Monday, February 6, 2012
The little yellow Winter Aconites are in bloom. It has been the most extraordinary winter, here in southern Ontario. We have had hardly any snow, perhaps six inches altogether. Right now the ground is not frozen at all! Not frozen? In early February? we were out today gardening- pruning off the old hydrangeas that didn’t get done last fall and cutting back the stalks in the perennial garden: we leave those on for the winter to give texture to the garden. The snowdrops and aconites appear together. The earliest I have ever seen either of those previously has been the very end of February,usually mid-March. It is quite astonishing. The hellebores are thrusting up their fat rosy buds, and the rhododendrons, usually struggling to survive around now, are looking quite contented, also with a profusion of big buds.
I must admit that I did not paint this sketch ‘en plein air’. Even though it is 7ºC today, and sunny, I wouldn’t be able to sit out that long; can’t take the cold like I used to. So I took a couple of reference photos and spent a pleasant interlude in my studio.