December Fushias

Fushias in flower outside Portmeirion pottery. In December!

I took this photo today because I was amazed at how many flowers were blooming on the fushia bushes outside our local pottery. The leaves have wilted a little and I’m expecting it to be clobbered by the cold because we, are due freezing weather over the next few days. But its December, this is not normal. Its getting dark earlier every day and we have a chilly northerly wind blowing. It’s not proof of global warming, but it makes you think!

Work in progress, meadow

Poppies and other flowers, I started painting this a few days ago and am trying to make progress. The flowers and tangle of vegetation is based on a photo I took at Trentham Gardens this summer. I hope it can be a meditative piece for a quiet room at the gallery which I have work in. I’m going to press on with this, it’s keeping my mind off things.

Six months ago

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.

Pear time

Pears off our tree and oranges from the supermarket. This shows just how big our pears have grown this year. They needed picking as they won’t ripen on the tree. The tree was a small sapling from a woolworths store in Stoke twenty years ago or so, before the stores went bust. It’s now a tree about fifteen foot high and spreading branches about twenty or twenty five foot across. It grew leaning over because of the weight of the pears. I have to say they are very tasty when they are ripe. I think they are a conference style of pear. We have had around fifty or sixty pears but most of them are too high to reach, the ones in the bowl were low hanging.

Farewell summer

The flowers and plants will wilt and die over winter. Autumn is still slightly warm and they are clinging on, but I’ve noticed the delicate leaves are yellowing. I will try and get a few photos of the back yard before the hanging baskets die off. I might plant some of the more robust plants into the main garden to give them a bit more shelter to overwinter. I will miss the bright colours that have sparkled in the sunlight this summer. I know things probably will last till November. Early this year we still had a few flowers in January!

Sun’s up

Sunlight through leaves, making patterns on the kitchen wall. It would be brighter but the wall is painted a pale apple green. When there was a partial eclipse a few years ago the light hitting the wall turned into increasing crescent moon shapes as the Moon passed in front of the Sun. This time of year, before the autumn sets in, there is a lot of shade from the trees in the garden. The pear tree is casting most of the shade on the wall, and a few pears have started to fall as the morning temperature reduces. I can almost feel a chill in the air this morning.

Soon it will be the vernal? Equinox, when the day and night time are in balance in the Northern (and also Southern) Hemispheres of the Earth. That is when both day and night are exactly 12 hours long. Soon the days here will shorten, whilst they grow longer in the south. I hope the nights are not too cold, I would like the leaves to stay on the trees as long as possible. I always feel sad when they become skeletal in the winter and the long wait till spring comes round again drags on. I miss my flowers as they wilt and fade, and I find it harder to motivate myself in the dark days of winter. But that is a while away yet, so I will enjoy what is left of the summer while I can.

Garden in sunshine

A less blurry shot of the yard. People asked me why its not as dried out? I think we have a microclimate. The yard is enclosed by bushes and the houses. The sun comes round in the afternoon but doesn’t stay on it for too long because we are on the ‘wrong’ side of the hill so it gets shady at East an hour before sunset. I also think because there’s a wall and we cram plants together everything stays moist. I have trouble drying my washing because it gets quite humid. Also because I put one hanging basket under another when one gets watered it flows through to the bottom one. And as they are underneath they are a bit more protected from the hot sunshine. Each pot has a bowl or a saucer underneath to catch and keep the water and I make sure each pot has crocks or broken polystyrene in them so the roots don’t get swamped.

a strange painting

It was called Dasies. The figure in the doorway was my friend at the time. But like the painting she was strange. A complex person that tried to do things and disturb my life. I think she might have been OK, but one day she did something that completely lost my trust in her. I won’t go into detail, but she showed an uncaring side that really hurt me and my hubby. I could have forgiven her, I could have accepted her apologies, but why should I?

What do the Dasies and plants signify? Because it was before the split, I think probably I was trying to beautify the image. The garden was not as floriferous as this. It was a gift for either her birthday or Christmas. She was good at hiding her thoughts and the slightly surreal air was trying to capture that. I think most of my paintings are quite narrative. I’m glad I kept a photo of it, I have lost track of the paintings I have done over the years. Perhaps this ended up in the bin?