Posts Tagged ‘roses’

Beachcombings or three stones, two shells and a predator.

June 24, 2015 Leave a comment


Watercolour approx. 15cm x 15cm or 6″ x 6″


This is my first post painted this year …dreadful, I have done very little if you don’t count assisting with laying a patio and having shingles. There are other things but I will not dwell on them.

I have always picked things up on the beach and have done a couple of paintings in the past from the items found. I will run a little series here of beach related stuff to get the feeling of long hot summer days going. Later in the year I am going sailing again and may even manage some pictures from there. Meanwhile the garden is fabulous (not neat, not tidy, not weed free, just a lovely place to be.

This year I have grown some dwarf roses from seed, Rosa chinensis “Angel Wings”- turns out they are much smaller than Rosa”The Fairy” so I am wondering what they will be best suited for …if in doubt put them in a pot seems to be the answer-although small they do smell nice. I have also got a couple of Nepeta govaniana which should produce a wonderful cloud of primrose coloured flowers…I just hope it isn’t as attractive to the local cats as catnip it’s blue flowered cousin. I started some convolvulus and have never seen such sickly plants….how they can be related to bindweed is beyond me , bindweed has had no problem with the weather this year.

We went to visit a garden recently which boasted 60 roses , asked how many there are here I thought about 15, but then I counted and found that I have bought or been given 18 roses that are still alive and I have planted 20 Rosa rugosa to make a hedge, add to that the 18 roses that were in the garden when we came here, and the twenty tiny seedlings (cheating I know) I have nearly 80. The best ones this year have been Etoile d’Hollande-scent to die for, Treasure Trove which is finally getting to work climbing up an oak tree and Rosa de Recht (Portland Rose).



Lily lily rose – a painting a day

September 12, 2010 Leave a comment


size 6 in x 6 in 15cm x 15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper

The hunt for this year’s bumper crop of ceps has taken up rather more time than usual. On a normal year, you go out and come back with a few bits and bobs content to have had a good walk. This year a short walk can yield two hours of cleaning and slicing.

That and the start of the school term is my feeble excuse for not blogging much this week. I feel a sense of having got out of rhythm, of getting a little off centre. On the plus side the jars of beautiful dried ceps are quite cheering. Yesterday we feasted on Parasol mushrooms which have to be one of my favourites, their rich nutty taste just goes so well in a proper fry-up. I also raided the freezer for chicken carcases (the remains of several months of Sunday roasts) and made a chicken stock so that I can quickly make cream of chicken and wild mushroom soup. The chives have regrown fresh new leaves so the soup was filled with snipped chives to give the onion taste and slivers of celery to increase the colour and taste.

One evening returning to the car I spotted some pale toadstools under some trees, they were nothing to get excited about but once I was under the trees my eyes adjusted to the low light levels and I saw the biggest cep I have ever found in edible condition. It weighed 1lb 10oz and was a good eight inches across the cap. An unusually disappointing walk had turned to a legendary experience.

There are a lot of other fungi out there this year , we think we have found The Miller and have checked that the spore print is pink….but as there are near identical poisonous species around and divided opinion on how good it is to eat ,we gave it a miss. The recommendation is to spore print check every one you eat before cooking it…. good grief get a life, get a cep- it’s easier.

The flowers in todays painting are a gift handed on; one of my neighbours had a birthday shortly before going away so I was bequeathed her splendid flowers. There were carnations and lilies and roses in addition to what looked like some sort of gentian.

The sheer numbers of apples that have been uneaten and are past their best forced my hand and I decided to help the school lunch situation by making a tray of apple cake and, as I tend to avoid cake due to the egg in it, I also made a flapjack using pecan nuts and muscavado sugar. Both turned out well.

#125 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog

Eat me said the giant mushroom.

Sweet Williams and West Dean gardens – a painting a day

June 25, 2010 Leave a comment   size 8 in x 6 in 20cm x 15cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper.

This was the hottest day of the year so far for me. No1 son and I went to West Dean Gardens in Sussex to meet a friend of mine. He grumbled all the way there and all the way back but I felt it was worth it to see him get a bit of fresh air and slight exercise.

The gardens were (and still are) resplendently worth it. Anything my friend or I had grown they had grown better, bigger and with more flowers. The borders in the fruit tree garden are just dripping with clematis and rose and fantastic herbaceous perennials. Needless to say I did not remember a camera.

I did do a big wet watercolour sketch of one of the lodge houses. I found a daisy from the lawn made a good paint applicator for the flint walls!

The walled vegetable garden is a model of its kind as good or better than the one at Heligan in Cornwall.

The attention to detail there is phenomenal; the clematis on the tall and dramatic pergola has been persuaded to climb upwards in such a way that its stems form a regular mesh on the stone pillars. The pear trees are in neat drum shapes or trained in the shape of lemon squeezers.

We picked over two pounds of strawberries today but I started weighing for jam before working out exactly what today’s haul was. Actually I have to mention the one plant I have anything to do with that was better than West Dean…our strawberries…bigger and more leaves.

I have also done a quick painting of some lovely Sweet Williams a classic allotment flower if ever there was one. And you can’t go wrong with the mixtures with this as they are such a limited palate that they’ll all go.

 #85 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog

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