When I moved from the UK I had to give all my seeds away to neighbours and friends. The customs laws in the US prevented me from bringing them into the country. Understandable really and I didn’t mind at all. But, that meant that when I arrived my seedbox was empty. That was strange for me because it has never been empty since the day I bought it. Infact, most of the time it was bulging and groaning under the weight of new seeds that I simply COULD NOT avoid buying or saved seed that, ‘well I might sow one day!’.
So, since this is the new year and in preparation for that lovely time of year when we all ‘start sowing’ I bought some seed. Okay, I might have gone a bit over board but I won’t be needing any new seed for a while. Most of them I bought from Botanical Interests – simply because they have lovely illustrations on the front. And I also bought some Herb seeds from the Territorial Seed Company too.
A few of the packets are seed that I’ve never grown before; Watermelon, Edamame beans, Black Krim beefsteak Tomatoes and some Chilli Pepper.
I received this wonderful book through the post a few weeks ago and I’ve been meaning to post about it. The reason I haven’t is because I’ve been too busy reading it! It’s amazing.
The author and illustrator, Mary Woodin, sent it to me because she read my post on botanical illustration. And encouraged me to take the course that I went on. What a nice thing to do?
Anyway, I love it. It’s the perfect mix between lovely illustrations of fruit and vegetables (and seed packets too – very cute) and some useful homespun recipes.
It follows the seasons and offers some unusual but delicious-sounding recipes like Apple and Ginger Meringue Cake and Pink Grapefruit Salad Dressing. All of which are on my list to try.
I finally made it onto a botanical illustration course. After I declared my interest last month I’d been looking for a local course to attend so that I could learn the basics.
Nothing materialised but then I got a newsletter from Alitex (purveyors of gorgeous greenhouses – hey, a girl can dream can’t she?). And in it there was a link to a botanical illustration course held at their greenhouse show site (another excuse – do I need any more?) with renowned botanical illustrator, Billy Showell. What a piece of luck?
Even though it was a two and a half hour drive from my house I signed up, immediately.
Firstly, Billy was amazing. She came prepared and we got down to drawing straight away. Her teaching style was spot on. She showed us how to do things, gave us tips and shortcuts and helped me when I hit a tricky bit. In short she was lovely.
Lunch was in one of the conservatories and since the sun had come out it was the perfect setting. And… it was decked beautifully with easy chairs, old wooden doors, Lemon and Olive trees and some nighttime ambience for that long summer evening.
We also had the opportunity to wander around the greenhouses and tick off features on our imaginary list and say things like, “Oh! I would definitely have that in my greenhouse.”
And then, after all this, I got to take home this painting.
Which, I can hardly believe, I created with my own bare hands. I’m thrilled.