On the Garden Wall – Chaffinch & Nasturtiums
(scroll down for description)
12” x 18”, acrylic, 1985
Although my favourite kind of country is wilderness that has been virtually untouched by man, I do enjoy our human heritage, particularly where the works of man and nature mingle in a mellow sort of way. I am not a gardener, but I do enjoy gardens, especially old, traditional ones. I even find weeds intriguing. They indicate nature's attempt to recapture the land that man has taken from her. It is also rather interesting to find domestic plants that have 'escaped' and are setting off on their own.

This old garden wall has been colonized by native lichens that gradually develop over decades. More recently an 'escaped' nasturtium has taken over the wall in a more flamboyant way. This is a plant that brings back many happy memories for me of summers in the country and the flower gardens of farmers' wives. With it go the sounds of cows and barn swallows and the smell of fresh milk and new-mown hay.

The chaffinch is one of the commonest garden birds, filling a similar ecological niche to North America's chipping sparrow. I enjoy the soft gray and peachy buff that harmonize with the sharp black, white and yellow of the plumage.