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.

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Gardens Illustrated illustrations 2017 round up ... part 1

Times change and these days you'll mainly find me on Instagram or Twitter rather than keeping this blog up to date. But it would be shame not to continue to record here my linocut illustrations for Frank Ronan's monthly column in Gardens Illustrated magazine . . . so here begins a round up with the illustrations for January 2017 to June 2017 . . .

January 2017

Frank writes about the pleasure on a fine winter day, of pruning a rampant Wisteria and how a small cottage can be engulfed by a particularly vigorous Wisteria.
I aimed to give this illustration the feeling of a Grimm's fairytale.

February 2017

Frank's love for one of the native Californian shrubs, Manzanita, isn't put off by it's incendiary reputation, so he experiments with fire to promote germination of its seeds. 
"I might not be so open minded about the beauty of this native were I shivering in a silver blanket in a school gymnasium"
These were Frank's portentous words written a year ago about Californian wildfires which right now are devastating Ventura county with its worst wildfire in modern Californian history

March 2017

The plant hunter and nurseryman Michael Wickenden died while on an expedition, this is Frank's tribute to his friend.
I've included Michael walking out into a mountainous landscape, a humble bunch of flowers ... some of the species he collected and grew in his nursery ... and a postcard of the Mountains of the Moon, the scene of one of his adventures. 

April 2017

After reading Frank's piece about using some pink coloured rubble to create terraces and paths around his Californian garden, this design popped into my head fully formed ... it illustrates Frank's fantasy that one day his garden will be full of fruit trees and bushes that he can harvest from as he meanders up and down the sloping terraces.
This was one of my favourite designs from 2017.

May 2017

Flowers often invoke a deeply buried memories and for Frank it is his love of peonies that threads through the years ... his introduction by a cousin to the seductive flower and friends who have added to his collection. I saw this as a still from a whimsical film about a long forgotten childhood meeting.

June 2017

The 'June Frank' text arrived by email and to my surprise Frank is leaving California and on his way home ... where would that be? The magazine editorial and design team were as surprise as I was. We'd have to wait and see.
Meanwhile, as Frank packed his bags and left his Californian garden where he had tried to grow native shrubs, indulged his love of agaves and battled with gophers eating his palm trees; the rains came! His garden flowered, plants he had given up on and watched desiccate, sprang into life and bloomed! I designed the image in warm red/browns but after discussion with the art ed I printed it in a fresh green.

... part 2 of this round-up will follow soon.



  1. Celia, they are beautiful illustrations and look forward to seeing the second half.
    Like you, the blog has taken a back seat behind the instant nature of Instagram. I feel sad it has as I feel the blog is far more personal than any squared photo stream which is lost in the depths after a few hours. My blog archive still brings in emails and image requests - far more returns than I have ever had from Instagram...but times change and as creatives, we have to keep up!

    1. Thank you C. I'd like to still write a blog but think circumstances and life has changed so this one no longer seems to inspire me to write more often. I like Instagram and have made good work contacts.

  2. How interesting to read the stories behind each of them. I love May and June’s but they are all delightful in such different ways.

    1. Thank you Su, Looking back it was interesting to see the variety on subjects.

  3. I love it when your blog suddenly pops up, I am not on instagramme but still love reading blogs. Love your illustrations.

    1. Thank you. I'm not planning to give up blogging ... so look out for further posts.

  4. Fascinating to see the journey from sketch to magazine.

  5. I love this series Celia,I can only occasionally get hold of Gardens Illustrated here, so I am considering subscribing so I can see them more often!

    1. Thanks Carol ... 7 more from this year, I'll post them on the blog before Christmas.

  6. It is always good to see your blog arrive on Bloglovin. I like your pictures for Frank very much.

    1. Frank's words are always so skilfully composed, they are a joy to read work with.


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