Tuesday, May 15, 2018

May and the Secret Scent Of Angel Flight

I went a 'Maying' to bring inside
 A favourite flower, yet could not decide,
on meadow jewels or hedgerow lace,
Buttercup, sweet golden face,
Bluebell charmed me beneath soft dappled light,
Apple blossom shared the secret scent of angel flight,
All are heavenly treasures, gifts from the Fae
 In the merry merry month of May
    ~ Karen  Davis  May 2018

Feeling very much filled with the joys of Spring on the 1st of  May I  painted this teeny tiny painting. 
The month has been glorious so far and the apple blossom, like something from a fairy tale this year. To just sit and 'be' beneath these boughs is truly a divine gift from above. I know I probably sound a little like Anne Shirley from Green Gables but honestly seriously think that people that are unwell or feeling sad should be prescribed by their doctors to sit beneath blossom. Especially apple blossom. The scent is heavenly and if angels do have secret scents of flight, (I like to imagine that they would) then I'm sure at least one of them would be the scent of the humble apple. Apples themselves are known to have healing properties so there is definite truth to the old saying 'An apple a day keeps the Doctor away' So why not the scent too?
There is a little blossom left, but most is going over now. Hopefully the bees have done their job and we will have a good harvest of fruit later on in the year. That's not the end of the decorated trees in the garden though as the hawthorn is about to burst into bloom. Today it is in tight bud so by tomorrow or the next day, with a good sprinkling of sunshine it will be the star of the garden.

The flowers of the season are definitely being reflected in my work. This little painting was done for fun back on St Georges day (April 23rd)
Whilst sitting on the back door step listening to the blackbird song I noticed this beautiful hawk moth. With the help of Mr Google found out it's an Angles Shades ( Phlogophora meticulousa)
It rested here all day, luckily too close to the house to be under any threat from the birds.
Today there was another one on the watering can. It could of course be the same one still flying about, but looked smaller and darker so think it's a different one? I encouraged him on to my hand where he sat for a while, his wings quivering ready for take off.  Then he flew off towards the shade of the hedge.  So pleased to see moths about.
It was not so pleasing to see that Mr and Mrs Blackbird had abandoned their nest after the last cold spell in April. After noticing it very close to the house, each time walking past could see that no bird was sitting on the eggs. Sadly they were left and then were eaten by something?
But 'hurrah' am now happy to report that they have since got a new nest close by to where the initial one was and are currently feeding chicks! (dear little tweeting sounds are coming from further back  in the hedge)  
And here is proud Daddy stopping by on the bird feeder for snacks.   
Lawn update...
In my last post I shared the primroses taking over the lawn and mentioned that we had decided to let a large area of lawn go wild throughout the summer for the pollinating insects.  So here are a few pictures of what it's looking like and plants that have appeared.
 Forgetmenot, dandelion, cow parsley, dead nettle.
Cowslips in the background, planted two of those, years back and they have seeded beneath the apple trees. Forgot to mention that last time. 
These little mounds of earth on the lawn could be some type of mining bee?  If you know what causes them please comment and let me know. They are different than worm casts.
Sweet simple daisies. 
Bugle and ground ivy
There is also plantain, hawkweed and clover coming up in other areas. The cow parsley in the picture below has been allowed to establish over the last few years. It's one of my favourite spring flowers and I married in May (many years ago) for the specific reason that they could appear at my wedding. :-)
We've mown paths through as you can see which makes it easier to get around the garden when the grass is wet and ties in nicely with the top area which is still mown short around the flower beds. 
That's all for now...
Wishing you the sweet magic of May.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Forgetmenots And Daisies. Primroses And Dreams of Imaginary Sea Creatures

