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beech twig

Trees: Elder

Trees: Elder is another blog inspired by my illustrations for “The Tree Forager” by Adele Nozedar, published by Watkins.  The book has inspired me to think about some of my favourite trees.  The Elder Sambucus nigra is the sixth in this series, along side the Sycamore, Ash, Hawthorn, Rowan and the Oak. The Elder Sambucus nigra […] Read more

Comparing Goldenrod Species

Comparing Goldenrod species was one of my tasks in a recent commission  for a Horticultural company in Sweden.  All the illustrations were sketchbook studies.  Every plant was an invasive. Overview of Canadian Goldenrod Solidago canadensis and Early Goldenrod Solidago gigantea The focus of the illustration is the Canadian goldenrod. Most Goldenrods are native to the […] Read more
Lupin

Garden Lupin Sketchbook study

The Garden Lupin, Lupinus polyphyllus, is one of the invasive plants I was recently asked to illustrate for FOR Sweden.  This blog talks you through the steps involved in creating a finished botanical illustration of this flower.  There seems to be an enormous amount of confusion over the English name of this plant: Blue bonnet […] Read more

Sketchbook illustrations of Invasive Plants

I’ve recently completed work on a series of sketchbook illustrations of invasive plants.  The client is FOR Sweden, and the botanical illustrations will be used on a big poster at a horticulture conference. Project overview There are eleven plants in total, and each species needed certain aspects illustrating.  In all cases I need to supply […] Read more

Invasive & Japanese Knotweeds: Telling species apart

Invasive and Japanese knotweeds are incredibly successful plants.  Originally from Japan, China and Taiwan, they escaped from ornamental gardens, and have become established across the UK.  They’re especially common in urban and brown-field habitats, and love railway embankments and the damp soils of water ways.  One of the most difficult aspects of controlling them is […] Read more

Telling Cotoneasters apart

My recent botanical illustration work for a Field Studies Chart (as yet unpublished) on Invasive species included 5 species of Cotoneaster. Telling these plants apart can be a real headache, but I’m going to give it a go, and share my thoughts.  I’m more than happy to be corrected in the comments section below! Cotoneasters are really […] Read more

Illustrating Invasive Plant Species

Natural history illustrators have to do natural science and botanical illustrations of both beneficial and of problematic invasive species. Many times, the reason a plant or animal is causing problems within an ecosystem is because it doesn’t belong in that system.   It hasn’t evolved in equilibrium with the other species there, and thus out-competes them.  […] Read more

Lizzie Harper