Monday, February 27, 2017

The Garden - Writing it down

"For those who have not got very good memories for the names of plants, I strongly recommend them if they can draw to make a little colored sketch, however small on the pages of a gardening book next to the name of the plant.  This will be found a great help to the memory."
- Mrs. C.W. Earl

Looking back is often the best way to look ahead . . . . 

The Gardening year begins for me as soon as the new year arrives, and arriving with it are much anticipated new plant and seed catalogs as well as new- fallen snow. Waking  up early in the morning after a snowfall, I am always reminded of the beauty of "bones" in my garden. Frosted like pastries, the trees, shrubs and garden structures take on new dimension.

My attempts at keeping records of my garden have taken many forms over the years, beginning with lists and notes written hastily at the end of a hot day in 1990, and continuing today with my ongoing efforts to include  illustrations with my notes.

I like to experiment with markers, 
colored pencils and watercolor on the page

I recently discovered a garden journal written by the 
gardener who lived in my house over 60 years ago.

The pages inspired me as background 
for a new series of paintings, to be turned into note cards.

Finished notecards, themes taken from the 
heading of each journal page, 
Vegetables, Tulips, Narcissus and Plans

Rumpled pages, rusty tools, soiled gloves and mossy pots, more inspiration for looking back, forming new ideas and making plans. What worked well, what didn't work as planned, what to move, what to divide, and what to add . . . its all there in the notes.  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Winter Garden

There comes a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud is more painful than the risk it takes to blossom - Anais Nin

The garden outside is having a winter's rest,  but inside I still need the blessing of blooms, 

Time to bring some life into the house, 
time for making a merry mess, 
gather the pea gravel, soil, bulbs and pots.

Those tiny fingers of green will soon stretch to become graceful green ribbons, finally topped with fragrant white blossoms.
TIP - for shorter, less floppy stems, a splash of vodka in the water of your Paperwhites , especially at the beginning of their growing period, works wonders!

The wonder of bulbs, the magic of growth!
Sleeping beneath the frozen soil, the perennial Daffodils I planted last Autumn are not nearly ready to spread their cheer . . . .

 . . . .but no worries as the Paperwhite Narcissus are only too happy to share their sweet fragrance inside, bringing with them a promise of Spring to come.

Narcissus Tete a Tete, like warm butter on the window sill

Take the bulb into your hands
Feel the dry skin, the lifeless tangle of roots at the bottom

See the little green finger emerging at the top
Hope, is it hope?

Make a bed of soft soil or small rocks
Tuck the bulbs in with a drink of water
then wait with hope

Days later look at the green sprout, taller now, 
growing towards the light in the kitchen window
It is hope, hope lives

My Winter Wonderland inside, let the ice and snow cover everything outside! I can wait . . . .