Thursday, 23rd June 2005

The foxgloves at the end of the border behind the tub are busy with visiting bumblebees. Some of the bees have so much pollen on their backs that it appears as a smooth pale stone-coloured patch, as if they're wearing a backpack.

I drew this with an Edding 1800 pen with a fine tip (0.1 mm). I've got nowhere with the exercises in The Art of Botanical Painting - I simply don't have time while I'm writing and designing my book - but it's given me a renewed urge to do some botanical studies, even if I have to limit myself to drawings like this for the time being.

I'm enjoying dipping into botany again with Roy Lancaster's gentle introduction to weeds and wayside plants In Search of the Wild Asparagus. I don't have to go far to find some of the species he describes . . .

A Jungle in a Tub

red deadnettleBarbara cleared the old barrel a month or two ago and it has now filled up with weeds - red deadnettle (right), which doesn't sting you; annual nettle, which does; shepherd's purse; nipplewort; something with leaves similar parsnip (which I can't identify); a small cress-like weed; bush vetch and some type of forget-me-not. There might have been more hidden in there but as I pushed back the taller plants I nettled myself! Next Page

weeds in the tub

Richard Bell,