JUST ME :: and a stack of blank pages

:: Living creatively ::

About me

This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realise it is play. The only thing that is ultimately real about your journey is the step that you are taking at this moment. That’s all there ever is. I’m here to tell you that the path to peace is right there, when you want to get away. When you are present, you can allow the mind to be as it is without getting entangled in it. If you miss the present moment, you miss your appointment with life. That is very serious!

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Lake of the Dismal Swamp

 W&N watercolour and coffee (Nescafé instant) on Bockingford 300gsm ██Ɔ

They made her a grave, too cold and damp
For a soul so warm and true;
And she’s gone to the Lake of the Dismal Swamp,
Where, all night long, by a fire-fly lamp,
She paddles her white canoe.
— By Thomas Moore

The Dismal Swamp has a fascinating history. If you’re not already aware of its intricacies, check it out here.

Extract: “Even though the average depth of the lake is only six feet, its unusually pure water is essential to the swamp’s survival. The amber-colored water is preserved by tannic acids from the bark of the juniper, gum and cypress trees, prohibiting growth of bacteria. Before the days of refrigeration, water from the Swamp was a highly prized commodity on sailing ships. It was put in kegs and would stay fresh a long time. People spoke of the magical qualities of the Swamp’s tea-coloured water and how, if it were regularly drunk, it prevented illness and promoted long life.”

I took a hiatus from blogging for a while, overwhelmed by everything going on in my life, but now things have settled down a bit so here's one of my latest paintings done in coffee with a bit of watercolour.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The most beautiful fairytale is the one in your dreams.

Lady in pink -- Ink sketch and watercolour

Die mooiste sprokie
is die een in jou drome.

The most beautiful fairytale
is the one in your dreams.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Crocodile River

Black Pilot FineLiner ink sketch and W&N watercolour on Amedeo 200gsm

A bank of rocks overlooking the Crocodile River on it's way to Hartebeespoort Dam in the North West Province of South Africa. This area is a favourite spot for river rafting enthusiasts.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Hedgie, my African Hedgehog

W&N watercolour in Moleskine Notebook
Dedicated to all who love Hedgehogs!

This is Hedgie, a male Southern African Hedgehog (Atelerix frontalis) that I was lucky enough to have in my life for almost six years after I found him wandering on our previous smallholding. A couple of months after finding him, I also found Sethlong, a female, who joined Hedgie in the large enclosure I had made for them and together they raised a lovely brood of eight little babies.

You can read more about Hedgie here.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Hartebeespoort Dam in NorthWest

Winsor & Newton watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm 

A view of Hartebeespoort Dam (NorthWest Province, South Africa) with the Magaliesberg Mountains in the back-ground.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Kei-apple botanical - and a Chameleon

Ink sketch and watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm – Kei Apple tree and a Flap-necked Chameleon (Chamaeleonidae – (Chameleo dilepis)

The Kei-apple, Dovyalis caffra, is well known all over the eastern parts South Africa, common in open bush and wooded grassland, and often near termite mounds. It is a thick, shiny, spiny shrub up to three metres in height. The branches are armed with straight, robust spines up to 7 cm long. Fresh, ripe fruits are rich in Vitamin C and pectin and, following the example of the Pedi people who squeeze the juice onto their pap (porridge), they make an excellent addition to a fruit salad and to muesli and yoghurt. Nature seems to know best when to give us the right foods to boost our immune systems in preparation for the onslaught of winter colds and ‘flu.

Last year my trees also bore an abundance of fruit for the first time ever and I ascribe this to the fact that we get heavy frost here in Tarlton (South Africa). It has taken almost seven years for my trees to reach just over three meters tall and I was absolutely thrilled to have the fruit. Of course I had to try them but they really are too acidic, with a slight hint of sweetness, to enjoy on a full-time basis. And I’m therefore also not surprised at all that Torti, my Leopard Tortoise, did not touch any that had fallen on the floor. But they look really beautiful displayed in a dish!

And the Chameleon didn't seem to have any problem with the huge thorns! I was really thrilled to see him in my garden as these lovely creatures seem to be getting scarcer and scarcer.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Plant for the Planet

W&N watercolour on DalerRowney 220gsm (135lb) Smooth heavy-weight sketching paper, from my imagination, no preliminary sketching.

