Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Winter sun

We haven't had snow, just icy sleet and freezing grey fog. So today's sunshine felt like a surprise gift. There's nothing like winter sun to lift the spirits; the temperature may still be 3C but the world is transformed, the subtle colours of winter sing out against the clean blue of the sky. I marched out across the fields at lunchtime with the grasses crackling under my boots to take some photos. This was my favourite – the spiky dry Teasel heads among the pale ochre dry grasses and the purpley, greeny, browny hedges and woods on the horizon.

Working in the studio late this afternoon I noticed that the setting sun was illuminating the giant Miscanthus grass just outside the studio window, I grabbed the camera and dashed outside to try to capture the burnished colours . . .

Also glowing in the fading sunset were the Dogwood 'Midwinter Fire' and the skeletal framework of the Hazel archway.

The under-gardeners had eaten their fill of mixed corn and were promenading around the icy pond before retiring for the night. That's Ginger camouflaged behind the iris leaves, safely out of pecking reach from the senior hens!


  1. What pretty pictures you captured !
    I love the teasel one as well .. anything against the blue blue sky is a treat to see !

  2. Lovely pics - great to see the hens toughing it out in the frosty weather too. Hardy little things aren't they?

  3. Nothing quite like the winter light on a cold sunny day
    good pictures and a good read, enjoyed with tea and biscuit.


  4. Beautiful photographs... especially those gorgeous hens!

  5. You've captured the lovely liquid winter sun beautifully. Such lovely pictures - I think plants can be just as striking when all that is left is their seedheads and dried foliage, especially when covered in hoar frost.

    The ladies are looking as cheeky as ever.

    BTW I'm a Little Dorrit fan too - haven't had much time for email this week though. That scene on the stairs was genius - oh I've fallen!

  6. Great pics - I've found that the winter sun has such a positive effect on my mood. It makes me want to get up and 'do things', achieve, tick off a few things on my 'to do' list.

    My chickens are much happier when the sun is out - Maureen even produced her first egg in quite a few weeks!

  7. I love looking at teasels. I pick them and spray them silver and gold for Christmas table decorations! Do your undergardeners continue laying all the way through Winter?

  8. The teasles and the chicken photos are my favourites on this post!

    The senior under gardeners look so substantial and confident. Love the head of ginger wanting to be in the photo too.

    Teasels. So hard to find. We spotted some on some scrubland when we stopped for petrol in the middle of nowhere. I bought one back just in case we get a billiard table one day :)

  9. Hi GardenJoy4Me - you're quite right, a blue sky cheers everything up!

    Hi Vegetable Heaven - the hens can cope with cold but need shelter from wind and rain and some good food - just like us really!

    Hi James - the winter sun brings out all the detail.

    Hi Gina - the senior hens are looking particularly splendid in their brand new mature plumage :)

    Hi Emma - you're spot on - winter in the garden is special. Let's hope the Beeb don't mess with the schedules tonight - penultimate epi of Little Dorrit - will Flora get her man? will Amy Dorrit's heart be broken? will the dodgy French baddy expose the House of Clennam?

    Hi Lucy - definitely! I had a very happy 'lunchtime gardening workout' with all the under-gardeners and the studio assistants :)
    Both Ruby and Phoebe are laying again.

    Hi Matron - seedheads are such great structures, great for winter decorations!

    Hi CS - teasels hard to find!? You'll have to venture further down the footpaths!


  10. I read somewhere that teasels were the inspiration for velcro. I'm sure they were used for something in the Lancashire cotton industry too. Sadly that fact escapes me just now. Or maybe I was told both facts at the Helmshore Textile Museum during a private tour in preparation for a school visit. When we did take the kids a couple of weeks later, the guide told me that they were the most disinterested group he had ever had at the museum.


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