Monday, 1 March 2010

Seed Packet Heaven

This month is seed packet heaven! Sleepy gardeners suddenly come to life now and it’s numerous trips to the garden centre. Such temptation with all those seed packets luring us into believing we can so easily have all that is promised in the photo! I fall for it every time. I notice that Kew Gardens, the Eden Project, and Johnsons World Botanics have lovely photos on their seed packets and all made of nice paper too. This of course puts the price up but I still love them. I might send for some heritage seeds which often come in those brown envelopes with nice old prints on them.

Last year I thought I would make the effort to design my own seed packets, just for the fun of it. I got partway started but the time it took to harvest the seed didn’t leave much drawing time. I shall have to get better organised next time.

This year I have subscribed to Gardens Illustrated magazine and was very taken with Julie Toll’s Bright and Beautiful border in the February issue. To attempt this border is a great excuse to go out seed hunting and I love the thought of all that propagating. I am drawing out a much bigger version of her plan so that I can learn something from it. With all this inspiration I am also going to plan a border of my own using some of my existing plants and adding some annuals of deepest indigo blue and dark carmine red. It will be called the ‘Ink Border’. I shall have to try to limit the ammount of green foliage to get the effect I want but it will be interesting to try. When it is all planted up it will then be lots of good subject matter for me.......all those wonderful inky colours and lots of drawing.

Speaking of drawing....... I recently bought a great book... Sarah Simblet’s ’Botany for the Artist’. She is a lady who can REALLY draw and practically any subject matter too. Her latest book is all about drawing plants and it will spur me on in my own endeavours. If you love drawing plants check it out.

I still haven’t finished the Spa Herbs painting. It is now to be called ‘Healing Herbs’. I recently spent a good day at Bradford-on-Avon and thouroughly enjoyed the old apothecary’s shop in their museum (in the library building). The town also boasts a couple of herbalist shops so I was well into healing plants that day. Back at home I finished some of the studies of the rosemary specimen I had been working on. It is quite a tricky one to do but the studies help a great deal to sort out the painting, even if the painting ends up being a more imaginative interpretation of the original plant. More on this soon.

But back to the seed packets. Right now I am off up the garden to sort out some seed compost , find some plant labels and start sowing. I am on my way to heaven!