Hearts stitch journal, 25 July 2018

A beautiful day with a lovely sunrise. Fresh and cool for the moment. The dog and I had a dew-soaked wander around the garden this morning and I noticed that the water mint is back in flower, having flowered in early summer. Since we wanted a wildlife garden, we knew we would have ponds but the first one cost so much to install that we had no money left for plants. I begged buckets of mud from other people’s ponds to seed it with wildlife; and friends gave me water lilies and yellow flag; and I scoured the local water courses for plants, one of which was water mint. It came from the stream at the bottom of our neighbour’s land and, like all mints, has its eye on world domination, but is held in check by other equally thuggish contenders such as phalaris. Today’s threads are cotons à broder in orange, yellow, green and blue; six-strand embroidery thread in two shades of green; and lilac Indian rayon. The stitches are split stitch for the heart, stem stitch for the stem, Cretan stitch for the leaf infill, straight stitch for the leaf outline, detached chain for the buds and detached chain with straight stitch for the flowers.

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