What a difference since my last post. Spring is well and truly here now in all her sweet perfumed glory. My old friends the forgetmenots have returned and the gentle daisies  are saying hello upon the lawn with the heavenly primroses.
Such a perfect colour the blue of a forgetmenot don't you think? 
The lawn is coming on nicely not being a lawn. Now our children have grown up we don't need the space for ball games and driving little pedal cars or bikes around, so there is really no need for such a large area.  Each year we have been letting nature paint her masterpiece a little more instead. This year will be the same and we will cut it back accordingly to whats coming up. We have some shorter areas up near the house where we put chairs and such, but the rest of the space the bees and butterflies and all other insects need it more than we do, so I just can't justify a blank green cut space for no purpose. Wasted in my opinion when you can have a much prettier beneficial space such as this. I will share the lawn progress at later stages so you can see what comes up and keep a list this year of everything that grows. I haven't planted anything except, fritillaries years ago and some crocus. Whatever else comes up just seeds itself or has been there hiding all along. Our lawn has always had a lot of moss and not much grass which I've always loved and is good as it seems to give the plants more of a chance and less competition having to compete with tough grass?
Easter came and went in a flash. There was feasting and family and then they were gone again. My chestnut and chocolate meringue sort of collapsed, but was quickly eaten by all. :) 
With the newness of Spring I bought myself a few fresh supplies.  
And after all the cold weather and the long winter I have found myself dreaming of the sea and sand and shells and the magical imaginary creatures that inhabit those salty turquoise waters...
Sea hare: An extremely rare and shy creature that if you are lucky enough to spot will  almost certainly be hiding in empty shells.
Sea Unicorn: You didn't really suppose that all the unicorns had disappeared did you? 
It was lots of fun doing these, so there maybe more creatures in the pipeline? I've made these into greeting cards. Pink! now you don't often see pink in my designs. Maybe it's my age? Maybe as I get older I will become one of those sweet old ladies that wear pink hand knitted cardigans? ;-) Although I don't use it much, I do actually like it and think it is gentle and pretty. 
At the same time I made a couple of my older sea themed designs into cards too. The Selkie and Narwhals designs.
And I also turned the recent notebook designs into cards too, and added another one to the designs. 
All of the cards are available in my shop now in various sets.

Until next time...
Enjoy the sunshine!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Snow Tales of March

With March now almost over, I thought it time to look back on it's moments.
Like most of the country we got some snow! Which of course I was extremely pleased about, as we never really get much here in the west. The Beast from the East' they named it. My little ginger beast enjoyed it too, unlike his sister who I think much  prefers to be stretched out on a warm path in the sunshine. If you look closely at the picture you can just make her out underneath the holly tree at the top of the path. Her brother is getting ready to chase her in the bottom of the picture. The snow bringing out the kitten in him even though he is ten now.
It was important during this cold spell to make sure that the birds had plenty of food, so they were given extra top ups several times a day. I was so happy to see not just one, but five robins visiting. I like to think that my 'robin good fellow' when he was around, told the local robin community that in times of possible lack of food, this garden was the place to come. How I still miss him...
A snow day was of course a day of capturing winters magic before it said it's goodbyes.  The wind caused the snow to drift quite spectacularly in places. The garden path had turned into Narnia once more. 

I did feel sorry for the little newborn lambs out in the cold. At night we can here them bleating as they are in the field next to the garden. I'm sure they were tucked up with their Mothers though and kept warm. Although this one looks a little forlorn, they were actually skipping around as lambs do and didn't seem bothered by the cold white stuff carpeting the ground.
As the sun returned and the snow began to melt, it was as if winter really wanted to show off its talent and beauty and gifted me with these amazing icicles.
The ivy had turned into a chandelier. So beautiful.
Then I heard the sun tell winter it really was time to bid it's farewell...
The little ice hare in the garden was hoping to gaze at the moon just once in a starlit sky. But, it was not to be, alas the earth called him too soon. He was needed deep down below. Softly he melted and each drop of him replenished the new life that was waiting for Spring.
New in the shop.
March has brought some new notebook sets to the shop.  'Little notebooks for those who believe in magic' 
These are a set of two. 'Believe' and 'Be Wise'
And with Spring upon us I wanted to turn some of my spring paintings into notebooks too, so this pack is a set of three. 'Little notebooks for nature lovers'  'For hare lovers', 'for love & magic' and 'for nature notes' 
All are A6 pocket size again, with 36 pages and recycled 300gsm paper printed covers.
With Easter weekend just around the corner, I hope to get out and about and there is a painting on my desk to finish too. Hopefully the sun will shine as bright as the primroses.
Happy Spring! x