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    beech twig

    Trees: Birch

    Birch trees: The Silver and the Downy Birch   There are two main Birch trees in the UK, the Silver birch Betula pendula and the Downy birch Betula pubescens.  The Downy birch tends to grow better in wetter areas and in the north.  The Silver birch likes drier soils and is often found growing ornamentally […] Read more

    Trees: Beech

    Introduction Beech trees are common across Britain, favouring chalky soils.  The oldest Beech trees live up to 400 years.  You’ll find them in open spaces and in woodland and can tell them straight away by their smooth bark.  The trees produce beech mast which is nutritious for animals, and the canopy supports wildlife.  Beech wood […] Read more

    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

    Cow Parsley: All about an Umbellifer

    Cow parsley Anthriscus sylvestris was on the list of plants I recently illustrated for FOR Sweden.  These plants are invasive in Scandinavia, and particularly troublesome in Iceland. Sketchbook studies All the botanical illustrations I do for FOR are in a sketchbook format.  I love working this way; it gives me the opportunity to include tons […] Read more
    botanical illustration of mountain ash by Lizzie harper

    Trees: Rowan

    Trees: Rowan is another blog inspired by my illustrations for “The Tree Forager” by Adele Nozedar, published by Watkins.  It’s inspired me to have a look at some of my favourite trees.  The Rowan is another in this series, along side the Sycamore, Ash, Hawthorn, and the Oak. Rowan Sorbus aucuparia is a small tree, […] Read more
    illustrating butterflies

    Illustrating Butterflies Workshop

    Illustrating butterflies is wonderful, but has its challenges.  I recently taught a two day workshop to Northamptonshire Botanical Artists’ Society which focused exclusively on painting these gorgeous insects. Introduction to Butterflies We began with handouts and an introduction to the variety of insect life.  Touching on complete and incomplete life cycles, we also learnt their […] 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

    Lizzie Harper