Salcombe views, Orchids and Buzzy bees

I am still here and writing this blog. No posts for nearly a month! I apologise! There’s been quite a lot going on including a wedding party here at home for my daughter Sophie who got married in the US last year without our being able to be there.

Just returned from a welcome week away in Salcombe which is a beautiful place totally unknown to me up til now, but I feel like going back! Wonderful views along the coastal inlet of the Kingsbridge estuary and Salcombe itself is an unspoilt little town with lots of original buildings, small shops….great retail therapy opportunities!…and interesting features.
While there I saw a book by artist Sue Lewington which was on the shelves of the holiday flat we were staying in. It was a book in the form of a sketchbook with the title Salcombe and had some really characterful and inspirational pen and wash drawings telling the story of the town. Made me want to immediately get my sketchbook out.
As it was, I confined my artistic activities to visiting an orchid nursery in Newton Abbott and looking for wild orchids on Orley Common, sadly none to be found. Why orchids?…there may be another book in the offing…more news later. Took loads of photos.
Back home here, the garden is a riot of colour and overgrown with flowers being visited by the bees. On that subject I read an article by Joe Swift in today’s Times about flowers to grow to encourage bees..something we should all try and do to save our rapidly declining bee population. Bees like simple open flowers like daisies or bell shaped flowers that they can easily crawl into.
In this garden, the ones most visited are the lavender, scabious, cosmos, the cranesbill geraniums, nepeta, annual cornflowers, marigolds and nasturtiums, which I’m growing among the vegetables and of course the hollyhocks. Even the runner beans and potato flowers attract the bees…we had our first potatoes from the veg plot yesterday for tea and they were delish!
I’m rambling, a bit like the garden is after being neglected for a week!
I have one place left on my beginners course, starting September 6. Three places on my Improvers/Experienced course. The Day workshops are full apart from one place on the September one. (Autumn Flowers)
The next few weeks will be spent thinking about my courses in Derbyshire. Nothing but art to think about now…total immersion from now on…

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