Friday, April 19, 2013

Wildflower meadow for National Gardening Week

This week is National Gardening Week and I'm planting a wild flower meadow in recognition. Of course I also want to attract lots of birds, insects and butterflies to the garden so that I can watch -and paint - them from the house. I'll be planting plenty of teasel in the mix for goldfinch, like the ones I painted below feeding on teasel heads.

Whilst preparing the ground for my new studio last year, I got the builders to dump the soil from the works onto this patch at the front of the garden.
It's almost solid chalk with barely any top soil, which will be ideal for wild flowers.

 I began sowing the seeds today. They include oxeye daisy, scabious, yellow rattle, birdsfoot trefoil, knapweed, kidney vetch and plenty of others. In fact I've got more wild flowers in my mix than grass.
 I collected many of the seeds from wild flowers already growing in the gallery car park, which makes the project a bit cheaper!
After this I'll cover the meadow with a thin layer of top soil and keep it watered. I'll keep posting as it progresses to show you how I get on.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Falcon and boy reunited thanks to Facebook!

When 17-year-old James Dickinson lost his beloved lanner falcon over Barnsley this week he was devastated.

The young female falcon, named Nakela, was his pride and joy and when she didn't come back before nightfall he really did think she was gone forever.
But luckily for him she took off towards the Yorkshire Wolds and landed just a few miles from the gallery - nearly 80 miles from where she had disappeared whilst performing in a display.
A neighbouring farmer spotted her and noticed that she was ringed so rang me up.
I drove out and picked her up, then posted this picture with an appeal on Facebook and by the following morning I'd found her owner!!!! Amazing what social media can do. I'm just so pleased that they are reunited, James was so happy to have her back!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spring Blues

This long cold spring has got to me. I started on this painting today because I needed to feel that summer will come - sometime!
I hear that a few swallows have been spotted arriving though. Hope they can stand these cold winds