9 days until set-up of RHS exhibition

We have had a lovely weekend in relation to the weather. The sun has been shining and it has been a lovely temperature. I have been in the shed except for during Sunday lunch yesterday – which was Mothering Sunday.

My neck and shoulders are getting to me and I am a day later than I planned. I have actually finished doing the colour matching except for one or two tweaks.

The garden is beginning to look quite spring-like. Although we had some mild weather when the Magnolia started flowering, we had a cold blast which turned it off white. It is still going strong, but there are a lot of tepals lying on the ground now.

The Camellia have been flowering, but the cold blast sent the white ones brown and the red ones brown-tinged. The tulips are fantastic and you already know that we have plenty of Daffodils and a few Jonquil.

The Malus Evereste has now got tight flower buds on it. Can you imagine that the season is starting all over again?

I showed you the flower of the Malus Red Sentinel last time. Now I will show you the apples.

As with all the crab apple pictures, this too is in coloured pencil.

Malus x robusta ‘Red Sentinel’ blossom



Teaching with Fieldbreaks at Goodnestone Park Gardens

On Monday of this week I went to Kent to teach at Goodnestone Park Gardens. What a beautiful area. It is so peaceful and they are so welcoming there.

This is the second year that I have had classes at Goodnestone Park with Fieldbreaks and the workshops are seemingly more popular each time.

I had a lovely group of people with half of them using coloured pencil, one eventually chose to use graphite and the remainder watercolour.

I think that things were about a week behind in comparison to where I live. In some places you could almost see the green tips begin to appear on the hedging, there were loads of daffodils, no tulips, the Magnolia x soulangeana was still closed but nearly ready to burst although the Magnolia x stillata was fully open and the Camelias were glorious. There was in fact a lot to choose from if only you looked and were able to see. The flowers eventually chosen to paint were the above, plus Primroses, Periwinkle, Hellebore and Fritillary. The results were very good and as far as I can tell, all those taking part were pleased with their results.

I get quite chuffed when students achieve what they set out to do – and in some instances even exceed that.

The only thing I hadn’t been prepared for was the summer warmth. I had layers to keep me warm, but even so I hadn’t expected it to be as warm and lovely as it was.

I will be having another workshop at Goodnestone Park with Field Breaks in June. Come and join us in this peaceful environment.