When it’s warm, not hot, when the scent from plants wafts gently in the air. Then it’s time to visit the Dorothy Clive Garden in Staffordshire. It’s on the border of Shropshire and Cheshire. As you look down from the tea rooms you can look down over the three counties. It’s pleasant to sit out on the lawn with sandwiches and a cup of tea or scones and jam and cream. I’m imagining that I’m there now. That the cold chill in our living room is actually a gentle breeze blowing over the hill behind us and cooling me down! I might even indulge in an ice cream from the tea room. We would definitely be buying plants to take back to our garden.
The Dorothy Clive Garden was created in memory of her. It is built mainly on a slope with perennial plants in beds around beautiful and unusual trees. Some of the plant combinations are spectacular. There is also a quarry garden filled with trees and rhododendron bushes in glorious flower in the spring. There is a lovely view of a waterfall in the bowl of the quarry garden. Then an extended area of the gardens with drought resistant planting and a laburnum walk under planted with purple Alliums rings the changes. This year we also visited a hothouse with tropical plants at the lower part of the garden. It’s a good place to visit on a summers day.
Six months ago I remember things were fine. The Rhododendrons in the Dorothy Clive Garden were in flower, we had the whole summer to enjoy. The sun was shining and covid seemed to be on the wane. Now things are not so good. Autumn has arrived and life has thrown me some curve balls. We are heading towards darker days and the summer is speedily disappearing. But I have decided I have to be OK. Just doing things like getting my covid and flu jabs seems positive. Protecting myself and people around me.
I cooled down enough today to do some work on the waterfall painting based on the Dorothy Clive Garden. I’m trying to get movement and texture into it. I’ve been busy today, painting the sides of the Coast painting which I need to take to the three counties open exhibition in Burslem tomorrow. I have still got to add mirror plates onto the back of it so it can be hung. I need to add more colours to this painting to reflect the wonderful view we saw back in May. I’m enjoying learning more about how to use this style. Someone’s said it looked a bit like a Van Gogh but I hope it has a bit of uniqueness to it.
I think I need a walk in a calm wood, something gentle and cool. A place with clear paths that are not overgrown and tangled. Somewhere for quiet thought and calm moods.
We may be going soon en plein Air to draw or paint at the Dorothy Clive Garden out in the countryside. I look forward to it, the quarry garden is depicted in the photo and it is a tranquil place for a visit.
New painting, based on the lower photo of Dorothy Clive Garden waterfall. I’m working from a filtered photograph of it that has added texture to it. I will try and post an update later. I was trying to find an image to work from for the afternoon at the Orme Art Group today. I was worried about the yellow and green and purple colours, are they to muddy….? But now I’ve started adding a pop of red in places I’m happier. It is something that is making me happy, so I will carry on.
A fern in the corner of this photo from the Dorothy Clive Garden. The shapes really stand out against the darker background leaves. This is the sort of photo that I might duplicate and mirror. I look out for images that can be made into patterns. The deep maroon/purple is a good contrasting colour. I need to look through all my pictures to see if there are any more like this. I do take too many!
Up at the top of the waterfall in the Dorothy Clive Garden stands a life-sized statue of a stag roaring. It’s hidden in the trees on a path halfway up the sides of the quarry walls. This time we walked on the right path and found it! ❤️
I’m not sure what it’s made of but it might be cast bronze. It is so majestic and forceful, I think whoever made it did a brilliant job.
The little valley the waterfall runs into was full of rhododendron blossom a few weeks ago, but that has all gone now. But there are foxgloves and other tall flowering plants growing up to fill in the gaps. As you walk round the undulating base of the quarry you see an enclosed space, with different views round every corner. Dark and furry leaves, ferns, euphorbia in vibrant green, geraniums, dicentra (bleeding hearts). So interesting, I’d love to be able to find shade plants for our garden too.
After I drew the laburnum arch I looked through the photos I took at the weekend and realised I could have drawn this instead. I don’t remember seeing it before, but it is quite striking. One thing about the UK is the greenery. Once spring and summer arrives the greens burst out. Yes we do get drought conditions, but we are very lucky compared with many places.
Like blackberries and cream, this Rhododendron is in beautiful flower. Splashes of deep purple dot the tops of the flowers. I could eat them. Photo at the Dorothy Clive Garden this weekend. There are masses of different types and colours of them at the gardens.
Today’s #bandofsketchers prompt was Arch. I decided to draw the laburnum arch at the Dorothy Clive Garden we saw at the weekend. A very complicated image and using felt pens makes it more difficult. I start with pale colours then build up with gradually darker ones…