Sunflower and Lavender Fields

Yesterday I went to a sunflower field in Hertfordshire with my sister, my nieces and my brother in law who kindly drove us there. Last year I visited Mayfield lavender farm which was a lovely visit and I was keen to see other flower fields (I’d love to see tulips in Holland). Hitchin Lavender had a sunflower field and next to it a lavender field, which meant that we got to see both on this visit.

We started at the far end and walked up the rows, but more than the sunflowers and lavender, what really took my attention was an empty field with nothing but bales of hay scattered around. I’ve seen such bales on drives through the country on numerous occasions and always wanted to stop and take some photos. This one has a fence around it but part of it was broken so I took my chance and went through it to take some shots.

It was quite difficult to walk in this field as the corn stalk were short but quite sharp so I had to tread carefully or risk being poked in my ankles (which I did), but I worked my way across the field and to see the bales of hay that were spread out as well as get up close to a few.

After some time gazing across the field of the round bales I came back through to the main field which had the sunflowers. There were thousands of sunflowers but I think due to the very hot summer we’ve had and the heavy heads the sunflowers were quite droopy, which made it difficult to take photos. There were still some smaller ones though that looked fresh with all their petal intact which looked pretty.

After walking through the sunflowers we moved onto the lavender field which was right next to the sunflowers, but was much bigger.

The lavender smelled lovely and looked great, spread out ahead almost as far as the eye could see. We were given paper bags and scissors at the entrance and told we could take back any flowers we pleased, so we filled our bags with a few sunflowers and plenty of lavender.

Having wondered around for a couple of hours, taking photos, smelling the scent of the flowers and just taking in the pleasant, relaxing view on a sunny day we started heading back to the car and to get something to eat – it’s hard and hungry work walking through large fields but immensely rewarding, and I would definitely recommend a visit, especially as a small break from the city.

Capturing artwork

I recently went to the National Gallery in London and since my last visit you are now allowed to take photographs. I would normally never take photographs of paintings as I always would want to visit and appreciate the work in person, but on this occasion I decided to take a few snaps as a nice reminder. The photos I took were of some of my favourite paintings by great artists that I’m lucky to have on my doorstep in London, namely The Waterlily Pond by Monet and Sunflowers by Van Gogh.

I always like to take a moment and think about how long it must have taken to create such a painting and what kind of person the artist must have been to paint in this way during their life, artworks that really stand the test of time. I love being able to see the textures of the layered paint and the colours, which close up looks quite messy but stand back and you see how great it all comes together and looks quite beautiful.

I hope to visit again at some point and enjoy all the great paintings that are luckily so easy for me to access.