“One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.”
—U.S. Department of Agriculture

Plant for the planet, plant for the people. Planting trees is a simple way to protect and support the local environment, agriculture, water supplies, community development and health, as well as the world’s climate.

Monday, June 20, 2016

A gate in the Karoo

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm
Many visitors to Karoo National Park in South Africa access the Park by car as this allows them the freedom to explore the park at their own leisure. Instead of heading to your destination on the main tar roads, try something different – like a drive along the gravel. But be warned – there are many gates to open en route!

The Park is a convenient stopover on the N1 route between Cape Town and the interior of the country. Cape Town is situated about 500km south of the Park. Johannesburg is situated about 1 000km north of the Park.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Euphorbia cooperi

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm
Euphorbia cooperi (or Lesser Candelabra Tree, Transvaal Candelabra Tree, Bushveld candelabra euphorbia), is indigenous to South Africa. Found in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Swaziland up to Messina in the Limpopo Province, prefers well-drained soils and is mostly found in rockier places, often on granite outcrops and in rock cracks or in wooded grassland and thorny scrubland, in planes and in steep hillsides on north-facing slopes. This spiny succulent grows 4-7 m tall and produces small yellowish-green flowers in spring and summer.

I had this one in a pot in my garden, but unfortunately it succumbed to frost one severe winter.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Bushveld tranquility

Artline200 Fine-point Black ink pen and W&N watercolour in my Moleskine 200gsm Nature Journal

The Limpopo river, the second largest river in Africa, flows in a great arc, first zig-zagging north and then north-east, then turning east and finally south-east. Then it serves as a border for about 640 kilometers (398 mi), separating South Africa to the south-east from Botswana to the north-west and Zimbabwe to the north. There are several rapids as the river falls off Southern Africa’s inland escarpment. In fact where the Marico River and the Crocodile River join the name changes to Limpopo River. The waters of the Limpopo flow sluggishly, with considerable silt content. Rainfall is seasonal and unreliable: in dry years, the upper parts of the river flow for 40 days or less.
- Info Wikipedia

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Rose of friendship

Black ink sketch and watercolour  on a sketch pad

Long associated with beauty and perfection, red roses are a time-honoured way to say express love and affection. Whether it’s for a birthday or just to express appreciation for someone, there’s no better way than a red rose to express your feelings.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

My Aloe route

Ink sketch and W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm

This is the road I take (I call it ‘my aloe route’) when I go to visit a friend in New Thorndale just on the other side of Magaliesburg (Gauteng, South Africa). There are dozens of Aloes along a certain rocky outcrop and in winter it’s a wondrous display when they all flower.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Grass Aloe

Watercolour sketch of A. cooperi in my ‘Nature’ Journal

In the hope of reaching the moon
men fail to see the flowers
that blossom at their feet.

- Albert Schweitzer

I found a large clump of Grass Aloes not far from home on the road to Magaliesburg (South Africa), flowering profusely after all the veld fires we had this past winter, spread out over the charred landscape, providing bursts of red colour.

Grass Aloes are an appealing group of deciduous aloes. As the name implies, they grow mainly in grasslands subject to winter fires. Their leaves and colours resemble their habitat, making them difficult to find when not in flower. These largely miniature aloes have very attractive flowers, making them desirable, if difficult, plants to cultivate. Their growing pattern is closely related to the winter fire cycles of the veld here in South Africa, some species responding directly to burning and producing leaves, flowers and later seed after such events.

This interesting Aloe belongs to a group of deciduous aloes known as the “Grass Aloes”, which are adapted to grassland habitat and are able to survive both fire and frost during the cold dry months. They are often burned during winter and then re-sprout with the onset of spring.

This well known grass aloe is commonly found along rocky ridges and rocky slopes on the Witwatersrand and Magaliesberg as well as in mountainous areas of the Northern Province and Mpumalanga. In years gone by it was even more prolific, but numbers have been greatly reduced due to development on the ridges and from harvesting by succulent collectors. A number of different forms are found throughout its distribution range.

Grass fires used to be less frequent in earlier centuries. They were initiated by lightning strikes, on the whole, at the beginning of the rainy season in September and October. These fires were ideal in that they cleared the habitat of moribund grass and other vegetation just before grass aloe species initiated their growth cycles.

