Thursday, 24 May 2012

Strawberries in the garden

It feels like Summer. We are enjoying a wonderful week of sunshine. Of course,  it has to be enjoyed while it is here!  We had a walk on the shore and for once I never collected anything to draw,  instead I just took in the views and I felt so calm and peaceful  as we slowly wandering along the shore.  We sat on the large boulders and watched the birds on the sand, the ducks sieving in the water and the oyster catchers.  I felt really happy just looking around and enjoying the moment.  I had been to my Tai chi class and I have no doubt that also was contributing to my very relaxed state.  The sunshine seems to have such a huge influence on everyone, when you wake up to a sunny day.  Then we have had the strange creeping fog each evening,   changing our view of the estuary and sometimes it totally blocks out everything.

  We have woken in the early morning to views of the fog, then it all disappears to a wonderful bright day like today.  It is fascinating to see how it changes our estuary.
   I bought some English homegrown strawberries. They smell, look and taste like strawberries, the kind of strawberries my Dad grew when I was young. I wanted to draw them, so sat at the kitchen table and started a new page in my square sketchbook. I painted it with acrylic ink and a number 3 brush.  I could smell the sweet strawberries, I was transported to Dads garden.
Then I did the pencil drawing of another large strawberry. I liked the fact that they are all different shapes and have bumps and damage marks, real strawberries as nature intended.

I was thinking about the wild strawberries we used to find when we were children. They are so tiny and yet they have such a beautiful flavour like nothing else. The scent lingers on your fingers. I found an old sketch book, the drawings of those tiny wild strawberries dated August 2004. I know they grow in August because it would be in the school holidays when we picked them and ate them each year.

And I found I had drawn a pencil one too, placed in the middle of the page.  Just a minute I have some growing in my garden, or is it too early ?
The tiny white strawberry flowers will give me some of those precious fairy strawberries later in the summer.
And then I remembered that last year I was drawing a strawberry which was used by Kimberley Bell on Fabric, at "Peony and Sage" website. (Link in my side bar)
Picture copyright of  Peony and sage....used with permission of Kimberley Bell.
So after I had finished my page,  I sat outside in the sunshine with a bowl of strawberries and ice cream, yes they were delicious. The garden looked lovely, bees were buzzing, an orange tipped butterfly flew by and lots of white butterflies. It is nearly  time for the Snake head Fritillary seed heads to ripen and I will collect the seeds, then we will cut our wild flower patch.

It is not a perfect garden, but the birds and the insects and me,  all  love it. 
 I am hoping to have lots more days sitting out in the garden eating strawberries and of course some gardening too.  Hope you like the page.
Thank you for the lovely comments which I always love reading.                             Millyx


Claire said...

Lovely Milly, I want to eat strawberries now xxx

Frances said...

Milly, it's interesting to read that you've had lots of fog in your lakes area recently, as we have also had lots of fog in NYC, both morning and evening. It's always a treat to leave work in the evening and catch a glimpse of the Empire State Building, usually lit in some sort of colors appropriate to an event/season/occasion. see the top of the Empire hidden in fog "lightly" tinted.

Nothing natural about these sightings, but they are lovely.

I am such a strawberry fan, particularly of the small, wild varieties. When I was recently in a London cafe, I did treat myself to a course of delicious strawberries and cream. I could not bear to ask the provenance of those strawberries, just enjoyed them.

As always, your drawing and painting is sublime. xo

Carol Creech said...

Yum!! We just bought a big container of strawberries today and had a wonderful time eating them! It does feel like summer :) So glad to hear you enjoyed your walk and had Tai Chi. I took a qi gong class years ago (two different times, actually) and your post reminded me of how relaxing it is. I need to start practicing again. :)

Susan Scheid said...

You say it's not a perfect garden, but it certainly looks perfect to me--and certainly a perfect place to enjoy those strawberries!

Dreaming Woods said...

hello Eileen, last year i sowed some tiny strawberries from seeds, and this summer i will see will those plants make berries. i think your garden was just wonderful!!! i would be very content to have a garden like that. it has been very dry in here, hopefully we will receive rain soon. red campions are blooming, they are such a beautiful summer flower. we have a lots of wild flowers in our yard.

that strawberry fabric would look wonderful in the kitchen. beautiful drawing!

Anonymous said...

Yummy! What a wonderful post, I swear I could smell strawberries as I read it. :)

Jennifer Tetlow said...

I can smell the strawberries too! I'm growing them in my veg garden and have only the promising pretty flowers at the moment. Love your wild flower patch - I planted one earlier in the year and have nothing at all - hopefully the warmth with encourage it!

martinealison said...

Oh ma chère Milly... Vous êtes une tentatrice! Vos dessins de fraises m'émerveillent... J'admire votre souci du détail. J'aime ça!Je ne sais pas comment vous avez résisté à ne pas croquer ces belles fraises! Je vous soupçonne d'avoir tout à côté de vous une autre assiette pleine!...Merci pour vos généreuses photos.Gros bisous

Melody said...

You did very well to not eat the strawberries before you were done sketching them! Both the drawn and real varieties look delectable! :)
Nothing like a peaceful sit in the garden watching nature...

Mary said...

Local strawberries coming in now - I need to go to the Farmers' Market and pick some up, or better still go 'pick my own' if time permits.

I love your garden Eileen - to me it's perfect because I revel in the unstructured garden style.........guess it's true English country cottage gardening, splendid!!

Beautiful illustrations - and I love that fabric!

Just went to the mountains for a few days, sadly the weather was not the best as the views were foggy and wet......but I did spend time with good blog friends, one of whom I gifted with your cards portfolio purchased last year - she is thrilled with it and will be framing some of them.

Hope your warm weather has enabled you to enjoy the great outdoors - well you do anyway whatever the weather! - and there will be plenty more strawberries and good Summer eats coming up.

Bob and I are off on an adventure soon - life is good but hectic, but I love it all.

Happy weekend dear friend - Mary X

suz said...

It's almost strawberry season here (a bit late because of the odd weather we've been having), but it's my favorite time of year! love the drawings and the photos of your garden. To me, a perfect garden is one that the bees and butterflies love - so it sounds like you have a perfect garden!

Diana said...

how luscious Milly, I can smell the strawberries here. I know it was so peaceful and beautiful in your garden. thank you for the lovely,Diana

Acornmoon said...

The sun certainly has a heartwarming effect, we have been blessed with a wonderful week of sun and blue skies. We were in your neck of the woods too! Wild strawberries always make me think of Dove Cottage. I don't know if they still have them growing in the little garden? Your drawing is lovely as always.

ellie said...

Beautiful and fascinating :) Thank you xxx