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The Garden in February - Garden Journaling part 2

Early spring flowers are one of the purest joys in life and, while February can be taken up by fierce frosts and a few feet of snow, there are always a few early bulbs to keep me going until the others come out in ernest.This year we have pots of Cyclamen and Hellebore thriving through the mild winter, clumps of Snowdrops, and a roadside bank of Daffodils that always stubbornly flower in January. I monitor these happy blooms and make time to record them in my sketchbooks during the long evenings, along with small annotations to mark the passing of the days.

However, there is one other task that always inspires both my green fingers and my sketchbooks at this time of year: choosing seeds. This is a task that captures me with a fervour. Sometimes on bright winter's days when I stray into the greenhouse with a cup of tea, others when it pours with rain and an afternoon is well spent inside, sorting through overflowing boxes and flicking through seed catalogues. This ritual is a wonderful addition to your garden journal which is a) a space to record your planning and b) an array of pages waiting to be embellished with small pictures of seeds. Try painting a picture of the seed packets themselves, stick in empty ones or start a double page dedicated to one plant, ready to be filled in over the year in it's different stages.

Another thing that catches me as the winter drags on, is the temptation to buy bouquets of Narcissus and Tulips. In addition to their irresistible beauty, these carry a secondary incentive in their drawability. I find myself recording the names with small, quickly-scrawled notes to buy those bulbs in the autumn. Sitting down to paint a vase of tulips is a lovely activity for a dreary weekend and one I'd absolutely recommend.

If you'd like to join me in a year of garden sketching, here are a few things to paint in the early spring:

  • Seeds

  • Seed packets

  • Pot plants

  • Early bulbs (purchased or home grown)

  • Garden Tools

  • Garden Birds

  • Muddy wellington boots

  • Inside your potting shed/greenhouse

  • Disgruntled family members who've been coerced into helping with outside tasks

As always, I hope that in reading this blog post you have learned something new and are inspired to try your hand at Garden Journaling. I'd love to see any work that you've created, please tag me with @valerianstudio! If you've enjoyed this post you can subscribe to my mailing list for monthly updates via the homepage.

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