Fires are more frequent nowadays and may occur at any time during the dry winter months from May until late spring, October. Plants are as a result, left exposed to harsh conditions for many months before they start to grow. Some species are even starting to appear on the endangered species list.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Echeveria imbricata in terracotta pot

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm

 An Echeveria in a pot on my patio (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa)

This popular and vigorous succulent has 4 to 8 inches wide, tight rosettes of flat grey-green leaves that, when mature, form offsets freely to form large solid clumps 4 to 6 inches tall. It has a branched arching inflorescence bearing clusters of red and yellow flowers in the spring and early summer. Plant in full sun, even in hotter inland gardens, to part sun/light shade in a well-drained soil and water regularly. Although it is is cold-tolerant, it does not do well in heavy frosts, therefore most of mine are planted in terracotta pots for easy winterizing.

This plant is often listed as a species or as E. x imbricata but is a hybrid cultivar created in the early 1870’s by Jean-Baptiste A. Deleuil of Marseilles (Rue Paradis) that resulted from crossing Echeveria secunda with E. gibbiflora ‘Metallica’ and was listed for the first time in his 1874 catalogue.

It has been argued by some that the correct pronunciation for the genus is ek-e-ve’-ri-a, though ech-e-ver’-i-a seems in more prevalent use in the US.

Category: Succulent
Family: Crassulaceae (Stonecrops)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Red & Yellow
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [Echeveria x imbricata]
Parentage: (Echeveria glauca x E. gibbiflora ‘Metallica’)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Cactus - Cereus jamacaru (Een-nag-blom)

Ink sketch and watercolour wash on Bockingford 300gsm – 8″ × 12″ 

Cereus jamacaru (Queen of the Night, Een-nag-blom)
Classification: Cactaceae
Incorrectly referred to as Cereus peruvianus in South Africa.

The Peruvian Apple Cactus, Cereus repandus, is a large, erect, thorny columnar cactus found in South America as well as the nearby ABC Islands of the Dutch Caribbean. It is also known as Giant Club Cactus, Hedge Cactus, cadushi and kayush. With an often tree-like appearance, the Peruvian Apple Cactus’ cylindrical grey-green to blue stems can reach 10 meters (33 ft) in height and 10-20 cm in diameter. The nocturnal flowers remain open for only one night. Unfortunately this plant has been declared an unwanted “invader” in South Africa due to it’s fast-spreading habit.

Die Kaktus Cereus peruvianus (of Een-nag blom) is ’n boomagtige kaktus, partymaal tot 10m hoog, wat vir net een nag van die jaar asemrowende wit blomme voort bring. Ongelukkig is hierdie kaktus as ’n ongewensde indringerplant verklaar in Suid Afrika as gevolg van hul gewoonte om uiters vinnig te versprei. Daar is groot verwarring oor die eintlike naam van hierdie kaktus, aangesien Cereus vir heelwat kaktussoorte gebruik word. Die spesienaam, peruvianus, dui aan dat dit endemies is aan Peru, maar dit is ’n botaniese fout. Hierdie plant is eintlik endemies aan Brasilië, Uruguay en Argentinië.

Hierdie een groei langs Solly se kaia op ons plot (Tarlton, Gauteng, Suid Afrika) en hy was verskriklik ontsteld toe ek voorstel ons moet dit verwyder. Nou is hy die dood voor die oë gesweer as ek sou sien dat dit enigsins versprei!


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Rattail Cactus sketch

Ink sketch and watercolour on Amedeo 200gsm

Sketch of my Rattail Cactus (Aporocactus flagelliformis), on my patio (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa). It is fairly easy to care for and maintain. It grows stems up to a four feet long, that hang and display brownish colored spines, which are terribly sharp and fine and somehow manage to get everywhere when you’re handling it!

