stories and illustration

A Bed of Wild Flowers


Some time back, in late spring, I bought a kind of thin tissuey roll, which was apparently embedded with wild flower seeds. We decided to use a raised bed in the vegetable garden for wild flowers, as we wanted to encourage bees and other insects. The roll was opened out and laid on the bed and thinly sprinkled with earth.  Nothing much happened, except a lot of grass seed from droppings from the bird table.  I thought what a waste of time. Another small packed of flower seed was bought and sprinkled.  Again nothing.  In desperation a packet of wild flower seed from Homebase was produced and this was added to the mix. Still nothing.  A friend who came a month or so ago, after seeing the rest of the verdant and blooming garden, said to me: “Your bit needs some attention,” as she thought it was just a few weeds in what should be a pristine bed.  Then suddenly, overnight it seemed, there were flowers. Plenty of them.  And bees and butteflies and numerous smaller insects. Even a corn cockle, very beautiful, apparently poisonous, which I didn’t photograph until it was on the way out. When I have finished the paintings  I am working on at the moment, for exhibition, I will hover about the wildflower patch with the hover flies and try and capture some insects enjoying the poppies et al. Meanwhile I will collect some poppy seeds, and look out for somewhere I can buy some corn cockles to cultivate for next year.


July 30, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Peacock Butterfly on Comfrey by River Tweed


Good to see the butterflies in action from early in the year, after their almost complete absence from this part of the world last year.  Insects everywhere, one notices that humming in the air, and their clustering on plants they enjoy.  I am keeping a watch on the buddleia along Nun’s Walk, in the hope that when the flowers come out they will once more be covered in butterflies and bees.  In the meantime, the wildflowers that were planted in the raised bed in the vegetable garden are beginning to show above the soil, helped by the intermittent rain and sun; though some of the growth is undoubtedly grass sprung from dropped birdseed.  I am working in the Tardis on the Hare book, listening to the Gypsy King, every now and then getting up to watch the birds out of the window as they cluster round the bird table.  There are a couple of greedy ring doves, but they are too pretty to shoo away. Besides, a bird is a bird. The Midnight Hare is coming along, I think he needs some charismatic eyes.

May 9, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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