Ready to Roost

Monday, 6th February 2006

leekscrow4.45 p.m. After a busy day in the studio, I've walked down the newly wood-chipped garden path to our now sparkling greenhouse to do a drawing before the light fades. The days are getting noticably longer.

Using my largest bamboo pen, I draw these leeks in a deep bed next to the greenhouse. I planted them from seed last spring; half of the plants in that four foot row filled the space I had available last summer and I never got around to planting out the rest of them. dunnockPerhaps I could plant them out now, for harvesting in late spring/early summer.

There's a soft cawing of a crow, the bright trill of a dunnock and the stuttered alarm of a blackbird getting ready to roost. There's a birdwatcher's mnemonic for the drowsily wood pigeoninsistent repeated five-note cooing of a wood pigeon ('coo-coooo-coo, coo coo'); something along the lines of 'I don't like cook-ing')


Re the leeks...dont bother transplanting them as they are biennial and will just start to send up a flowering shoot. They wont be worth eating but the resulting flowers and seed heads are worth having as they are like golf balls and you would enjoy sketching them.

Best advice then is to transplant some for reasons above and eat the rest before they start to shoot.

My thanks to Tom Walsh; I might try planting a few in the flower border. Next Page


Richard Bell,