This morning it's bright, sunny and cold, it actually feels a bit like winter, which is a lovely change from the mild damp and cloudy weather of late. It was a good excuse to spend time in the garden collecting materials to make a festive wreath.
My inspiration this year is the design of a small wreath I bought from a lovely local florist to hang on our newly decorated porch door . . .
I cut lots of box branches and made little bunches of bright berries and some faded Hydrangea flowers to nestle amongst the bright greenery - the doors in the front yard are now dressed up for the festive season.
Way back in September when I was anticipating the arrival of Frank's article for the December/Christmas issue of Gardens illustrated magazine, I really didn't expect the topic to be Californian native flora in high summer!
The plants Frank mentions in the article were unfamiliar to me, so the only way to start was to sit down and do some research and sketch the plants from photographs.
The more I thought about the illustration the more I wanted to end the year and the final page of the December magazine with something traditionally festive . . . how could I give the composition a Christmas twist?
I let that idea float around for a few days and two possibilities formed:
- a path through a magical landscape of candle-like plants
- a festive wreath.
I collaged my sketches together in a wreath shape - this might work! And framed the view of Frank's Californian canyon and his new love, a shrubby tree Arctostaphylos glauca (which is closely related to one of my favourite evergreens for winter berries and flowers – Arbutus unedo or the Strawberry tree) and similar Christmassy looking bauble-like berries and tint lantern-like flowers.
Here's the finished linocut and the printed illustration on the final page of Gardens Illustrated.
But wait . . . what's this email from GI HQ?! Gardens Illustrated publish 13 issues a year! . . . so there's one more to go before the year ends. I'll tell you more about that before Christmas.