Hearts stitch journal, 01 June 2018

A dull, cool morning that brightened slightly for our walk round the orchard (in big wellies) but has now closed in again. Huge rivers of mud have washed out of our neighbour’s field onto our land – something I’ve never seen before. One bright spark in the garden is Rosa Moyesii ‘Geranium’ with its scarlet-pink blooms. I fell in love with this rose at Sissinghurst and planted it for its elegant, arching growth, delicate leaflets and bright red hips rather than its flowers, though the flowers have a beautiful stained-glass quality when backlit by the sun, as they briefly were this morning. When it’s in flower, the bees will touch nothing but these roses and the air was alive with little bumble bees, busily collecting pollen. I’ve shown the pollinated flower, which I brought in – before pollination the stamens are very plentiful and large, and almost white. Today’s threads are grey cotton perlé no 5 and six-strand embroidery cottons, sewn in three, two and single strands, in brown and four shades of pink, one of them variegated. The stitches are reverse knotted chain for the heart, buttonhole stitch and long-and-short for the petals and French knots for the stamens.

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