reading

Wild about Bees and Miss Marple….

Big, drowsy Bumbles, sweet, busy Honey Bees buzzing to and from their hives or exquisite silver bees for my ears; I am just mad about bees.   And all this despite being stung by a bumble bee on one fat cheek on my face as I sat in my pram as a baby! The story of … Continue reading

Lilac Sugar……..

Capture a fragrant memory of this evocative, heady perfume by tossing some dry Lilac blossoms between layer upon layer of fine sugar crystals.  This scented time- capsule containing the  essence of spring will be there for you until long after the Lilac in your garden has faded and died. Then later, sprinkle a little romance … Continue reading

Pondlife and other stories

” Very soon after, there are Frogs everywhere. Big ones, patterned ones, tiny ones, all popping their heads out of the water whilst the Newts do little back- flips up and down and in and out of the muddy water” I have help in the garden today; an old fashioned Devonian gardener who has offered a … Continue reading