The Lost Week

Well, my pledge to regularly do at least the Friday geeky plant post soon fell by the wayside did it not?

My excuse? Well Tuesday 29th I felt very tired and head-achy all day. This was way more than my usual degree of “I’m too old for this sh*t” tiredness but I thought nothing of it until the next morning when I discovered that I had a sickness bug. The good news was that by midday I had stoped feeling too queasy and was just wiped out. So I pretty much stayed in bed for two days with my wife watching me carefully for signs of being able to claim on the life insurance deterioration.

Friday I was still off work but the last thing I felt like doing was blogging. So I indulged my inner geek by watching an old Dr Who story that I had not seen since first broadcast in 1984. I actually quite enjoyed it.

By the weekend I was feeling pretty much like my old self again (grumpy, apparently) so delivered my exhibition pieces to a framer and organised the digital submission of these pieces for an exhibition. I do not expect to hear anything until mid-March. Fingers crossed!

I made a useful discovery. Some years ago I got a professional Canon scanner for scanning my collection of slide photos. For some reason I had never tried scanning artwork with it on the flat-bed part but had paid for others to scan or photograph work, or photographed it myself, with less-than-stellar results. I tried scanning a piece of work and the scan was superb! Happy Darren πŸ™‚

So this leaves me in a position to produce prints from my work fairly easily as I can do my own scans and send them to a printer digitally. As I write, my test piece has been printed and returned and I am very happy with it. Soon I expect to be able to make prints available for sale.

The strawberry work from last time is now complete but I want to wait so that we can show you what the When Fashion and Nature Collide team have done with it. As you saw from yesterday’s post, we have also opened our Fashioned By Nature shop on Threadless.

More news is that after driving myself crazy with indecision for months, I finally ordered a new computer. I have had it configured for image-processing work with the art business in mind. I have to sincerely thank my dear friend Linda at this point, for her advice and her encouragement and putting up with my dithering about it!

Garden stuff..

Despite the recent cold spell, spring is definitely around the corner and flowering season is well under way here.

Iris histriodes, the true Turkish species, flowering for the first time from seed.
Corybas diemenicus. One of the Helmet Orchids from Australia. The whole thing is only the size of a thumbnail.
Scoliopus bigelowii from California, smells of wet dog!
Moraea ciliata from South Africa
Romulea komsbergensis
Romulea komsbergensis bud
Daubenya aurea var aurea

And my favourite of the week. Already shown on Instagram but now opened a little further. This is the South African Lapeirousia oreogena. My first flowering success after several attempts from seed over 19 years. And stunning enough to be worth the wait:

I have sown my first seeds of the year too. Various species belonging to the Livingstone Daisy succulent family. This one is Conophytum devium. Six days after sowing you can see it is huge already….πŸ˜‰. Yes I am referring to the green blob at the tip of the pencil, and there are several others in the pot too!


  1. Yay! A plant post. And a beautiful one at that. The Romulea komsbergensis bud knocked my socks off. Or it would have if I had socks on. Which I don’t, and never do. I was happy to hear your thought process re Apple stuff. Has the iMac arrived, yet? I’m thrilled to hear that you have the scanner for your artwork. Will you be selling the prints on Threadless? I saw the strawberries there. Mmmm…Apple and strawberries. Fruit Salady hugs!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Linda,
      Yes the romulea buds are just as nice as the open flower! Good job too because they only open on warm days and they are in short supply in february!

      The imac should arrive tomorrow!

      My aim for the prints is, because I am worried about quality control if printed remotely, to sell them direct from home but via a site called NuMonday, and/or from this blog. I need to invest some cash to get some made first.

      Thanks as always for your support my friend!πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll pass on the Scoliopus bigelowii thanks Darren! We have two species of that already…a polish lowland sheepdog and a lurcher/greyhound…both a smelling success at the moment with all the rainy, sleety weather!

    I think us followers will forgive your tardiness on your Friday post this once… because you have mentioned at least one other achievement…
    delivered my exhibition pieces
    organised the digital submission
    made a useful discovery
    my test piece has been printed
    strawberry work is now complete
    opened Fashioned By Nature shop ordered a new computer
    sown my first seeds of the year too
    …but as least you said “too”
    Please don’t miss your next Friday post!! lol!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So we’ve had knackered Darren, poorly Darren, grumpy Darren and Happy Darren – another 3 and you’d have a full set ;O) That sounds like quite a week my friend! I shall be keeping my fingers crossed for you in mid-March and wish you the best of luck :O) xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Your collection of bulbs is stunning! How did you get into this type of plants?

    I would love to own one of your drawings – be sure to announce the launch!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Ali, that is lovely of you and thank you for your support.

      Good question too. My earliest plant obsession was hardy orchids, sparked by an article on Pleione in Garden News in around 1991. Sources of info or plants were few but it was suggested I join the Alpine Garden Society. I did in around 1994. Then started going to their shows in spring and seeing gorgeous pots of bulbs I had never heard of.
      Through the AGS I met the late Kath Dryden VMH, who had a sales list of hardy orchids and bulbs twice per year. It as really Kath that I started buying the more specialised bulbs from. Many of which I still have over 20 years later.
      Then in 1999 I visited South Africa in their spring. The array of bulbs stunned me and I started buying seed from licensed suppliers in South Africa as soon as I returned. And the seed lists of the late Jim Archibald were a superb source of bulbs from other continents.
      Peak seed sowing has passed now I think, due to lack of space, but I still buy seed or bulbs of things that I have a special interest in. Plus I enjoy the challenge of growing something new.
      I also have minor plant obsessions in non-bulbous areas too. My cacti and succulents rarely get a mention here for example.

      Thank you for asking. It was nice reminiscing and especially thinking about Kath, who was a huge influence on me.


  5. A very productive week despite the fact that you were sick. Your nickname is very appropriate: Super D. I am of the same opinion as Linda: Romulea komsbergensis bud is so beautiful. It looks like a butterfly. I just love Daubenya aurea var aurea, too. Such an interesting plant. The shape of the petals is very original. I am so happy for you that the scanner allows you to make quality prints of your artwork. All these great news rejoice me. Happy Sunday Darren. Much love and hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you dear friend. The daubenya is an interesting thing. It is not at all easy to grow for me. This is the first flowering for the yellow form. The red form, which flowered last year, is now just opening and will be open next weekend.

      Love and huge hugs to you too Dominique!x

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So how much insurance coverage do you have anyway??πŸ˜‚
    Will your prints be available in the store with Lisa and Dom? Or, will we be contacting (ie hounding) you directly😊 Cant wait!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not so much that it would prove too tempting πŸ™‚

      I will probably announce availability of prints here and also make them available on nuMonday once I get a shop set up there. My aim is to do this by the end of March. πŸ™‚

      My own botanical art prints will be kept separate from FBN. The strawberry/heart design may be available as a print from FBN because it was a collaborative effort. Confused? You will be….

      Liked by 1 person

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