Garden colours

Seeing the garden in October, looking at the flowers, seeing the leaf shapes. Enjoyment, colours, shapes. Pattern, design, life, waiting for them to wilt, fade, droop. Waiting for their end of days. Taking photos, keeping a record, remembering beauty. Time to grow, time to leave. Time to fall, time to die. Wind chimes and wind sculptures, wild and colourful. Hanging in baskets, pots and fences. Cram packed with joy.

Pots and apples

Just a photo I took a few days ago. A still life. I’m still ill and haven’t been out much recently, so I am thinking about what I can write about. As the saying goes, autumn is the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. It would be good to get out and enjoy the world but I’m keeping my germs to myself. Its only a cold but its still irritating.

Stay safe everyone.

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Today’s prompt.. Pots

I selected some pots in the kitchen for a quick watercolour sketch before the sun went down. I don’t do watercolours very often, these are Cotman colours which are quite strong. I painted in an A5 cartridge paper sketchbook.

It came out quite well, I could have done a better job of the ellipses, but I did not do any preliminary drawing and I just concentrated on the shadows and colours.

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Potteries

The ‘Potteries’ is the name people call the city of Stoke-on-Trent in the North Midlands of England.

Built on the coalfields of the area, with an abundance of water and clay, it was an ideal place to start making pottery in factories during the industrial revolution. Bottle kilns, or ovens (so called because of their shape) were built across the six towns of Stoke-upon-Trent, Hanley, Burslem, Tunstall, Fenton and Longton. The six towns were bought together as a Federation in the early twentieth century and this created the city of Stoke-on-Trent.

The Potteries Museum and art gallery is crammed with beautiful ceramics and is situated in the Cultural Quarter of the city centre which is in Hanley. Also worth a visit are the Gladstone Pottery museum in Longton and Middleport pottery in Middleport (near Burslem). There are many places to visit here. Hopefully they will all be open again soon.

It’s a tight fit!

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The yard is now so full of flowers you have to walk sideways down it to see all the plants and water them. There is a great variation in leaf size. I noticed my hubby has snuck in a couple of oOak trees and an Ash tree. I keep telling him we don’t need anymore. I have a friend with a large field. She has offered to take our walnut saplings and I think she will take these as well.

As the season continues more mad things appear! Hubby has put irises in hanging baskets and sunflowers to bring more colour into the yard. Morning glory seedlings will go out this week if the weather picks up a bit. Some of them have started to throw out tendrils that are clinging to the ferns in the bathroom.

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Pots

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I’ve bought you a present, said my hubby. I saw it and thought of you! How much did it cost? £5. OK, but we already have three teapots a coffee pot and a cafetiere….? But I wanted to buy you a present.

I got you a glass ornament too. A tree shaped thing with two colourful parrots on branches comes out of a bag. But the cats will break it! I found it a safe space.

I know I’ve got no taste, he said, but I wanted to show you I love you.

OK, thank you, I appreciate it. The coffee set will reside in the summerhouse. (With the spiders).

Day 29…

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Day 29, #uskstoke challenge, 17.5.2020.

The prompt was to do a house portrait, so I drew the back yard with lots of pots and hanging baskets. I ran out of energy so it looks neater than it is, there is less foliage than there should be. I used a charcoal pencil to do this, it has a plastic cover around it so you can sharpen it.

I had to start a new sketchbook. And these challenges keep going till day 38! So there are a few more to tackle.

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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Tiles

Tiles at Gladstone yesterday.

I think they are by Minton which was a Pottery that went out of business a few years ago when a lot of Pottery manufacture went abroad because it was cheaper.

I know lots of people admire these tiles and they are often found in hallways in old victorian houses in this area. Our local church, St Thomas’s has tiles by Minton. The factory was based in Stoke-upon-trent, which is one of the six towns of Stoke-on-Trent.

Many of the people in the town were laid off from factories in Stoke, including Spode. Only a few places still make Pottery now, including Emma Bridgewater, Portmerion, Moorland Pottery, Moorcroft and I think Wedgwood…. There is also a tile manufacturer called Johnson’s tiles. But nothing really compares to the beauty of Minton.