The flowers are an absolutely beautiful (2in – 4in / 5cm – 10cm wide) pink tubular type (see photograph here) that usually bloom in spring for up to 5 days. These flowers will grow from any part of the stem, 4-5ft long, and you can expect plenty of them. Similar to many other cacti, they are very easy to grow indoors and outside (as long at the temperature is not too cold outside.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Aloe flowers - Nature's silent healer

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm

Several Aloes have flowers with nectar that can be consumed. Among the sippable blossoms are A. ferox and A. marlothii. A. zebrina has edible flowers and buds after being boiled. In Angola they are pressed into cakes. A. greatheadii flower buds are a delicacy after being boiled in three changes of water. There is no report on the edibility of Aloe vera flowers. But since that plant is medicinal, I would not eat them.

The genus is native to Southern Africa.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Small sketches and paintings

I've been churning out a lot of small sketches and paintings lately, the urge for the brush was greater than trying to plan something big and wonderful! Smile!

Daisies singing in the rain - small watercolour on note paper 4.5" x 6"

Winter fires - small watercolour on note paper 6" x 4.5"

Hibiscus beauty - Black ink sketch and watercolour on small sketch pad 6" x 4.5"

Arum lilies - small ink sketch and watercolour on sketch pad 6" x 3.5"

 Herbs in pots - small ink sketch on sketch pad 6" x 4.5"

I have plenty more, so don't go away!


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Mother-in-law's tongue

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm

A pot of Mother-in-law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata laurentii).

Indigenous to South Africa, it is also known as the Snake Plant. It is a truly remarkable and striking easy care house plant native to tropical West Africa from Nigeria east to the Congo. I remember my dad having one on a windowsill in our house, where it stood for absolutely years without any seemingly extra care. The modern trend in the average home is to keep the plant separate from others and have it standing bold and alone.

Summer growers. As with all succulents, Sansevierias require a well-drained mix and moderate watering. Water frequently during the warmer months and keep fairly dry through winter. To maintain their best shape and colouration they are best grown in dappled sunlight. Grows up to 3 or 4 feet tall.

Propagation is by division or leaf cuttings. Sansevieria is easy to divide because it has shallow roots. Simply turn the pot on its side and pull out the entire plant. Use a sharp knife to cut through the thick roots and pot each clump separately. To propagate Sansevieria by leaf cuttings, cut leaf into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces and place them right side up (the way they were growing) in moist perlite or cactus potting mix.


Monday, March 7, 2016

Blue bottle fly (Calliphora vomitoria)

Pencil sketch and watercolour, candle wax, on Bockingford 300gsm

Blue Bottle Flies (Calliphora vomitoria) are from the Blow Fly family. They are larger than house flies, growing about half an inch long. Their head and thorax (front and middle sections) are grey, the abdomen (large rear section) is bright metallic blue. They have red eyes and clear wings. Blue Bottle Flies live just about anywhere and the world, including woods, fields, parks, and farms. They seem to prefer shady places.

This fly eats from dead animals or meat, living animals with open wounds, animal poop, or some other decaying matter, so it is not a fly we want in our homes! But living on a farm or a smallholding, where dead animals are sometimes a daily fact of life, this is sometimes unavoidable.

I found this one in my lounge window and after swatting it gently with the fly swat (they don’t squash easily!), I was able to examine it more closely, using my magnifying glass, and do the sketch.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Echeveria imbricata in wooden planter

W&N watercolour on small Bockingford 300gsm (5½" x 7½" – half of A4)

Echeveria imbricata in a wooden crate on my patio. Contrary to the belief that succulents are drought resistant, this Echeveria (E. imbricata) thrives on good soil and lots of rain.


Monday, February 29, 2016

An African Moon in December

Black Pilot Lettering pen ink sketch of a full moon over my garden in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa

Sketching again...

Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,
Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth,
And ever changing, like a Joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?
- By Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

Friday, February 26, 2016

Aloe peglerae

Parker fountain pen, black ink and W&N watercolours on Bockingford 300gsm watercolour paper

All the Aloes are in full flower and the winter got all 3 of my Aloe ferox, burnt the flowers brown. This is Aloe peglerae, which I saw in the veld on the way to Magaliesburg, endemic to South Africa occurring only in Gauteng and one other province (North-West province). It is listed in the Red Data list of South Africa as an endangered species on the extinction queue if not protected or grown for ex-situ conservation.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Bulbine frutescens (Balsemkopiva)

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm
Bulbine in a container on my patio (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa)

Commonly called Bulbinella, which is incorrect as Bulbinella is a completely different species, Bulbine is effective in preventing skin infection, healing and soothing cuts, rashes, insect bites, burns, cold sores, pimples and other skin problems. Its clear and soothing gel forms an invisible ‘seal’ over the wound, protecting against bacteria and providing ongoing relief and healing throughout the day. When you work in the garden, cuts and scrapes are inevitable and picking some of this Bulbine in my garden and applying it straight away has saved my bacon many a time!

