The March Garden

Bluebell is the young lady I photographed yesterday between her partner, Aaron, and the Shetland pony he was photographing.

She photographed me photographing them from beside my trusty steed, and has e-mailed me a copy of it, for which I am very grateful.

This morning I made a further five illustrations into ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’. Regular readers will know that these are by the inimitable Charles Keeping.

‘Messrs Codlin and Short’ were extremely uncomfortable in their unaccustomed environment. Keeping has depicted this just as Dickens described it, even to the extent of their perching on the edges of their seats.

In the theatre ‘Everything was delightful, splendid, and surprising’. The artist has captured the whole gamut of audience reactions.

‘ ‘Stay, Satan, stay !’ roared the preacher again’. Charles Keeping leaves us in no doubt as to the kind of cleric he was.

‘The boat was towed by a couple of horses who were resting on the path’ of a most evocative waterside scene presented as a double page spread.

‘Tall chimneys poured out their plague of smoke and made foul the melancholy air’ subtly depicted in the wavy lines across the background.

This afternoon I gathered

a few garden views, each of which is identified in the gallery which can be accessed by clicking on any image.

This evening we dined on boned chicken thighs marinaded in mango and lime sauce; boiled new potatoes; and tender green beans, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon.


  1. Aside from Keeping’s impeccable characterization, I am quite impressed by the group scene at the theater, and the wavy lines depicting chimney smoke and the “melancholy air.”

  2. What a beautiful array of spring flowers, and colours.
    The Daphne is particularly lovely, and your Camellias are wonderful – sometimes I think they can look quite sad, but you blooms are so plentiful in number, and look so joyous!

  3. As usual spring down your way is further ahead than here in Yorkshire. I am delighted Bluebell sent you the photograph, I hope you all meet again. I love to hear of new friendships.

    1. No it’s not! In true British style it’s gone again!! English weather is such a tease, hard frost again this morning!

  4. Oh, you’ve captured spring springing! ๐Ÿ™‚ Love the yellows, pinks, purples, greens! ๐Ÿ™‚ The sun and shade are playing nicely together…creating interesting and artistic shadows!
    OOH, I spotted an owl in The Weeping Birch Bed!
    How nice of Bluebell to give you that wonderful photo of you! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Ha! Mr. Keeping’s preacher is a bit scary! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ๐Ÿ™‚
    Ooh, the mango and lime sauce sounds yummy!
    (((HUGS))) ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I so love these illustrations, Derrick! They speak. Looking at them is like rereading the story again.

    Your garden is full of life.

  6. It’s so nice to be back in your naturally flowing garden. I’m really appreciating how the sweet daffodils and camellias bloom first, like the opening acts in a play, and you know there’s much more loveliness to come.

    1. He did indeed. Our nonagenarian friend, Marjory Clarke, an artist occasionally featured here, was a student and friend of Lowry. Thanks very much, Yvonne

  7. Keepingโ€™s illustrations will eventually suck me into the sea of Charles Dickensโ€™ books again. Those are lovely daffodils, camellias and tulips illustrating various views of the garden.

  8. It is starting to look very colorful there, especially with those golden daffodil trumpets proclaiming the arrival of Lady Spring.

    I love the illustrations. Charles Keeping really captures the human spirit, and the state of dentistry during that era.

  9. Keeping’s illustration of the city’s “melancholy air” reminded me of Berlin, New Hampshire before the paper mill shut down. The whole city smelled like sulphur.

  10. Ah, those were the days when we had lots of chimneys belching out smoke especially in the winter. ๐Ÿ™ The sketches are wonderful. Your garden looks interesting during every season; always something to look forward to and much work to keep you busy.

  11. I love how you make connections with strangers, Derrick.

    The expressions of Messrs Codlin and Short are wonderful, and I also how Keeping illustrated the smoke and dismal gloom.
    Your March garden looks beautiful!

    1. Thank you so much for all these observations, Merril. I would have been too shy to make such contacts earlier in life, but I have learned that most people welcome it.

  12. Nice photo of yours.? My husband and Aravind are reading The Commonwealth of Cricket by Ramachandra Guha. They are both liking it very much. You may like it.

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