Remember snow?

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Six months after this image was taken, and the garden is in full growth. The cherries on the tree are swelling and lichen is growing on the tree.

Life runs in cycles. Soon the height of summer will be with with us. I hope it isn’t too hot. I don’t do heat. Maybe lockdown will end. Hopefully the virus will be bought under control. Only a small percentage of people have died out of earth’s massive population, but that doesn’t make the pandemic any less devastating. Maybe it’s time to think back and remember all those people who have died. Stay safe.

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Amaryllis

IMG_20200302_112003_579_optimizedIt’s flowered. My Amaryllis is in flower. Bright red trumpets. Three big flowers. 

There are two other plants, they have leaves, but no flowers.  I hope they might still send up long stems with buds. I’m watering them, but it might not be till next year, then perhaps they will flower. Amaryllis like to be tightly packed into their pots, and so I don’t re-pot them until they have started to outgrow their pots. The one that is flowering is over ten years old. It was a Christmas present from my mother. It has a second bulb growing next to it, and when that gets large enough I may try and dislodge it and grow it in a new pot.

I do think they have possibly been overfed this year. When I have fed my orchids I have given any spare water with food in it, to the amaryllis plants. Usually I don’t bother to feed them. They do seem to have put on a lot of leaves so perhaps that is why they are not flowering as well as normal.

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New green man

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A new green man is emerging, the face is based on a photo of someone called Sam Fender? He’s a musician apparently. I liked his angular, thin face. It looks rather elf like. I’m working on the tones and shades. Will try and finish it tomorrow.

I’m trying to get this and the self portrait finished for international women’s day next weekend. I haven’t been doing much but I feel like I’m emerging from a long black tunnel. Anyway it’s after 2am.i wil take my cough medicine and get off to bed.

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Green Woman self portrait

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Suddenly I’m painting again! I decided to do something with this picture. It was only roughly worked out. I decided I wanted to make a self portrait as a green woman. I used a photo of myself on my phone and overlaid leaves onto it. I don’t know if it’s finished but I liked trying to bring out the shaping and shadows on it.

Sitting in the living room, I should go down the studio, but my cold is worse. Anyway I will work on another partially painted picture.

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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.

Sunrise

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Soon all the leaves will be gone. A big storm is due in overnight so I guess they will be torn from the trees. My hanging baskets still have a few flowers opening in them despite the minus temperatures we have had. The sky has been lovely in the last few mornings, with gentle hints of colour, rosy glows and golden hues.

Then it will be time to cur back and prune some of the trees. Tidying up a little bit, but not enough to harm where the birds sleep. Now dawn is getting later, after 7am. It means I get to see more of them. X

At Etruria today

Grey day on the canal,

Leaves float,

Cygnets shelter from the rain.

Boats huddle near the bridge,

Wrapped in old tarpaulins.

Smoke drifts up from stoves

that sit below the water levels.

Tea kettles boil and whistle,

Stained hands make a brew,

wiping off excess oil on grubby teacloths.

Leaves create mosaics of moist greens and browns.

Trees splinter into the sky,

Bursting like fireworks

But wet black,

No sparkle

Just grey, wet, dank…

And beautiful.

The English countryside in Autumn

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We just came back from lunch at a pub called the Red Lion in Werrington, Staffordshire. Lovely food, and a view from the restaurant over the Staffordshire countryside. The leaves are still falling. There are some beautiful colours. It was clear and the sky was a cold blue. It was good to be snug and warm inside. Now I’ve got to get ready for a craft fair tomorrow. I need to finish a couple of paintings a d add some ribbon… Back to work…

Random tree

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Photo taken last Thursday in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. Spreading sideways, this tree seems to have had a haircut leaving all the horizontal branches but nothing hanging down. Also it’s still got a lot of leaves where the trees next to it are just about bare. It’s random because it’s just a street tree, the fence and road and car don’t really enhance the picture. It is all about horizontals I guess.