Oh, March! That old adage about lambs and lions springs to mind. March hasn't been able to decide between the two. We had days warm enough to make us set the table back up so we could sit and enjoy hot chocolate in the garden, turning our faces to the warm spring sunshine like some photosynthetic beings... Mornings where my entrance into the local park was through a pool of scent from the berberis hedge alongside the path... We had sun opening the blossoms on the street trees, and mist cloaking the park in mystery; heavy rain and winds breaking more branches off the trees, and then hail, and then frosts. Lambs and lions, mist and sunshine, rain and frost. March has been a month for thinking in pairs, in opposites.
Grey mist and bright blossom
|March morning mist|
Pencils and paperI got very little drawing done this month. Life was busy with other things. I didn't get any entry done for my non-travelling Nature trails sketchbook, but I hope to make amends this coming month. I did have a go at re-doing my mossy old yew twig though - I've turned it around (I think, since I'm a citeog--that's a left-handed person for those of you who aren't Irish--I like things coming from right to left on the page) and will add a tiny graphite drawing of the mighty Crom yew to the page as well as some berries, for what would a yew drawing be without some berries? That's the plan anyway; we'll see what happens. I'm still working away with coloured pencils and to help myself along, I've bought a copy of Ann Swan's book which others have recommended it to me. Looking forward to learning from it!
|Hmm, what else do I need for this drawing?|
|The turned twig|
Woods and walksWe haven't been venturing out too much or too far, but local woods have provided lovely walks for us and excited runs for one small schnauzer. Spring is working its way into the woods, starting as always on the forest floor, where the wild garlic is cloaking the wood in pungent green, and showing up too in the busyness of squirrels and the industry of nest-building birds. Every morning walk I make during the week is through a wonderful raucous ruckus of wren and blackbird and mistle thrush and finch and robin ...
|Safe from an excited schnauzer|
|Horse-chestnut buds are always the first to open|
|Sunshine and shadows in Knocksink wood|
|Spring stream in Massey wood|
In and outWork has started in the garden! I've been cleaning the greenhouse - algae off the roof glass to let more of that precious spring sunshine in; and webs and general mess from the inside. Most, though not all, of my tiny collection of alpines have come back to life, and I'm now watching three different Drabas to see how and when the flowers will bloom (I can report that Draba 'John Saxton' is first out of the blocks and it's a tie at the moment between Draba longisiliqua and Draba 'Buttermilk' for second place). My Silene acaulis gave up the ghost completely, and an Androsace laevigata is touch and go. It's a tricky thing, this alpine growing and I'm still not sure if I'm up to it! The AGS Dublin local show was on in early March and was a chance to see how others do with growing alpines. As ever I came away with a mixed sense of inspiration and despair ("ooh I'd love to grow that/ooh I'll never be able to grow that").
|Dionysia 'Monika' - something to aspire to|
|Fritallaria aurea - loved this|
|Daphne bholua 'Jacqueline Postil', getting ready for the big move|
Twenty oneThe twenty-one project is still on the go. I thought since it's equinox this month that I'd remind myself how things looked at winter solstice. The plants haven't changed too much, but the light certainly has...
|The field - Winter Solstice (top) and Spring Equinox|
|Entering the park - Winter Solstice (top) and Spring Equinox|
|Oak trees in the park - Winter Solstice (top) and Spring Equinox|
|Sycamores (and a schnauzer) in the park - Winter Solstice (top) and Spring Equinox|
|Coming home to the garden - Winter Solstice (top) and Spring Equinox|
|The pool - Winter Solstice (top) and Spring Equinox; note the disappearance of the unwieldy Carex pendula|