It is a very attractive succulent indigenous to South Africa which needs little attention, and thrives in most soil types and in most weather conditions. The juice from the leaves is used in creams, and can also be applied to eczema, burns, rashes, fever blisters and stings etc. I often use it on cuts and scrapes I might pick up while working in the garden.

This native of South Africa occurs naturally in the Orange Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and parts of all the Cape Provinces.

Afrikaans: balsemkopieva, copaiba, geelkatstert, katstert


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Sunrise over No. 84

W&N watercolour and ink sketch in Moleskine 200gsm sketch-book

Sunrise over our smallholding (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Arums - Cloak of Silver-white

W&N watercolours on Daler-Rowney 300gsm

Arums in my garden

Unfurl your cloak of silken white
Reveal your secret wand upraised at length
And not unlike a star you shine serene
To exalt the autumn-tide with silver cups*.
- Unknown

White or common Arum Lily (English); Wit varkoor (Afrikaans). The striking arum lily “flower” is actually many tiny flowers arranged in a complex spiral pattern on the central column (spadix). The tiny flowers are arranged in male and female zones on the spadix. The top 7 cm are male flowers and the lower 1.8 cm are female. If you look through a hand-lens you may see the stringy pollen emerging from the male flowers which consist largely of anthers. The female flowers have an ovary with a short stalk above it, which is the style (where the pollen is received).

These plants are native to Southern Africa from South Africa north to Malawi.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Young Aloe ferox

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm
In my garden (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa)

My experience is that this aloe (A. ferox) spreads easily from seed – from my original three plants, I now have over ten. They have sprung up all over the garden, obviously from seeds dispersed by the wind and birds. The only problem is that some of them are in unwanted locations and now I have the job of moving them to more suitable spots. But a chore I’m going to enjoy!

Aloe ferox (also known as the Cape Aloe, Bitter Aloe, Red Aloe and Tap Aloe), is a species of arborescent aloe indigenous to Southern Africa.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Graptoveria "Fred Ives"

W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm

A succulent given to me by a friend a couple of months ago growing in a pot in my garden (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa)

Category: Succulent
Family: Crassulaceae (Stonecrops)
Origin: Mexico (North America)

x Graptoveria ‘Fred Ives’ – A beautiful and durable succulent plant that produces large clumps of rosettes to 8 inches tall by nearly 1 foot wide with broad bronze and pink succulent leaves atop short stems with 1’-2’ long branched inflorescences bearing red-orange centered pale yellow flowers in summer. Plant in full to part sun in a well-drained soil. Little irrigation required.

The leaves are broad and stiff, overlapping each other, with concave upper surface, rubbery to the touch, waxy pearly-bronze to purplish yellow-orange to blue green (depending on time of year and growing conditons). Often shading from grey-blue at the centre out to orange-bronze-purple. The purple blush is fairly consistent throughout the seasons. Higher light and heat seem to increase the purple a bit, though.
This is a vigorous plant and is great as a container specimen or in the ground in well-drained soils or raised planters. It is reportedly a hybrid of Graptopetalum paraguayense crossed with a plant in the Echeveria gibbiflora complex.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Echeveria imbricata

Ink sketch and watercolour in Moleskine Watercolour sketch-book – 8″ × 5″

I’m absolutely mad about Echeverias and have a small section in my garden set aside just for them. My collection started off in the late 70’s when my father gave me three rosettes in a pot, which I transplanted into a rockery and soon they covered the whole area. Since then I have given away hundreds to friends, the geese got out of the pond area and made a hearty meal of them and they’ve survived many of the severe frosts we get in our area.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Winter blues

Black ink sketch and colour wash in Moleskine 200gsm watercolour sketch-book.

