Deep green foliage, a gravel pathway and a bench. A calm place to rest and relax. Light streams through gaps in the planting. Bees hum and buzz. I wish I could go every day. Plants spread and cover the ground. The rhododendrons are in flower. This is the quarry at the Dorothy Clive garden in Staffordshire.
I can’t do more. My brush is wearing out trying to add texture and colour (I exaggerate!) But I need to stop, I don’t want to overdo it. I have plans for a few more in this style. I’m enjoying the challenge of working out how it fits together. Too much texture? Not enough? Are there places where your eye can rest or is it too chaotic? I noticed I was using yellow and purple complementary colours. Can you even tell its a waterfall…. I hope so. Dorothy Clive Garden waterfall in Willowbridge, Staffordshire, England.
Waterfall work in progress
I cooled down enough today to do some work on the waterfall painting based on the Dorothy Clive Garden. I’m trying to get movement and texture into it. I’ve been busy today, painting the sides of the Coast painting which I need to take to the three counties open exhibition in Burslem tomorrow. I have still got to add mirror plates onto the back of it so it can be hung. I need to add more colours to this painting to reflect the wonderful view we saw back in May. I’m enjoying learning more about how to use this style. Someone’s said it looked a bit like a Van Gogh but I hope it has a bit of uniqueness to it.
Up at the top of the waterfall in the Dorothy Clive Garden stands a life-sized statue of a stag roaring. It’s hidden in the trees on a path halfway up the sides of the quarry walls. This time we walked on the right path and found it! ❤️
I’m not sure what it’s made of but it might be cast bronze. It is so majestic and forceful, I think whoever made it did a brilliant job.
The little valley the waterfall runs into was full of rhododendron blossom a few weeks ago, but that has all gone now. But there are foxgloves and other tall flowering plants growing up to fill in the gaps. As you walk round the undulating base of the quarry you see an enclosed space, with different views round every corner. Dark and furry leaves, ferns, euphorbia in vibrant green, geraniums, dicentra (bleeding hearts). So interesting, I’d love to be able to find shade plants for our garden too.
Swallow falls, out in the wilds of mid Wales, on the way to Snowdonia near Beddgelert. Its a beautiful place. I’ve only visited it once about twenty years ago. This drawing was based on an Internet search as waterfalls was the prompt for #bandofsketchers on Tuesday.
Today’s #bandofsketchers prompt was Canyon. I don’t live in an area with canyons so I decided to colour in a black and white drawing I had done at the Dorothy Clive Garden a few days ago. It’s of the fountain at the quarry garden which is full of rhododendrons. ( is a quarry a type of man made canyon ?) Based on photos I took on the day, felt pens in my sketchbook.
Flowers at Dorothy Clive Garden today
So many flowers in one place, the Quarry garden at the Dorothy Clive Garden was particularly beautiful. There is a waterfall feature there and the sight of it amongst the Azaleas and Rhodedendrons was lovely. The water cooled the air and the colours in the sunlight were like jewels.
I took far too many photos, I will share more later. There is a laburnum walk which I will post about seperatley.
I want to be out!
By a waterfall, in the countryside, with friends. A little picnic, some cheese sandwiches, a flask of tea? An apple or a banana. Sunshine, a scent of flowers on the breeze. Driving a few miles further than I have for the last few months. Out of the city. Where my feet can touch grass. Where my eyes can be dazzled with colour and the clouds are as white washed cotton. I want time to go back. Before pandemics and Covid, before corruption and death..
Is it too much to ask?
Finding a calm view
Waterfall at the Dorothy Clive Garden.
This was taken about this time last year. We had driven out to visit the beautiful garden on the border of Staffordshire, Cheshire and Shropshire.
The garden is in a steep slope with colourful flower borders filling the air with scents of summer. But before the summer show I am drawn to the quarry garden at the top of the site. This is filled with flowering rhododendrons, under planted with spring flowers such as bluebells. At its centre is a little dell where a waterfall cascades down into a tranquil pool. You can follow paths up to the top of the waterfall where you will find a full sized bronze stag sculpture looking out magestically over the quarry garden.
Other pleasures include a magnolia walk at the back of the garden, this is behind the quarry at the top of the slope. Here you can see the surrounding countryside.
There is another dry garden, with a laburnum walk arching over the path.
When lockdown ends I think this will be one of the first places I visit.