The Measure of the Year
Seasons in an Artist’s Garden by Gael Sellwood

This hard cover book features about 150 paintings by RHS gold medal winning botanical and natural history artist, Gael Sellwood. Following study in art and botanical illustration she has gone on to capture the plants and other objects from her conservation garden in meticulous detail on paper or vellum.

The evocative text follows the seasons, month by month, and features a short technical section about painting on vellum. Gael has featured on BBC Countryfile, was until recently President of the Society of Botanical Artists and has work in numerous collections, including the RHS Lindley Library and the Hunt Institute.

We currently only ship the book within the UK.

The post and packaging costs reflect the actual cost of post and packaging using Royal Mail’s 48 hour tracked postage hour tracked service.

Total price: £29.50 includes postage and packing

Book Extracts

“…A perfect imperfection – botanical and natural history art

Botanical and natural history art are all about capturing the found object; first seek your object. The finding can take place anywhere, but the treasured found object is the one in your own home or garden. The found object will reflect its life, used, affected and then renounced by nature, and like us, its imperfections are part of its story. The painting of the object in detail gives rise to a perfect imperfection.

The act starts within. It may be on a journey, perhaps on a lonely stretch of road, passing verges with hints of white (snowdrops in winter), chalky pale yellow (primroses), deeper shades of mustard (cowslips), sharp blues (bluebells), magenta (foxgloves), soft dilute blues (harebells), sunny yellows (toadflax)….. these are the flowers of the nature table of childhood; the flower names carrying myths and legends of the natural kingdom…”

“…The garden; the holly tree

It was the setting that sold the whole property. It was the garden that sold the cottage. It was the red-berried holly that sold the garden. The cottage sat in the middle of one half of the plot. The plot is 3.5 acres, bisected by a shingle drive. As we approached slowly we looked either side of the drive, deeply curious. This was a place that we have driven past innumerable times. We liked the setting. There was no need for us to drive along the lane but we did. The situation opposite the church seemed special; a place for contemplation and reflection. That this very place was now available, open and possible seemed beyond belief…”


An inveterate collector, I collect views, thoughts, ideas, inspiration, hopes, colours, textures and ephemera. Gael cares for worn items which have had a life and which deserve to be treasured and embraced, reminding us of the transient nature of life.

These items remind of past traditions, skills and values, which still resonate with me.


Artist Notebook

See some of Gael’s notes about the equipment she use’s and her sources of materials:

Follow @gaelsellwood