Six months ago

Six months ago I remember things were fine. The Rhododendrons in the Dorothy Clive Garden were in flower, we had the whole summer to enjoy. The sun was shining and covid seemed to be on the wane. Now things are not so good. Autumn has arrived and life has thrown me some curve balls. We are heading towards darker days and the summer is speedily disappearing. But I have decided I have to be OK. Just doing things like getting my covid and flu jabs seems positive. Protecting myself and people around me.

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.

Fern

A fern in the corner of this photo from the Dorothy Clive Garden. The shapes really stand out against the darker background leaves. This is the sort of photo that I might duplicate and mirror. I look out for images that can be made into patterns. The deep maroon/purple is a good contrasting colour. I need to look through all my pictures to see if there are any more like this. I do take too many!

Stag sculpture

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.

Dorothy Clive is great

The  Dorothy Clive Garden is at Willowbridge in Staffordshire on the border with Shropshire and Cheshire. It costs £10 for adults to visit.

At this time of year the garden is coming into bloom. It is planted on a sloping site and the main garden is full of blues, whites and purples at the moment. White and purple Alliums, Aqueigia, Irises, and other plants made a lovely display from the pond at the bottom up to the tearooms at the top. Then into the quarry garden. This is full of rhododendron and azalea flowers, the mature trees are in leaf and the waterfall drops from the rim of the quarry into its base.

We also walked along the Laburnum arch which is in full flower and is under planted with purple Alliums. Then there are ferns and lots of other interesting plants. We’ll worth a visit for the day.