Today’s draw, something old, something new.

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Sketch of new cherry blossom and old Ivy. It was black and white, drawn in uni pin 0.1,0.5, and 0.8 fine line black ink pens ( made by mitsubishi). On A4 paper. USK Stoke-on-Trent 30 day challenge. Day 27…. ! Really? Where has that gone?

Once I’d finished I decided to use a couple of green permanent markers to define where the ivy and other vegetation was. This had the effect of making the blossom more visible.

I’m pleased with the result. I hope the blossom all turns into cherries. We get them from the bottom half of the tree, the birds get the top half!

The cold is seeping in….

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This is the first day of spring, but it feels like mid winter. Our house isn’t that well insulated and if it gets cold it stays cold, high ceilings means that the heat rises and warms the upper part of the room before it gets to us down here on the floor. The wind is gusting from the north and whistling through the gap round the seal in the front window and kitchen. We had new windows put in, but I guess they were cheap, all we could afford. The front door slams when you go through it because they measured it wrongly, so the top sticks out more than the bottom, giving it a very strange cant.

The North Wind cools the house, rubs the heat away as it pushes past the walls. Out kitchen bathroom extention only has thin walls. It really needs an insulating layer outside, but instead ivy is taking over and a wisteria has been planted at the end. Plants don’t keep us warm, but the blackbirds like to nest in it.

Now I’m cooking our evening meal, the heat from the oven adds a little to the warmth. I could microwave the food, but the gas cooker gives a bit of extra heat.

One day it will be warm outside, the leaves will grow, and we shall have spring and summer. X

Ivy grows

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As she sat on the ground by the house she felt the warmth of the sun calming her and relaxing her. It had been a long morning gardening. Now she had sat down with a cup of tea and a biscuit.

The ground she was sitting on was laid to lawn. Behind her the bare brick was partly covered with a few strands of ivy.

As she dozed in the sun next doors ginger cat came and sat on her lap. She dreamt of a perfect cottage garden, she would lift up the lawn and plant a bank of crocosmia and ox eye daisies. On the wall behind her she would remove the ivy and plant clematis and wisteria. Maybe a peach with branches strung out along the wall.

She gradually fell into a deeper sleep. The scents of the roses wafted across the garden. Time crept by. If you had watched a time lapse film of the day you would have seen the ivy seem to pulse, and grow….. Tendrils of green stretching. Ariel roots burrowing, not just into mortar but flesh. No way was the ivy going to be removed. Around the body of the woman the branches grew.

Finally all the moisture in it was sucked out, there was just a dried husk left. Tearing through eye sockets. From the mouth. The ivy created tiny berries. Dust fell to the ground, what was left? A mug and a plate. The wall was covered.

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.

Green view

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Cold, wet and windy, but still a bit green where the ivy is growing up trees in the garden. Really it needs cutting back. I don’t want it strangling them. There are bird feeders out there, but there seem to be less birds than normal. Perhaps they have enough food, we haven’t seen evidence of them being predated by cats thankfully. I want to get out there and cut back the buddliea bushes. They need pruning.

The pond is OK, it’s hidden below the cherry tree. It has only frozen a couple of times and only thinly this autumn / winter. We hope to have tadpoles in the spring.

Butterfly

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Look closely and you should be able to see a tiny brown speckled butterfly on the ivy. I don’t know what species it is but it’s good to see it fluttering around.

It means that spring is really here and that our garden is working. It might look like shrub land but it’s all organic, it’s meant to be a wildlife garden. We even had a hedgehog in autumn. Anyway must get on.

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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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