http://www.etsy.com/shop/lemonaday. size 6 in x 4.5 in 15cm x 12cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
I am going to compile my list of the top ten genera or plant families that form the backbone of the garden for me, then I shall see if there are gardening forums out there who beg to differ.
I think I have to start with the roses:
1) Rosa or roses
3) Penstemon, important as they take you through from June to October
4) Papaver or poppies these are just such brilliant show offs, but delicate with it
5) Clematis I think I have nine different ones and there are more that I want( like the one in that mans shopping trolley in the supermarket)
6) Lilium or lilies I don’t have many at the moment that that could be changed at the stroke of a key on the computer this autumn,the ones I have I have had for ten years and I love them they are regaining strength again after being dug up three times in four years.
7) Narcissus or daffodils and jonquils etc
9) Allium they steal the bed in a way little else can do.
10) Lonicera or honeysuckle this is a canny choice as it can give you hedging plants climbers winter flowering shrubs and summer flowering shrubs.
11) Lavendula sorry I can’t leave this out.
This list will need revising….
We did not go to the allotment today. I went to the market stall in Burgesshill and today I painted this pear, the white peaches will maybe do tomorrow.
#74 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
SOLD size 3 in x 4.5 in 8cm x 12cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
Today I picked two and a half pounds of strawberries with help from No2 son. No1 son was tying himself in knots with quadratic equations. I know I used to be good at these but I can’t remember how without more concentration than I have to spare. Luckily for all of us his father is very good at maths. I had no problems with maths at O level as our teacher got us through the syllabus a year early and then made us do every paper from 1952 to the previous year; the exam was in no way terrifying after that marathon. Miss Delaney was tiny, a reformed nun and so Irish she had had to learn English at school as a second language. Her hero was Pythagoras who, she told us, had been a methodical thinker and she wanted us gels to be like him and think methodically. She had never got her tongue round the’ th’ sound and so what she asked us to do was to” tink metodically” She had a wonderful kind but sharp sense of humour in addition …she did need it with us.
Today’s picture is also tiny- about life size, it’s the lovely round or rather spherical (maths, it gets to you) buds of the Portland Rose. This is an old rose with a very bushy shape. It has a lovely smell and it loves the clay soil here, it has just got fatter and fatter.
I went into Burgess Hill today and visited some open studios, they were very kind and friendly and there was some good work there. I especially liked the felted image of the sky after the planes started flying again in Crescent Road and the lovely wooden bowls that had been turned at another house opposite. The houses had been busy today and yesterday; I only got round four but enjoyed meeting them all. It seems most places near here have open studio events but not here. Could I face having an open studio, could my family? I think on the whole it’s a very noble thing to do and pretty brave.
#69 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
Geraniums in the half moon bed,in the foreground G.Clarkei Kashmir white and purple,in the middle G.Patricia and all over the place G.pyranaicum.The taller pink flowers are the fluffy heads of Thalitricum aquilegifolium,the maroon is an aquilegia. This bed was dug out and planted up April/May last year.
http://www.etsy.com/shop/lemonaday. size 4 in x 6 in 12cm x 15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
There will come a gap in the strawberry harvest to correspond to the three nights of frost that we had a few weeks back. Still it’s really good to have strawberries before Wimbledon and I have some late cropping ones to provide backup later. They are not going to be loads later as they have already set fruit.
The vines which were nipped by the frost are growing on and have flower buds, who knows we might get some fruit this year. I don’t mind there being no fruit as I value the leaves to make stuffed vine leaves at least as much as the grapes. When I visited a local vineyard Ridgeview I wondered at the rows of what looked like plain sided paint cans between the rows, it turns out they had been so worried by the frost that they had been making a smoke barrier overnight; whatever the substance they burn it is in the tins.
I am going to list the geraniums as whenever I try and do it mentally I get to a number and realise I’ve forgotten something or counted twice:
1)Purple probably Geranium magnificum, flowers once dense clump
2)Pink Geranium × oxonianum a veined pink quite leafy does well in the shade a bit rough and ready for the border.
3)Paler pink neat mound probably Geranium endressii, flowers most of the summer.
4) Geranium procurrens purple with black eye trailing to climbing roots at nodes.
5) Geranium pyrenaicum alba white, self sows, pretty leaf needs firm management.
