Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Rose Garden at Sissinghurst - late Spring

Let me provide a caveat for the title of this post - this is the Rose Garden at Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent in April after an exceptionally late Spring (see Sissinghurst - from 3rd hottest to 2nd coldest!)  Which means there was very little to sketch in terms of flowers.

So I went for the big shapes instead!

The Rose Garden at Sissinghurst Castle Garden (22 April 2013)
11" x 16", pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
Normally "he who must not be bored while I sketch" sit next to me on a bench and he reads his book while I sketch the scene.

However HWMNBB has got himself a new camera!  So this time you get a photo of the sketcher sketching the view as well!  He climbed all the way up the top of the tower to take this one.  Could this be a sign of things to come?  However I still retain editorial control - which is why you're not seeing the one which has provided an imperative to diet!

Katherine Tyrrell sketching the Rose Garden at Sissinghurst
Copyright: He who must not be bored while I sketch.
Here's some more photos of the gardens.

There wasn't  a lot going on in The White Garden although the absence of foliage pointed up the geometry nicely.

The White Garden, Sissinghurst Castle Garden - April 2013
Not a lot going on in The White Garden, Sissinghurst Castle Garden 
(22 April 2013)
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Here's the view of the White Garden from the other way on

The view of the White Garden from the Lower Courtyard 
(22 April 2013)
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

In fact, one of the advantages of the visit is that it emphasised the lines of sight and views between the garden rooms which had been deliberately designed into the overall plan for the garden.

The Rose Garden Statue from the Lower Courtyard
(this is the same statue as the one which can be seen at the end of the vista in my sketch)
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
For those of you who have a National Trust Calendar for 2013, compare the April page of the calendar with this view of the same corner of the Cottage Garden - that's how far behind everything is because of the cold weather!

View of the Moat Walk from a very "late" Cottage Garden 
(22 April 2013)
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
The one area which was holding its head up high was The Nuttery where the spring flowers were rampant - I guess because they've had some shelter during the cold weather.

The Nuttery - note the Trilliums in the foreground
(22 April 2013)
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
We'll be back again when the weather is better!

Note:  The Rose Garden in Summer is amazing.  Rose growers might be interested in an old newspaper article I found about how roses are grown at Sissinghurst - see Growing roses, the Sissinghurst way

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Sissinghurst - from 3rd hottest to 2nd coldest!

We rushed off down to Kent on Monday because it looked like it might be sunny - and we've not seen much sun of late! We paid our first visit of the year to Sissinghurst Castle Gardens.

Last year we visited towards the end of the UK's third hottest March since records began and I enjoyed sketching daffodils next to the Moat sat in the sunshine with bare arms!  See Sissinghurst Moat and Orchard in Spring sunshine.

This year we had the UK's second coldest March on record!  Heavy snow covered a lot of the country and everywhere else was just very cold.  As a result, we've only just started to venture out to look at gardens - if for no other reason than it's been so cold there's very little to look at!  Everything is about 3-4 weeks behind where it would normally be.  I'm not in the least bit surprised to see that the National Trust has cancelled the Bluebell and Wild Flower Walk planned for this weekend.

On Monday, we arrived late morning and after a quick visit to the veggie garden and the nursery and the purchase of some narcissi and tulips, we had lunch in the Granary Restaurant.  The nice thing about the food is that this is supplied by Sissinghurst's own vegetable plot and tenant farmer.  So nothing travels very far!

This is my sketch done over lunch.  It's the view from the windows overlooking the fields which are part of the farm.  It's very odd because it almost looks like it's Autumn despite the fact it's the third week of April!  Compare it to Spring fields from Sissinghurst to see what I mean.

Sissinghurst - The view from the restaurant 22 April 2013 1.00pm
This weekend I'll be publishing another post about the visit - with my sketch of the Rose Garden - and a photo of me sketching it taken by "he who must not be bored while I sketch" from the top of the Tower

In the meantime here are a few photos of the gardens this week.

The Orchard, Sissinghurst Castle Garden
The Orchard at Sissinghurst

The Moat Walk, Moat and Tower at Sissinghurst
The Moat Walk, Moat and Tower at Sissinghurst

Lime Walk at Sissinghurst

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Chinese Pagoda and Fountain in Viccy Park

I sketched outside yesterday - for the first time in a long time.  First the weather earlier this year was bad, then I experienced by second attack of this year's nasty bug and spent five weeks with an extremely bad cough which started on the least exertion.  Then it snowed - and was freezing cold for weeks and then I had a third attack of the nasty bug!

Plus I've mislaid my small Moleskine which does have some sketches of interior scenes on the few occasions I managed to get out.

Which is by way of explanation for why it's taken such a long time to post a new plein air sketch.

Victoria Park - West Lake: Chinese Pagoda and Fountain, pen and ink and coloured pencils
Victoria Park - West Lake: Chinese Pagoda and Fountain
11" x 16", pen and ink and coloured pencils in A4 Moleskine Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
I met Olha Pryymak in the Park yesterday morning for a cup of tea and afterwards sketched this scene from one of the newly restored park benches.  It's unfinished but I'd got to the stage where I was getting chilly and tired and decided it was time to get myself home and into the warm.

You can see the very same fountain and lake  in some of Olha's paintings on her website and her Facebook page

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