Sunday, 31 May 2015

Papaver Orientalis "Coral Sea"

Gentle Reader ~~~

Today, I'm sharing with you one of my favourite stars of my flower borders ~ my Papaver Orientalis "Coral Sea" ~ a beautiful, oriental poppy in the most delicious shade of orangey pink ~~~ {the colour reproduction here does not do it justice}

I bought a small potted plant from a local, independent plantsman's garden that just took my fancy about five years ago, and when I got it home I struggled to find a spot for it. In it went though, with not much thought other than concern to get it into the ground, and it obviously loves its spot, for it flourishes ~~~ the first year it rewarded me with about eight tea cup sized blooms of the most delicate tissue papery flowers I think I have ever seen. The following year, the plant nearly doubled in size and gave me about eighteen blooms, slightly bigger, and staggered in their flowering so that the beauty graced that corner for a few weeks longer than the previous year.

In its third year, the plant was even bigger and there were so many blooms {I lost count after thirty} that I now no longer count them, I just look for their arrival and eagerly await their grand entrance, for, although short lived {only a few brief days each bloom} they are big and blousey now, each bloom around five inches across, but still of the most delicate nature, like tissue paper dresses to adorn a prima ballerina as she sweeps across the stage, delighting all who see ~~~

The buds are gorgeously green and fabulously fat, and quite hairy, resembling a misshapen Kiwi fruit ~~~

For days the slowly appear, pushing upwards from the mass of leaves that form the plant, teasing me as more and more appear in the wings ~~~

Each passing day, they plump and fatten ~~~ until ~~~ one sunny Saturday morning as Spring is slowly turning to Summer ~~~

~~~and then the real magic begins ~~~ on Sunday ~~~ as the bud bursts open ~~~ and the true beauty is revealed ~~~

It is quite unfortunate that, as the buds begin to burst, {and many are ready to do so in the next few days} a band of torrential rain and high fifty to sixty mile an hour winds is set to sweep across us from the wild Atlantic and this is not the first year this has happened ~ oh! Timing is Everything! The first few buds will be sacrificed to the weather, but after that the forecast calls for lighter winds, warmer days, with no rain so the buds~in~waiting have a better chance of showing off their splendour.

As each year turns the seasons, the plant just goes from strength to strength, and now I am watching as it spreads around a nearby rose shrub and now covers several square feet in my border! I maybe should consider seeing if I can divide the root and make more plants to spread around the borders, increasing the beauty even more ~~~ there are more Papaver Orientalis too ~ a Royal Wedding {white petals and darkest navy blue centre} and a perfectly plumptiously plummy Patty's Plum and they sit in my 'holding bed' where they, too, are multiplying madly! Hurrah for Free Plants!

~~~A Gardener's Work is Never Done ~~~

Friday, 29 May 2015

Reclaiming My Mojo for Art with ICAD 2015

Gentle Reader ~~~

Over the recent months my crafting and art mojo have disappeared. A couple of days ago, on my Facebook Newsfeed, I saw a thread written by my nearby neighbour and friend Maggie, who writes about Life In The Preseli Hills.  When the wind blows here, as it so often does, it blows just as bad, sometimes worse for her.  Oh, and she gets snow.

Maggie is a talented writer, artist, and seamstress, and the owner of Magatha Bagatha.  I'm deeply grateful to her for sharing the link to The 2015 Index-Card-a-Day Challenge June 1 to July 31, 2015 because I am going to give it a go.  It is just the thing I need to distract me from the current trials and tribulations happening around me.

The basic guidelines are that you make/create a piece of art on an Index Card but you can read all about it, and share your work, on one of the many platforms listed on Tamsin's Daisy Yellow blog. 

At the moment, I have some really rubbish, cheap index cards to begin with and a few days in which to try to secure some proper ones!  It isn't about the quality of the card, it is about doing something creative.  I have a mountain range worth of stash {haven't we all?} in the shape of fabric scraps too small to mention, fibres, threads and ribbons in lengths too short for even the faeries to use, beads, paper, paint, glitter, and glue ~~~ not to mention my recently acquired Spectrum Noir ink pens and pencils, Spectrum Aqua pens, Marvy Le Plume, and so many more tubes of gouache and acrylic that it borders on the embarrassing. Oh, and the pots of ink left over from college days, and ~~~ well, you get the picture ~~~

I might start out with some simple zentangle, just to get going, but there are a series of prompts for those, who like me, are a little uncertain, and these will be useful to look at.

I'm quite looking forward to it. I'd like to see some of you thinking about giving it a go too. I know some of you will.  This is the sort of thing you can do quickly while having a coffee, riding home from work {as long as you aren't driving, of course!} even waiting for the kettle to boil, or supper to cook. We all have some of those moments somewhere in our days.

At the end of it, there will be at least 61 pieces of new artwork to show for it. Remember, it can be ANYTHING ~~~ drawn, painted, stamped, doodles, fabric, altered art ~~~ just FUN FUN FUN creativity for the sake of it.

Oh! I nearly forgot. I will put up a Flickr album later to share my efforts, and a link will appear here when it is done.  I will also try to do a weekly update with my efforts for the week on here, time permitting.

So, let's get going and create some art ~~~

Monday, 25 May 2015

Late Spring Flowers

Gentle Reader ~~~ I fear it will be some time before I can give my full attention to this journal, and even to anything more than the most basic of urgently needed jobs in the garden ~~~ Thank you all for your messages, notes, and wishes over the last few weeks ~~~ they have been of great comfort and support.

The weeds now run rampant and are taking over the flower beds, the vegetable plot, and the soft fruit patch and I am unable to do anything other than watch from the side lines. It has been a struggle to find time to do even the mowing, a mere thirty minute job each week ~~~ and the dandelions have been magnificent!

Despite the weeds taking over, some of the flowers are managing to smile and bob their cheery dance in the borders, and so that you will know that I have not forgotten you I managed to take a few quick photographs as the season, and the year, march on before us ~~~ so here they are ~~~ a small reminder of the Spring days turning in to Summer ~~~

Apple blossom a~plenty flourishes on boughs ~~~

~~~ quite bridal in it's majesty ~~~

Arum Lilies wait in the wings ~~~

and Lilies of the Valley, picked and displayed in an antique teapot vase to bring their magic fragrance in ~~~

Peonies, bright and blousey, red and vibrant ~~~


Sweet Woodruff under plants gives snowy white ground cover ~~~

and Apple Blossom petals blanket the ground as a late snowfall in spring ~~~

Columbines, Granny's Bonnet, Aquilegias of every colour are blooming very well this year, indeed they are~~~

Osteospermums are also doing very well ~~~

while Alpine Strawberries run and hide in between, and every where they hide ~~~

Comfrey seeded into the garden three years ago, and now has a strong foothold along a warm stone wall ~~~

Golden Marjoram flourishes there too ~~~

and silver Sage ~~~

Apple Mint loves the extra food that seeps from the adjacent compost bin~~~

So, Gentle Reader ~~~ a few photographs to show that, despite my in-attendance, the garden still grows on ~~~ I hope to snatch a few stolen moments soon, maybe weed a border or two, and sow some seeds for simple Summer salad crops, as time permits.