Alison Jane Harley

- botanical and floral artist -



Welcome to my Digital Diary inspired by Lockdown 2020. Here you will find ramblings of rambles through nature accompanied by some photos and sketches made along the way.

I suppose lockdown was the catalyst for this as I was already inspired by my new gift of a 2020 RHS Diary. It’s a bounty of beautiful botanical illustrations – one for each week of the year.

There is something very inspiring and luxurious about writing even the most basic details of your day opposite a perfectly portrayed Passiflora subpeltata or a mellow yellow, Abelmoschus moschatus. But…. ‘wham’ lockdown arrived. So on week 12 – beside the mellow yellow, I wrote the words ‘as of 12.00 noon, France is in lockdown‘. The previous week, opposite a page showing a lovely Polanthes tuberosa, I had been smugly detailing my lunch in Porto and tour of the Douro Valley grapevines …

I had no idea what to do now – suddenly everything I’d happily and obliviously entered in advance looked like lies – even the entry of a Doctors appointment had the appeal of an exotic outing….. I didn’t want to fill this beautiful book with miserable rantings so what could I do…..?

As the ‘lockdown’ period progressed, I discovered several oases of hidden trails leading to lost fruit, trees, wildlife and wild flowers. Some of which I have painted and will paint and some of which I just enjoy day dreaming about. There was so much beauty to be found almost on my doorstep that I became quite disfunctional with indecision over whether to weed, walk or sketch. There was also too much to fit into my lovely ‘page a week’ diary – so my ramblings into nature became my documented rambings and my ‘blog diary’ was born.

The period of restriction gave me time to compare this unique and surreal year with previous years and I have added some extracts from previous diaries to this blog just because I enjoyed reminiscing and also because I hope they are worth sharing. I can honestly say that I have been as happy during the period of restriction with local nature as I have with my flights and travels to further fields. Not to mention having an abundance of wild flowers and fruits to illustrate.



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