Spring has sprung, the grass is riz. Or so that peculiar poem goes. Having just experienced a very spring-like warmest February ever, we're definitely looking forward to 'proper' springtime, and possibly the loveliest months of the year: March, April and May. And what do you associate with spring (apart from daffodils, pancakes and Easter, that is)? Yes - Pilot's Pintor paint markers.
Oh, all right, it's gardening, but Pintor markers do have a role to play, which we'll delve into shortly.
Now, grubbing around in the earth isn't for everybody. Some of us actually like winter because the lawn doesn't need mowing and the weeds don't grow. But come spring there are green shoots everywhere, you realise that the honeysuckle you bought and planted during last year's heatwave is not - as you feared - actually dead and looks like it will need something to climb up pretty soon, and what you thought was unusually bright green grass is actually moss that managed to stealthily invade the lawn during the wet winter and now needs removing. Yes, it's time to get out into the garden!
But it doesn't have to be just about getting your hands dirty. You can get creative too. Which is exactly what our good friend Helen of @Journalwithpurpose likes to do. Armed with some useful - but admittedly, pretty, er, bland shall we say? - terracotta pots and a few packs of Pilot's Pintor marker pens, Helen got to work.
We all like a good marker. Go on - admit it - there's something very satisfying about taking a fat-barrelled pen and scribbling over something that doesn't normally get to be scribbled on. The trouble is, many pens just won't cut the mustard with materials such as plastic and wood: either the ink just doesn't stay where it's supposed to, or it's only available in run-of-the-mill colours like black and blue.
Pintor markers, however, have risen to the challenge. They're perfect to use on a huge range of different surfaces, including wood, stone and terracotta - exactly the sort of materials you'll find in most gardens. They'll stay on through thick and thin if the surface is porous, but will come off things like plastic and glass if you wipe them down with a damp cloth and detergent. What's more, once the colours are dry you can go over them with another colour to create a bit of interest. There is also a great range of colours available: yes, you have your usual black, red, green and blue, but there's also the likes of yellow and violet, as well as pastels and metallics! Not only that, the markers are available with four different tip sizes, from extra-fine up to 8mm chisel, so your projects can happily range from delicate calligraphy to Mondrian-like blocks of colour.
We're not suggesting you go mad and start drawing over every functional object you can find. After all, a Cornish granite monolith in the middle of a water feature is probably best left alone; and unadorned tubs do have their place, particularly if you have a showy passion flower or a simple, stunning white orchid. But if you're creating a herb garden, for instance, then why not decorate the pots they go in? Get a bit of a theme going - use the green part of the spectrum for herbs such as parsley and sage, and the red end for spicier ones like coriander. Why not brighten up the lawnmower or the wheelie bin? Give them a smiley face or even a name: how about Lavinia the Lawnmower, or William the Wheelie Bin (you could shorten it to Bill the Bin)? Or wake up a tired shed with some yellow window frames. And - if a garden wall or fence doesn't have a real plant growing up it - draw one on there instead.
Let your imagination run wild, too. Just because our fickle British weather (other weather is available, especially if you're a bit further away from the North Pole) won't let us grow a frangipani or a great big spiny, several-armed cactus outside, just draw them instead. Then recline on your B&Q lounger and (mentally at least) swap Hounslow for Hawaii or Dewsbury for the Arizona desert.
1 March 2019