I don’t have a photo, but this afternoon we removed what feels like miles of Russian vine from our hedge. I think it’s also called mile a minute. It’s also growing at the back of our garden, and bits of it have grown up the telephone wires and even into our shed!
It was hot outside, so we worked in the late afternoon as it started to cool down. The Russian vine is wraping itself round a couple of leylandii, up an old willow tree, into our walnut tree, and around the Holly tree. It’s tough stuff. We should dig out the roots, but it’s too entangled. So we are cutting through the largest vines, then you pull at it, and strands of vine twenty foot long come out of the hedge. Each vine splits into branching thinner pieces. The leaves are green and heart shaped. It looks like a nice plant when you get it. With small white bunches of flowers in the summer. The bees like it, but our privet hedge flowers and that is more pleasant than the vine.
Unless you have a massive garden don’t grow it!
I just drew these flowers, then tried to position them as borders for the edge of a page. The thing wasn’t working so I added blank pages to make it more of a border. I’d taken a photo of the drawing so there was shadow on the paper. I made a bit of a mess trying to use an airbrush tool on it, so there are some areas which are a bit to shady round the flowers. Then I decided to see how I could use it for a poem, so I wrote it line by line. Positioning each line in turn.
It’s not brilliant, but it’s not something I’ve done before.
I finished the wire fairy about three am, fighting to get the wings attached and in the right place. I gave her a long ponytail that looks like it’s blowing in a gale.
This afternoon she was attached to our laurel bush outside. She is hung on a nail, not very graceful but it works. I tried drawing her. All those curls of wire are difficult to draw. I didn’t want to be too precise. I think the drawing is quite spooky.
My friend made a beautiful picture of some tree branches, she mirrored them (flipped one side to mirror the other) then somehow surrounded the image with a black egg shape which was fuzzy at the edges. It’s beautiful and complicated.
I asked if I could use the idea. But didn’t want to copy. She said yes. So I put two photos of helibores through layout, an app where you can add different pictures together. I had to crop the image in my editing app, I then opened it in another sketching one. I drew an elipse round one side of the image, and freehand filled the background in with black. I used a spray tool so the edges were softened. I made sure to narrow the top half to give it more of an egg shape. Finally I cropped the image so that only half an egg shape was in the image. I went back to layout and duplicated the image. Then I flipped one side over so that there was finally an Easter egg shape on a black background. I don’t know how my friend did hers, but I respect the effort she must have put into it, and I thought I would describe what I had done in case anyone else wants to have a go.
New plant for the garden, although its really too cold to go directly into the garden at the moment. Hydrangeas change colour depending on the acidity of your soil. I don’t remember which way it is, but they either turn blue or red depending if the soil is acid or alkaline. You can do a pH test if you want to. The flowers appear as florets, lots of little flower heads spread across the bloom. There are different sorts, some with small flowers which looks like lace, others are chunkier, some are flat headed, others have rounded bunches of flowers. Leaves are large and usually mid to dark green with serrated edges to the leaves.
I remember the pink hydrangea in my Grans garden, it was pink with huge heads of flowers. I did a painting of her in front of the plant. I will have to try and find a photo of it.
It’s a particular type, but I can’t remember what it is called. Something like romancero…? Not sure. Anyway I think its spirals are based on fibonacci numbers. You see the same pattern in flower petals or the seeds on a sunflower head. These remind me of fractal patterns and apparently there is computer code you can use to draw patterns like the Mandelbrot set. A attern out of chaotic numbers. Nature is amazing!
My Amaryllis plants are coming into leaf again. They die back after flowering and being in leaf over the summer and autumn. I generally leave them to dry off for a couple of months, then start watering them again about now. The leaves emerge and then the flower spike from the large amaryllis bulb. They prefer to be tightly fitting in their pots. One of mine is about ten years old and has grown another bulb next to it. I love the large flowers, they are always brightly coloured. As you water the plants and the leaves and watch the flower spikes grow, you can almost see them expanding by the minute. If you got one at Christmas don’t throw it away when it dies back, keep it and water it next December or January, you should be lucky and get new flowers x