Monday, 29 December 2008

The end of the year

It is time to review the past year in both the art world as well as in the garden to allow plans to be made for 2009.

My painting p
rojects started of with snow scenes around Glenshee in Scotland, then warmed up with figure studies, (Scottish lady) in burnt umber and sienna tones, (my coffee and cream series), a trip to Islay during the whisky festival to put me in the right spirit, produced some Scottish landscape watercolours, then a trip to Benidorm completed the last project in a Scottish colourist style where vibrant colours predominate.
I still have to see what new projects will appear in 2009.

Outside the studio lot of time was spent
in the garden and allotment battling to grow crops in a very wet year.
However efforts were rewarded with success on the allotment getting a cup for the best allotment in Dundee in 2008. I put it down to hard work eliminating pests, diseases and weeds, good feeding of all crops and growing the more exotic plants that may be successful should the climate changes give Scotland warmer weather.

Hence I am trying a range of grape vines to see if they will fruit in Dundee. Most promising so far is Flame a red seedless variety. The fig tree is also very happy and rewarded us with about 10 juicy figs. It is only in its second year. Modern varieties of raspberries and strawberries have allowed cropping to continue from early summer to the end of October.

However pride of place goes to our Saskatoons which are now cropping very well. This new fruit crop is mainly grown in Canada and north America, but is very suitable for UK. It is like a blueberry, but with a heavier yield and far easier to grow as it likes most soils.