Overgrown

Too many plants in our garden. A lot of shrubs. There are probably bears in there (not), maybe hedgehogs and the squirrels are back and have started eating the walnuts from our tree which must be sixty foot high now.

A massive two trunked laurel Bush /tree robs a lot of the light, and holy bushes and a small eucalyptus are dotted about. The cherry trees are getting big and we have had to prop up the pear tree which is now laden with fruit. The wisteria is tangled up with the ivy on our kitchen and bathroom extention and a fig tree is growing there too. A few small olives appeared on the olive tree this year but didn’t grow big enough to crop.

Too much shade in the main garden so we are growing flowers in the back yard and on the pavement. We even (weirdly) have a couple of cabbages growing at the front!

Holly leaf

Watercolour with Arteza Metallic paints for the #bandofsketchers prompt for Tuesday ‘sunlight,’. A holly leaf caught in the sunshine. The painting was done from a photo, I painted it straight away without drawing it out first.

I need to do some gardening at the moment, the nettles are taking over so I need to cut them back a bit. They are good for butterfly 🐛 caterpillars but if they sting you as you walk past they  do need attention. The Holly bushes are a little overgrown too. It’s turning into a bit of a mammoth task, and I’m a bit nervous of taking it on!

Today’s prompt is Sky

#bandofsketchers prompt

Got up just before 7 to draw a magnificent dawn? It was still gloomy when I started and because of the low cloud it got lighter, but no sign of the sun!

This is the view east of the house. Willow Bush still in leaf but turning yellow, beyond that the rooves of the shops on the main road and the skeleton of a new building that stopped growing in March. The telephone pole, the Walnut tree we planted twenty five years ago and a Holly Bush below the willow. Used a calligraphy black ink pen and Spectrum Noir metallic coloured pencils. Took about twenty minutes in semi darkness.

Ivy

I like ivy, it covers the ground, grows up trees, makes berries birds can eat. Places where birds can nest where it grows up walls. This is a mixture of plain and variegated varieties. It’s mature because it’s growing berries now. There is a Holly Bush near it which is also making berries. I might even make a wreath for the door when it gets to Christmas.

Holly

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Variegated Holly, a view of winter plants. When desiduous leaves have fallen, Ivy and Holly add green to the garden. We have three Holly bushes. This one, a tall spikey one with fully green leaves and one with pale green edges instead if yellow. The fully green one is the most robust. It is growing in a shady part of the garden and making even denser shade. The other two are in more open areas. We cut off lower branches to let more light into the lower layers of the garden so summer flowering plants are not completely shaded out. I can’t wait for the spring bulbs to come up, although the local squirrel population seems to like digging them up. There will be narcissi and crocus around the Holly in spring.

Bees and holly

I’m doing a few more pictures now. The yellow Bee on a yellow flower needs refining, I might make the centre of the flower a bit more orange or gold. The Holly was a bit of an experiment. The background is quite abstract. I might paint a banner across it saying Holly and Ivy, and add some Ivy scrambling up through the Holly plant. Or I might just brighten the Holly berries. Not sure…. More to follow.

Holly and Ivy

Two beautiful winter friends, Holly is more dramatic, with a spiky personality. She has red lips and a sharp smile. Ivy is more introverted, a clinging persona who hides hidden depths. Ivy will climb up the social ladder and suppress her rivals.

Outdoor types, the girls are often seen around town together, usually in the winter months, and at the mid winter festival where they team up with pale mistletoe who hangs around with them trying to suck up to them.

Often seen at Christmas parties together it is always Holly that gets her claws into the office staff. Never one to miss some fun, Ivy likes to trail around town with Holly.

Meanwhile the baby narcissii and crocuses sleep in their beds waiting for warmer weather

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