Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Hints of Green

A wet Wednesday means a whole day working hard in the Studio. So thankful we decided to fit day light fluorescent tubes when we first moved in here. We had always promised ourselves that in our next home we would make this a 'must have' and it really does make a difference, especially on dull, dank days like today. The printing press is in operation today, so that means one of our cats has to find another perch in the Studio for the duration of the printing session, instead she is curled up in Gary's chair.

Lots of work to print, most are the first colour plates being pressed and included in all the animal menagerie of images is my first colour plate for my floral piece. After an idea Gary threw into the mix I have decided to print a backing plate before I start the reduction process on the actual image. So the first reveal will be of a soft green, if it all turns out as hoped then a photo will follow...

The Tale of Howard's Fig...

Glossy new leaves on Howard's Fig

.. a few years ago when we were waiting for the snail like process of purchasing a property in France to reach it's conclusion we found ourselves back at a camp site we had visited the previous year. It was only 45 minutes away from the hamlet where we had finally put in an offer on a fermette. We had, in that time, struck up a friendship with the Brit owners and had asked them whether it would be possible to stay on their site to await moving into our new home after their usual site closing date at the end of October. They kindly agreed so we spent our time making our renovation plans, exploring the area and waiting patiently until the proposed move date of the 23rd December. We used to run a few kilometres every morning and take our bikes out in the afternoons and every day we would pass a small fig sapling growing at the end of the long lane leading to the camp site. The parent fig tree stood further along the lane and was a fine specimen, we would pluck the warm, ripe figs from it's branches and devour the soft, downy purple figs on the spot. Of all the fruit trees we were about to inherit on our little farm the only type we didn't yet have was a fig. The temptation was too strong so one afternoon we wandered down the lane with a trowel and a bucket and gently lifted the little sapling. As the site owner was called Howard so the fig became Howard's Fig. It lived in the awning in the bucket until we moved and then enjoyed the sun in a pot on the sunny side of the house. When we eventually came back to UK the Fig came too. It has so far moved 4 times, not including the vacations it's spent at the back of my Mum's house. It has been potted on, not often as Figs do like their roots constricted, and it has been promised a half barrel for it's next re-pot. We've had embryo figs emerge but nothing yet big enough to eat but we live in hope of enjoying one of Howard's figs in the not too distant future, it will be relished and no doubt will stir memories of relaxed, sunny times on French soil.

Bargain Buys...

Have to share the delight of yesterday's purchases, found these packs of sorry looking roots and shoots for only 10 pence each. Once the rain stops they are getting plunged into the nice, damp earth and hopefully will be so grateful for being saved from the bin they will flower their socks off! I cannot pass by the reduced plant shelf in stores without rescuing the most pathetic of cases, half the time all they are in need of is a good drink and they quickly spring back into verdant good health.

Hoping to bring a little sunshine into the garden

'To eat figs off the tree in the very early morning, when they have been barely touched by the sun, is one of the exquisite pleasures of the Mediterranean'.
Elizabeth David - An Omelette and a Glass of Wine.

(One of my favourite books).


  1. Well, if the cat is in Gary's chair, at least that's an incentive to keep working and not sit down for a breather!

    Love the story about your fig tree. I hope it will give you some little fruits this summer!
    And bargain plants - no doubt we'll see the flowers in a future post!

  2. I love the story of Howard's fig! And yes, know what you mean about a wet day. I see art in my day today, too!