At this time of year, I love diving into Sara Midda’s books, especially In and Out of the Garden and South of France: A Sketchbook. They are perfect reading for these cold and snowy February days. Incredibly detailed, often small watercolours dot each page of the book – along with handwritten notes by the artist. I am so reminded why I love spring and summer and the joys of being outside and in the garden.
How can one not be moved by this description of a midsummer’s day?
Days of ripened fruit, where berries hung in clusters and the forbidden plum proved too tempting. The stile, hid by eglantine leads on into the meadow, decked with daisies and bespangled buttercups. Coloured scents that fill the air as drowsy insects hum around. This, a place of secret magic where nature alone quietly renews itself. Here, on the fullest day of summer, a gentle murmur of voices filtered through the grass – as we drank to the seasons.
I first came across Sara Midda in 1981 when In and Out of the Garden was published. A few years’ later, I discovered miniature cards of some wonderful images from this book. Whenever I was about to write exams, I used to put one of the cards on the desk to remind me of the important things in life.
And now I think I’ll get back to my reading …