Sunday, April 13, 2014

Easter egg hunt

Hello, I’m Hulanicki. I’m one of Mary’s chickens... a Silver Spangled Hamburg bantam seeing as you asked. 
I've made up this really good game for the Easter holidays. It's called an ‘egg hunt’! 

All the other hens in my gang are a bit middle-aged and indoctrinated so it wouldn’t occur to them to lay anywhere other than the hen house. But I’m a teenager in chicken years, so I’m going through my rebellious stage, obviously, duuh.
For over a week now I’ve been hiding my eggs and I’m waiting to see how long it will take Mary to find them! 
They’re all in one place so it shouldn’t be that hard should it? 

What I do, is sneak away when the cockerel has his back turned, make a dash for a secluded clump of sedge by the pond and pop another egg out. 

Hah, it’s driving Mary mad! 

She twigged immediately that my eggs were missing from the coop because my eggs are a   glossy white, while everyone else lays dingy brown ones.
I’ve been watching her. Every time she stops for a coffee she’ll have a wander round the garden. And I know she’s not just checking on her precious vegetables because she’s busy poking her nose under bushes, peering behind hedges and ferreting around at the back of the borders. I even caught her shouting at the crows, accusing them of stealing my eggs from the henhouse. 

I’ll let you know when she’s found them!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

London Book Fair

Just off to visit the London Book Fair where my Farmer's Market image will be displayed… poster size!

So if you need some fresh and juicy illustrations for a new cookbook, per chance, come and say hello on The Artworks stand. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Keeping pace...

'All good work is done the way ants do things: Little by little' Lafcadio Hearn

potted on tomato Red Cherry and Gardener's Delight
planted onion sets and shallots in individual cells in the greenhouse
sowed Butternut Squash, courgette Napoli and summer squash Tromboncino
aubergines have almost germinated… couldn't resist poking the soil for evidence
planted out Little Gem lettuce seedlings under cloche
picked salad leaves from the greenhouse for lunch…

…and enjoyed a cup of tea in the sun under the flowering Cherry Plum

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pottering at the weekend

'Most operations may be performed with common gloves. 
Thus, no gardener need have hands like bear's paws.'

J.C.Loudon Encyclopaedia of Gardening 1871

Saturday. Spent a few hours digging over the vegetable garden, stopping just in time to prevent blisters swelling on my reddened palms. Time for something more sedate. 

The greenhouse became my solace, it was still warm, while outside the temperature began to fall. Sitting on an up-turned flower pot I pressed tiny seeds onto damp compost.

In March the list is endless... celery, peas, cucumber, leeks, lettuce, pak choy, sweet pea, rudbeckia, sunflower... but germination is satisfyingly quick.

Tomatoes and cabbage already need potting on. Minute verbena seedlings, no bigger than a pinhead, are just visible. Rooted perennial cuttings are waiting to be planted out, as are my seed potatoes which have all got strong little shoots. 

I’m immersed in a world of promise.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Second day of Spring

'These butterflies in twos and threes,
That flit about in wind and sun -
see how they add their flowers to flowers,
And blossom where a plant has none.'

W.H. Davies

Friday, March 14, 2014

Reasons to be cheerful!

What a difference a week of sunshine makes.

 An old barn wall takes on the intricate patina of an elephant's flank,

and knapped flints glint like rough hewn gemstones.

With my nose as close to the ground as that of the ginger 'stray' I've been spellbound
 by the dazzling pageant of spring flowers, in all their magnificent and miniature brilliance!

I can't find enough superlatives!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

'M' is for Mezzetta

A few months ago I was commissioned to paint a "peck of pickled peppers"

Just recently, I savoured a sunny Saturday sowing some seeds, so….

…in time, here's hoping I'll be harvesting heaps of habaneros!