Sketches at Dorothy Clive Garden

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I like taking a small sketchbook with me when I visit interesting places, its easy to snap a few photos on my phone, but much more challenging to sit for 20 to 30 minutes sketching the view.

Dorothy Clive Garden is beautiful. Even at this time of year when there are mainly spring flowers and the perrenials are not out yet you can see the towering trees, Bluebells, Magnolia’s and Rhododendrons.

We walked up to the tearoom and sat and drank coffee and ate icecream while the Sun (unusually for a Bank holiday weekend) shone down. It was so hot Richard bought me a wide brimmed hat from the gift shop.

I drew the view over the lawn to a low hedge where you can see evergreen trees and branches of deciduous trees just coming into leaf. In the distance was the misty blue grey hills of Shropshire. Over the ridge is a little village called Loggerheads.

Then we walked into the quarry garden. The blackbirds and robins were singing loudly. If you follow the sound of flowing water along the paths edged with Camellia, Rhododendron, Bluebells and other flowers which are just starting to open in the spring sunlight, you round a corner and see a tree that has been cut down to a stump that is still about 15 foot tall.

The stump has had the outline of a woodpecker carved into it, and apparently has had a greater spotted woodpecker (not sure if that’s the right name) living in a hole in it for the last two years.

Follow the sound further and you find the waterfall that runs from the back of the quarry down into its bowl. It is a man made feature but still lovely. I sat and sketched it, getting lost in how to represent the vegetation against the darkened rocks.

Finally we picked up some plants for the garden that we had bought earlier and walked down the slope to the pool at the bottom of the garden. This looks like it has recently been re-lined and the black liner is visible round the edges. Looking back up the hill various evergreen trees and bushes are visible, together with the new growth of Gunnera, which will grow massive over the summer. The pool is lacking its water lilies but they should be back soon. Halfway up the hill is a little wooden summer house or pavillion. The view is splendid from there.

3 drawings were enough. It was hot and I needed a drink. But I know I will go back again soon.

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