6) Geranium reynardii white ,lovely grey detailed leaves this is newly brought from my trip to Shropshire where my mother’s friend grows it.
7)Geranium Purple haze Dark purpled leaves and a light mauve flower one flowering in June. Self sows.
8) Geranium asphodeloides not flowered this yet it is newly propagated from borrowed seed. It has a mass of pale mauve starry flowers. Very delicate
9) Geraniumx Patricia Big leaves and showy magenta flowers over a long period.
10)Geranium sanguineum standard bloody cranesbill. Needs the old seed heads removed to keep it in flower.
11) Geranium kashmir white
12) Geranium kashmir purple both from my father in law
13)Geranium pratense tall pale blue flowers once a summer may repeat a bit, this is another “probably”, as again it came from seed that was picked in someone’s garden.
14) Geranium pratense tall white
15) Geranium x Russel Pritchard
16) Geranium orientalitibeticum, low growing, pink, pretty marbled leaves and creeps underground,(badly in light soils sorry Angela!)its well behaved here on heavy clay.
17) Geranium cinereum subcaulescens is a survivor on the parched roof garden.
Only the first was in the garden when we moved here five years ago and the others we either brought with us ,begged off others (my father in law is an enthusiast) or have grown from seed.
Two were bought from nurserymen and two from plant sales.One came in a box from Woolworths! tomorrow I will post a photograph of some of them.
I could not resist another quick sketch of the Iris as it does not last long.
#68 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
http://www.etsy.com/shop/lemonaday. size 4 in x 6 in 12cm x 15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
Yes there were more strawberries today, they are really very good, there is almost no mould in the patch and as I am removing even the damaged ones,( slugs and or woodlice) there should be no problems with mould until we get some rain. I am still waiting for that nocturnal deluge.
Today I went back to the health centre to explore the ‘aqua exercises’. This was less embarrassing than the gym as, in a swim suit with an atmosphere of chlorine, I think that I’m 13, thin, and fit… as long as there are no surprise mirrors. The exercises could have been devised by John Cleese as they were principally a series of silly walks done on the bottom of the pool standing chest deep. I swam a bit as well which is always my preferred form of exercise. Now I am tired and my knee hurts.
The picture today is of one of the few flowers there are this year on the Iris graminae which I spoke about yesterday. It looks almost Japanese in style, the flowers are below the level of the top leaves. The best place I ever had it planted was in a bed that some steps climbed up beside, the flowers showed up better there and there were lots of them. It was south facing and hot in the summer and the Iris loved it. It also copes however with damp shade (I expect it got a lot of that in Yorkshire). The general design is the same as the big Iris or flag but the petals are all narrower so that the curved petals which point outwards are much more visible (I have just looked them up and they are called style arms and they are not really petals but part of the stigma or female bit of the flower).
#67 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
Sold size 6 in x 6 in 15cm x 15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
There is a shocking dryness to the ground and there are things looking sick all over the garden. Watering becomes a bit of an obsession at a time like this. An overnight deluge would suit me just fine.
Today I have done a very quick sketch of the beautiful Dropmore Scarlet Honeysuckle. I wanted this for years having seen a beautiful example in a friends garden in Reading, the first one or two I bought died or never grew well. Now however I have a really good healthy plant which is getting bigger every year. Its not in the perfect position though as it was moved from the last garden and put in the ground hurriedly the first autumn.
All the geraniums just about are in flower now and they are a gentle delight.
I know I should list them but some are unknown.
There is Geranium procurrens which is in need of control in one place but doing a good job elsewhere trailing through shrubs. It is said to be one of the parents of G. Anne Folkard and we got it from the garden at Stourton House from Mrs Bullivant .
There is a small reliable geranium which is probably G. endressii but a cooler pink than Wargrave Pink. It came from the remains of a compost heap at the back of the garden of a flat I rented in Reading. I must have given some to a friend with a garden at some point as I know the next place I lived had no outside space at all.
I love the way good perennials interlace friends and families as they get split up and passed on. I have an Iris which I begged from my mother as I had loved it as a child. She had it from her mother who had it from either her mother or her great aunt direct. I have given a piece of it to a distant cousin who comes from the same family in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Both our mothers had visited the old house where it grew. I never saw it anywhere else until I spotted it in the Botanic Garden at Reading; it’s Iris graminae.
Today I got a punnet of strawberries and there will be at least the same again tomorrow.
#66 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog