Scribble & Daub will be hand-painting and personalising Mother’s Day cards in-store at Liberty, London on Friday 24 March from 12.30pm

It’s all golden yellow daffodils, peeping violets and little lilac Cuckoo Smock in the meadow at the moment, pale and pretty and quite unlike the fiery orange nasturtiums which – now that I have just spent a sunny ten minutes poking their gnarled little seeds into random spots in the garden  – will hopefully appear later this summer..!

The first year in the meadow we had clouds of cow parsley towering above the grasses and flowers below and it was incredibly beautiful. I don’t know what we did to offend them, but they have never returned! I did however find this delicate and diminutive relative cowering in a corner of the meadow just before we cut it all down. It’s another mystery meadow resident, besides assuming it belongs to the umbellifers, I’ve no idea what it is properly called… #inthemeadow

knapweed-clean

It would be fair to say that this week has been a rather grim one, but there has been one hopeful act of faith amidst the madness here at least. Wildflower seeds have been scattered in the meadow, a little later than ideal (that would be early Autumn before the first frosts creep in) and within each and every tiny little speck, the magical possibility of flowers for us and food for the bees and butterflies next year, the latter of which have been noticeably and alarmingly absent this summer. So, if the elements align and allow, there should be a few new residents here in the years to come: Devil’s Bit Scabious, Betony, Lady’s Bedstraw, Ragged Robin, Wild Angelica, Cowslip, Meadow Cranesbill, and, if we’re very lucky, that most alluring and illusive of plants – the orchid (Common Spotted in our case). And if they do deign to put in an appearance, one of their well-established local neighbours will be Common Knapweed (Centaurea nigra). Common it may be, but its’ fluffy purple flowers are no less beautiful for it.

www.wildseed.co.uk

#inthemeadow

ribwort-plantain-brightThe meadow is no more: scythed, mown and raked away for the winter, much to the delight of our resident green woodpecker who has been nibbling up all the bugs now revealed on the ground. One of the last men standing as the blade swished through the grass was Ribwort Plantain (Plantago lanceolata) whose tall slender stems with their poodle-tail seed heads on top lasted right into September. Apparently a common ingredient in herbal tea, this can also be used to make a home-made cough syrup – somewhat ironic as since we’ve cut it all back, I could really use some for the husky cough I’ve developed this week!

#inthemeadow

SWEETPEAThe rain is here at last and glorious as this endless summer has been, it’s good to be back in corduroy and aged cashmere, contemplating a cosy autumn. Besides the meadow residents, the only flowers (or indeed anything) I have grown with any real success this summer has been the overflowing entanglement of sweetpeas in our otherwise entirely neglected veg patch. So as Summer sidles off for another year, here’s a scribble of my favourite flower which has been keeping kitchen and bedside table cheerful since June, though not sadly for very much longer…

Agrimony cinsta

 

Having emerged relatively unscathed from our first Summer Holidays which were, dare I say it, actually quite blissful for the most part, this week has been something of a shock to the system as sunbathing and relaxing are replaced by school and routine. Appropriate then that today’s meadow resident is Common Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria) a striking stalk of little  yellow flowers and prickly burrs believed to have all sorts of healing properties and which British folklore upholds if placed under a persons’ pillow, they will sleep ’til it is removed. Exactly how I feel, and with that, I’m off to bed!

shopping bag cass web

As in all things, when the French do fair trade, they do it with style. The only thing I brought home from Corsica besides a sun tan was this ‘scoubidou’ bag from Le Voyage en Panier. Just €25 procured a perfect receptacle for the beach or the shops (or a chic storage basket if you prefer), all at no cost to your conscience

www.levoyageenpanier.com

 

tufted vetch

At last the sunshine is back! Padded out barefoot over the warm wet grass this morning to have a look at Tufted Vetch (Vicia cracca) which has made its home in a couple of patches of the meadow, growing leguminously (I’m fairly sure that’s not a word, but I like it!) over and around all the plants in its wake to create a candyfloss cloud of bluey-violet flowers and a mass of leaves and twirling tendrils. It is one of my favourites, though I suspect I should be grateful it has confined itself to a few spots thus far, as not much else could survive the smotheration #inthemeadow

A bit like anything unfortunate enough to be living in close proximity to Tufted Vetch, I have felt a bit smothered by everything of late, but this week has felt lighter, slower, and the more I have stopped struggling to try and do things, the more they have just happened. I am bestowing a Domestic Goddess award upon myself as I even managed to make rhubarb and apple icecream on Wednesday (though Nigella might see fit to revoke the accolade in light of the huge amount of swearing and mess created when the machine wouldn’t work properly!) And last night we went for dinner to a magical place, Kino Teatr, on one of my favourite streets in the world, the Norman Road in St Leonards-on-Sea. French 75s, crisp linen napkins and silver cutlery, delicious – lemon parfait with honeycomb and cherry compote – and very sensibly priced food, two impeccably stylish elderly gentlemen in pale blue suits at a nearby table and a host of other people-watching opportunities, an old school piano player tinkling in the background, and afterwards, a chance to explore a Russian art exhibition and a 100 year old cinema with its own bar, all under one very stylish roof

www.kino-teatr.co.uk

Perhaps this new mood is helped by the fact Scribble & Daub is going on holiday to Corsica next week, and three out of the four residents of S&D HQ are quite excited about it  – the littlest one is oblivious, but will doubtless love all the ice creams. Wishing I was packing this

Happy holidays one and all, see you in a couple of weeks…

 

lisa marie