Dull and cold today and it was very dark as we walked around the orchard – about to light a fire in a moment. Today I’ve stitched one of my favourite flowering shrubs in the garden – leycesteria formosa. I’ve always liked this plant for its weirdness, with its tiers of purple-flushed bracts that lead to tiny cream tubular flowers and later, soft berries – hence its common name of Pheasant Berry. Although it looks very like a weigela, it’s actually a member of the honeysuckle family. Today’s threads are grey coton à broder no 16, cream silk embroidery thread and six-strand cottons in variegated green and variegated burgundy. The stitches are Palestrina stitch for the heart, stem stitch for the stems, fishbone stitch for the leaves, split stitch for the bracts, satin stitch for the flowers and pistil stitch for the stamens.