This week’s sketchbook challenge is brought to you by strops, tempers, frustration and a lot of false starts.
I cannot remember the last time I was so overwhelmingly tempted to cheat. My favourite plant is any of the wonderful euphorbia genus, without exception, but the woody perennials particularly.
Common name is spurge. This is due to the sap of these glorious plants having purgative effects but it is somewhat dully unrepresentative of their almost alien-like appearance and ability (of some) to squirt latex great distances at you, and do you some harm.
Spurge… that sounds like what the nice surgeon did to my infected bosom.
Ejaculatexia… that would have been my more triumphant-sounding choice.
It’s true that euphorbia can bring forth all manner of shit: it is so blimmin’ hard to draw. I paced around in angst for quite a while wrestling my stubbornness and conscience as to whether my favourite plant was actually grass. The language that resonated around my kitchen was incredibly purgative.
I love plants. I love nature. I am an almost-keen gardener, (currently shying away from some too hard digging, watching a load of garden centre frenzy bought lovelies slowly rot in their pots, exactly as husband told me they would).
My upbringing was centred a lot around being outside, walking, exploring, bug hunting… some people at my school called us “The Good Life” in a not nice way.
Husband was brought up in south London in a flat with a glamorous mother who felt, on balance, nature was dirty and best not brought into the house.
I have changed him somewhat and he does appreciate stuff like the newly arriving wildlife in our newly dug pond but he’s not quite reached ‘having a favourite plant’ beyond a crisp box hedge. Box hedging does not count as plant, it is green walling. It is lovely in its place, stunning used well but a love of box hedging is frankly just not very ‘natural’, snigger, excuse the pun.
He would plant our garden with a sensible row of the same evergreen shrub, possibly just a plain laurel, all the way round the edge and have grass in the middle… and I do understand that this would mean more time snoozing in the garden than pruning and sweeping and weeding it. And I appreciate that this has its merits.
I however dream of blowsy perennials, swaying about like absinthe-fuelled whores, dropping dried up petals like fag butts and winking naughtily at me… but anyway.
Daughter has inherited her outdoors-related genes from the in laws. Her default tendency is to be suspicious of nature at best. Dogs, puppies, horses etc all good. Anything fast with 6 or more legs: bash it really hard with a spade then scream, ask questions later.
On balance, I felt little surprise at the wholly unnatural results of their endeavours.
Exhibit one: a possibly Eurovision-inspired “United Kingdom” flower with constituent flag leaves etc from angry-not-in-the-mood “I only like coral and now you said it’s an animal [if I knew how to say fuck you I would be saying fuck you]” daughter (celebrate the uniqueness, celebrate the uniqueness…)
Exhibit two: something rather stylised from husband, which, albeit nice and justified with “I love graphical blah blah blah”, was blatantly copied off Google images whilst he sat 10 feet away from our 100 foot back garden.
Roll on “something blue” week next week.
If you are tempted, there’s no reason why you can’t join in!