6/11/2015

June Flowers.

From "An Illustrated Address Book"
My garden is looking more like a jungle at the moment; every possible place is crammed with plants, many of which are self-seeded varieties from the wild. I have Jacob's Ladder, Woodruff, Buttercups, Grandmother’s Bonnets, Poppies, Cranesbill and Dandelions - weeds to many but I like to think of them as welcome guests although I have to be a little bit ruthless when they threaten to take over too much space.


Jacob's Ladder growing in my garden


another wild and weedy corner

I think I prefer our native woodland plants to the highly cultivated specimens and have always enjoyed drawing them. I love learning about their common names and reading about their history, so when I saw a copy of “Woodland Plants” for sale, of course I had to buy it!


I adore the art of Robin Tanner and the writings of his wife Heather. Together they created several masterpieces; “Woodland Plants” was the result of forty years of observation and drawing. It is a celebration of the commonplace made remarkable by the design skills and technical ability of the artist. 


Each plant is reproduced to its actual life size, when you look at the illustrations you enter a timeless world. They never fail to inspire and delight, I particularly admire the many different tones he achieves with his pen and the detail he includes in the backgrounds.


 Whilst I was shopping I saw this Country Alphabet too and I couldn't just leave it there could I?
I love that pattern too, don't you?

   
June is a month of gardens and flower shows, on a recent visit to Manchester I was both delighted and pleasantly surprised to find that my little “Herb Garden” book was included in an exhibition called “Flower Show” at MMU. You can read a little about it here-


17 comments:

  1. Such lovely illustrations - by you and the Tanners.
    We have wonderful wildflowers here too - but nothing beats the wildflowers of my childhood.
    Was in London and Surrey recently indulging in garden-hopping.

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    1. I noticed some garden photographs you posted, one looked like Chelsea? Shame our paths did not cross, maybe one day!

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  2. I love a garden that has gone wild and is full of mysteries and possibilities; they remind me of the best stories I read as a child. At any moment you could stumble on something wonderful and magical, indeed even the most mundane and ordinary of objects take on a new significance if first you have to unearth them from a tangled undergrowth of ivy and blowsy flowers...
    That's what I love about the illustrations in your post (the first by your own good self and the rest by the Tanners) there is such a sense that at any minute you could part the the plants and see beyond, to the unknowable!

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    1. The Secret Garden was a favourite of mine too! Thanks for your kind words Kate.

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  3. I think we all have our favourite plants Valerie. Like youI do like the self sowing ones - when my forget me nots go to seed I pull them up and shake them all around the garden so that next year they will be a sea of blue. Woodruff is another favourite of mine - it grows all over our patio and is a wonderful weed smotherer.
    Aquelegia - pink and blue is everywhere. I love this time of year -it must be wonderful for you to sit and draw all these wonderful plants.

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    1. I love the sound of you sea of blue, shaking the seeds must be the secret.

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  4. My garden too is full of self seeded columbines, jacob's ladder, sweet woodruff, hardy geraniums etc. A major dead heading programme lies in my future! Those books by Robin and Heather Tanner look like my kind of thing, I shall investigate further!

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    1. I don't mind dead heading too much and it does help to prolong the life of the flowers. I am sure you would like the book, you might also like "From Old Chapel Field" by the same author.

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  5. Love wild flowers - definitely not weeds : ) What a find in 'Woodland Plants', such beautiful illustrations. Congrats on having your book included in 'Flower Show', Val. Best wishes, Lesley x

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  6. Valerie, you garden sounds like just the sort of garden I like best of all. You have so many beautiful flowers to inspire your amazing art.

    I'm so glad that your book is in the exhibit, allowing lots more folks to appreciate your painting. Wish that I could see the exhibit. I am going to borrow Woodland Plants from the Library when I get back there to return the fabulous Kate Atkinson book...maybe next week.

    xo

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    1. You are so fortunate to have a good library, ours are getting very run down. By the way, you might also like "From Old Chapel Field" by the same author.

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  7. I would love this book. Native plants are my favorites as well. They are so obliging, never fussy, and beautiful in all their sweet simplicity. Our natives are the Oxeye daisy, Black eyed Susan, Queen Annes Lace and False Indigo, just to name a few. I too, like the common names, they are so much nicer. Of course, the weeds are natives too and I just spent about 5 hours yesterday ridding a garden bed of most of those.

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    1. I can tell from your blog that your garden must take a great deal of labour, it always looks beautiful. We have Oxeye daisies but Black Eyed Susan is not a native here. I have grown it as an annual, such a striking plant.

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  8. What a delight, your art and Robin Tanner's in the same post :o)

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  9. I am always struck by the delicacy and precision of your work, that beautiful combination of artistry and botannical accuracy.
    That is a lovely tangle of garden, the Columbine is so satisfying!

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