RSS Feed

  1.  I'm delighted to say that I'm going to be the Artist in Residence at Burton Agnes Hall from the 11th to the 20th May.  

    As well as the beautiful Hall itself, the gardens at Burton Agnes are definitely well worth a visit - very 'user friendly', with giant games, a maze, a woodland walk, a walled kitchen garden, and of course many different plant species - over four thousand, according to the website.  There are also some nice little shops and a cafe around the courtyard, and very nice icecream...

    And don't forget to come and see the artist in the Summerhouse (if I'm not there, you'll probably find me in the queue for icecream).

    The pictures below are from the website,, reproduced with permission.


    burton agnes 
    burton agnes 2



    I love this time of year, when the forget-me-nots are in full flower, covering the rather unkempt border near my back door with a haze of beautiful blue.

    They seed themselves freely, pop up in every nook and cranny they can find - some may regard this as a nuisance, but not me!   Whether you regard their prolific habits as a problem or a bonus, who doesn't love that amazing colour?  I've been taking lots of photos so that I can include them in my paintings even when their flowering season is over.

     forgetmenots 2016 2    forgetmenots 2016




  3. My daughter bought me a little hanging bird table as a Christmas present; I've hung it from an apple tree and it's been a big hit with the birds in my garden. It's been an extremely cold, wet Spring so I'm sure they are benefiting from the extra food.  Yesterday afternoon I looked out of the window to see big, downy flakes of snow falling, and this morning the grass was white with frost.  And it's almost May!  

    I've seen only small birds feeding at the bird table - chaffinches, blue tits, great tits, long-tailed tits, coal tits, robins and sparrows.  My theory is that the roof doesn't allow much 'headroom' for the larger birds.  Even the chaffinches seemed to be a bit nonplussed by the roof at first, but they're used to it now..  And the bullfinches are much more interested in eating the buds on the apple tree!  The blackbirds have completely ignored the feeder and are keeping a low profile close to the hedge.  (Why do blackbirds always look as though they are up to no good?)


     For the first time in the five years I've lived here, I was delighted to see a pair of pied wagtails in the garden. Yes, I know they're becoming quite common, but not in my garden. Here's a lucky shot of one of them sitting on the edge of my new planter.  

    Another 'first' in the garden looked rather like a sparrow with a black face -  a reed bunting. Haven't managed to get a photo, but it's always nice to have a new visitor!

    pied wagtail small