The Hallows family recently visited Hardwick Hall. It's now one of my favourite National Trust places. With small children in tow, we didn't do the house but perambulated the gardens. We were there on a midsummers day with such strong sun casting striking shadows. Those shapes have been processed by my retinas ready for a new batch of work. I love high summer and the purity and strength of light. In contrast, I'm particularly loving the last hour of day light, as if someone has turned the lights down and the colours mute and the air softens. I'm finding that to be my tranquil time, when I walk up the garden and breathe in the smell of honeysuckle. The colours come into the pallette I'm comfortable with, the greens mellow and blue, there is some grey in there. The scabious heads intensify to a deep plum, offset by small areas of heightened colour in the hemerocallis and calendula; I keep on falling for orange in all its shades.