18 August 2013


I seem to have run out of words this evening. After three weeks of shores and hills and gardens, it's time to return to grey walls and 'buff files' tomorrow morning; I'll leave the words this time to Dennis O'Driscoll:

While Stocks Last

As long as a blackbird
still mounts the podium
of the aspen tree, making
an impassioned plea for song.

As long as blue tits, painted
like endangered tribesmen,
survive in their rain-forest
of soaking larch.

As long as the trilling lasts
above the office car park
and hands tingle to inscribe
in the margins of buff files,

‘The skywriting of a bird
is more permanent than ink’
or ‘The robin’s eagle eye
questions these projections.’

Dennis O'Driscoll

Travels this week took us back to Crom Estate to the yew tree again; to Heywood House in Co. Laois to see a slightly forlorn Lutyens/Jekyll garden; to Helen Dillon's garden in Dublin and back to Burtown House in Co. Kildare where I was delighted to find a yew tree with lots of berries...

Heywood House, steps 

Heywood House - Lutyens
Heywood House - Lutyens

Heywood House - 'let Nature never be forgot'
Helen Dillon's reflecting 'canal'

Helen Dillon - colour

Helen Dillon - Agapanthus and Alstromeria

Burtown House - a beautiful selection of Clematis spp. 

Burtown House sweetpea (photo by B: www.catchlight.ie)
Burtown House Yew with berries, trying out colours

Crom Estate yew, I added to the drawing

Crom Estate Yew, I started a sketch of a moss-covered twig
Have a good week all.


  1. Delightful garden photos! You are making great progress with the yew drawing, and painting the leaves and berries too--beautiful work!

    1. Thanks so much Janene. I'm learning to use coloured pencils as I try to do the leaves and berries ... blending the colours is quite a challenge, as well as getting them dark enough! Need to be less timid I think.