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It has been a busy few days in the garden. The mixture of sun and rain has brought the grass on and the seedlings are maturing; flowers are starting to bloom and the apple trees blossom has sprinkled the orchard with confetti. Not only have the lawns required mowing, but the hedging needed a hair cut; planting containers needed a good clear out and the seedlings needed larger vessels.

A few weeks ago, and in readiness for the summer time garden, we sowed the seeds of sweetpeas, marigolds, pansies, and a few more that I must remind myself of what they are called; I am not a natural gardener and have only recently begun the long journey in finding my green fingers. But, I am proud to announce that the hydrangea cuttings, that I nurtured from last year, are almost ready for finding their new home amongst the elders.

And with it all starting to look so lovely and the sun shining I could not resist taking a few pictures from our garden and sharing them with you.

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The garden is lit up by the vibrant colour of a young hydrangea.  It is incredible to think that this was just a tiny sprig stolen from one of the giants last year. It is now time to find it a more permanent home, along with the other six!

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The white and yellow daisy-like flowers and bright purple plumes are flora that just keep emerging year after year in our planting containers. They were showing off all their finery in the spring sun.

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Gunnera is a spectacular herbaceous plant that loves a damp location and we managed to find two soggy spots in the garden for our plants to thrive. They were small plants when they were bought for a very special birthday, for a very special person, just two years ago, and they have established themselves very well. We now have great aspirations for them becoming monster attractions in our garden. The brazen shock of red flowers, as seen above, compete for attention against the layers of sculptural green leaves. And, when the sun shines bright, the leaves become almost transparent creating a maze of intricate pattern, as seen below.

Without my knowledge at the time, a cheeky fly just sneaked into the shot.

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Diane x


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And the colour name originates from the fruit. In nature not only oranges are orange, but sunsets, sunrises, sand, fire, fish, marigolds, sunflower centres, tangerines, clementines, pumpkins, carrots, autumn leaves, mango and cats, especially tigers. In the not so natural world, orange is used for traffic cones, in traffic lights, life rafts, warning signs, life belts, racy cars, visibility vests and children’s toys. It is synonymous with Halloween and other festivals, marmalade and the sun. It is a popular colour with many, but not all, there are a few who find it threatening, brash and gaudy. We must remember though that the colour originates from a fruit that is packed full of vitamin C, a nutrient we very much need to keep our health and vitality. I hope that my recipe for Succulent Orange and Chocolate cake will bring a spring to you step.

As in the picture above and those below, I have used this fruit and the colour orange to represent exuberance.

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This simplistic piece relies on the colours for its appeal.

One artist who is famously known for painting with orange pigment is the abstract artist Mark Rothko (1903-70). He used great areas of canvas to paint blocks of bright colours, often shades of orange, red and yellow that seamlessly blended into each other.

Every piece of orange artwork stands out from the crowd and makes an impact whatever the setting..


This is a Henri Matisse stylised bowl of fruit executed by my daughter with a little assistance from mum a little while ago and she just so happens to be called Clementine, honestly!

Orange has been such an inspiration to me that I have included not only the fruit in some of my artwork but also the colour.

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A simple, but colourful interpretation of oranges on a white cake stand. I love the contrast between the cheerful oranges and purity of the white stand against the neutral grey background.

Orange brings a warm glow!



A visit to the zoo is not just about seeing the animals, but also experiencing the smells, sounds and surroundings, and within these surroundings can be found an exciting assortment of patterns, shapes and colours. Everywhere I go I cannot help but photograph the patterns around us and in the living; the weird, the wonderful and the not so wonderful. I must admit I receive strange glances when I am photographing animal droppings, an iron grating, a slab of concrete or the kids ice creams rather than the kids themselves; even though you can never have too many pictures of the children! We had a family fun day out to the zoo a little while ago now and I could not resist snapping away at the colours, shapes and patterns. Oh, and do not worry, there are not too many pictures of animal doings!

Flamingo pinks

I thought I would kick off with the girlie pinks and, maybe, ruffle your feathers a bit latter! Flamingos never fail to attract the girls, just look at the shades in this picture from the palest pastel to the richness of almost orange, and the Barbie pink feet that just seem to stay so clean. The delicate fluffiness of the feathers are inviting to the eye as well as to our senses of warmth and luxury; unlike the coat of the next creature…..

croc warning

closed jaw

Reflective mood!sly eye

It may not be so cuddly and cute, but the pattern and colours of its skin are jaw dropping! (Sorry I could not resist it!) And the reflective colours and shapes in the water offer a near perfect symmetry.

Another cold-blooded creature that is also not quite so charming, even though you could say it is a charmer, has a naturally patterned skin that has attracted the attention of the fashion world for many years and has often been used by designer brands.


slippery creatureAnd with a little technical adjustment this slippery creature’s skin can be made to look very different….almost woven rather than scaly!


The slightly childish side of me could not resist sharing just one of those moments with you when you think you have a great family shot, but the elegant necked giraffe, gracefully gliding behind the smiley faces, has a less than graceful moment right at the time the shutter snaps.

DevonCamping13-1192whoopsAnd one daughter showed her surprise!

Oblivious to the disturbance it caused the giraffe carries on strutting its stuff in all of its patterned glory.

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giraffe 2

giraffe 3

DevonCamping13-1189Apparently each giraffe has its own unique pattern. With a little colouring a designer giraffe emerges!


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More patterns and pictures from the day:

DevonCamping13-1013Pattern created by light.

spikyPattern created by growth.

tortoisetortoise shellPattern created by nature.

metal headAnd pattern created by design.

love birds


zebra printZebra print… Tiger stripes…

tiger stripes

Elephant textures…..

elephant shades


elephant tusk

elephant skin….And big bird ruffles.



beady eyelily leaflionness

Pattern, colour and texture……everywhere! x

hey, big boy




Big Foot

Just when you think your children’s feet cannot get any bigger! 

They just keep on wondering off! I think she needs a board though!

a big wave too

A great day for picture taking at Watergate Bay, Cornwall; and so I kept on shooting……

First we had the calm and then the gentle surfing waves breaking onto the beach casting a landscape of many shades of blue; then a dog arrived who could not decide whether to guard the board or use it; and then the real surfers arrived and enjoyed a great spring day.

all calm

all blue

surf dog

The dog that tried to steal the show or was he guarding the board!

Then the real surfers went strolling by for a great afternoon riding the waves. Just another day in Cornwall! x

Real surfers

surfing over