Winter here always has bright blue skies and blue Kingfisher daisies flowering in the garden.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Autumn reds

Black ink sketch with colour wash in Moleskine 200gsm watercolour sketch-book

Autumn – The colourful month of May filled with red daisies and orange leaves.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Spring splendour

Black ink sketch with colourwash in Moleskine 200gsm watercolour sketch-book

Spring is always a celebration of new light green leaves on the Celtis africana (Stinkwood tree) and sunny Euryops daisies.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Fickle (and no, it’s not a plant!)

I sit here before the world, a very fickle person. Somehow I thought that I would be able to quit having so many blogs (I’ve got 28!), keeping only those important to me and deleting the rest. In stead, I make most “private” every now and then, but just for a while before making it public again, confusing the hell out of Google Analytics! On and off. On and off.

The problem is, I can’t stand to see a “public” blog just lying there, with the last post being a year ago. One of my pet peeves is finding a wonderful blog, only to discover that it has been abandoned. I know that one changes, that one loses interest in a certain topic. That’s life. Life changes constantly and what I was interested in five years ago might not be applicable now anymore. But why don’t people then just delete it? Why don’t I just delete it, especially those that don’t get many hits and don’t seem to interest anybody?

One reason could be that I want to keep the blog URL. Once you delete it, it’s gone forever. Another reason is that I just LOVE designing blog templates. I get great pleasure out of designing and manipulating the html code to see what I can come up with. And once I come up with something I like, I don’t want to let go of it! Another problem is, I have s-o-o-o-o-o-o many interests. Art, nature, gardening, jewelry making, collecting aloes and succulents, books and reading, insects, cooking (only of late), animals and wildlife, birds, my chickens, and thoughts on the Universe as a whole. And I’ve got enough thoughts and experiences for each topic to warrant its own blog. I’ve thought of putting everything on just one blog, but I’ve been told that blog readers are very specific. They have their topics and interests, and only want to read about that. So if you’re a chicken-lover and there are many other posts on all sorts of other random topics, they don’t return to that blog.

Another part of the problem as to why I can’t delete any blogs might also be that, in real life, I’m a hoarder. Don’t get me wrong, not as in those “Hoarders” TV programmes, but as in “collecting” things - feathers, stones, pebbles, pieces of driftwood, shells, notebooks, journals, fountain pens, crystals, pieces of wire and wood (there’s always some building project going on somewhere here on the smallholding, so just in case I need it), even cardboard boxes, in case I need to pack something away.

In the décor of my home I’m quite disciplined - I won’t display too much at one time, rather pack away a few things and bring out something new for a change. So there I’m OK, but my MAC is groaning under the weight of files, images, blogs and other useless information that I’ve collected over the years. A lot of it is necessary, like business and personal files, and as for the rest, it’s time for a clean-up. Fairly easy to do, just a bit time-consuming, but then, the internet is so full of wonderful stuff that needs collecting again! Thank heavens Blogger allows you 100 free blogs! lol!

Would you like to see all sorts of other random topics on this gardening blog…? Let me have your thoughts, thanks!


Friday, February 5, 2016

Daisy love in Spring

Watercolour in my Moleskine 200gsm watercolour paper Nature Journal 


Every Spring I revel in the masses of daisies that appear in one corner of my garden – no matter how cold the Winter has been, they’re the first to welcome the warmer weather with their beautiful colours!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Summer Cosmos

Black ink sketch and colour wash in Moleskine 200gsm watercolour sketch-book.

Summer goes hand in hand with fields of Cosmos flowers every November to March, covering the landscape in pinks, cerises and purples.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Dianthus in Terracotta Pot

A pot of Dianthus on a friend's patio. (W&N watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm)

I couldn't believe the array of colours these pretty annuals come in (although some are biennial) - solid white, red, purple, pink and sometimes yellow, or with two colours or marks in the petals. I would've considered getting some of them, but they are native to most of Europe and western Asia, and my garden is mostly indigenous to South Africa. I've long ago given up trying to grow stuff from elsewhere, just too much trouble.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Revamping my blog - What do you think?

I'm playing around again and am in the process of revamping my blog and have chosen this daisies image as a back-ground. Do you think it's too busy? Does it make reading difficult? Please be honest, I really don't mind at all, it's easy to change!

Thanks a lot for your feed-back!

UPDATE : Tue, 2nd February 2016 - I've decided to go for something else - hope you like it!