Saturday, August 22, 2015

A Tiny Garden Friend

When my husband was mowing the lawn this morning he noticed this sweet baby toad. It was so tiny! It waited around long enough that both Chloé and I were able to hold and observe it. It was understandably scared of us big humans. Chloé then placed it into the safety and shelter of the flower bed. Close encounters of the cutest kind.




❤         


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Rainy Day is a Studio Day

It rained all night and it is supposed to rain all day. It's good for the garden. I love the scent and find the sound comforting. It also means I have no excuse not to spend the day in my studio. I started cleaning it yesterday and need to continue my work. I am so tempted just to clear a spot in the middle of the mess and start a new painting but I know a cleaner, safer (yes, it got that bad) workspace would be the best thing.

I took these photos from the shelter of the back door this morning. I love how you can see the rain in the photos! Do you see the diagonal streaks?

The last painting I did was a commission. The customer requested two flowers of significance to her family but left the approach and composition entirely up to me. I couldn't ask for a more pleasant experience. Still, I am looking forward to doing a painting of my own choice. Plus, I have several watercolors from past months that are almost finished and are still waiting for final touches. I also have frames for some of my original watercolours that I need to assemble. I have new prints to create. Oh boy. So much to do. But first a clean studio.

I opened the screen door for Meeko to go out this morning and he immediately sat down. For the moment, he'd rather look at the rain than be in it. Maybe he'll join me in my studio later for moral support.


"The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain." 
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

❤  ❤  ❤  ❤  



Thursday, July 23, 2015

July Garden

We've had lots of rainy, stormy weather lately but this morning was glorious and can be summed up in two words: sunshine and bees.

It is so nice to see all of the activity and life in the garden at this point in the season. I feel weirdly proud that the bees like my garden and spend so much time in it. The bees aren't the only ones who are busy. I've been trying to garden every morning when the weather has cooperated. A couple of weeks ago, I figured out that if I spend two to three hours working in the garden each morning that, at the end of two weeks, I will have managed to work in each of my flower beds. So that's been my morning routine. I get up, make myself coffee and head outside. I paint inside in the afternoons when it's too hot to be outdoors.

All gardeners know that a weeded garden is only a theory. I am not foolishly expecting to have a perfect garden nor do I want one. I just want to feel less embarrassed about its state if we have visitors and to be able to to sit in a chair occasionally and admire it instead of feeling like I need to jump up and fix something right away.

This morning I pruned and weeded the back perennial bed. It's looking pretty full and lush. However, the end of the bed that extends beyond the right side of the photo is going to need work. It has become shadier and shadier in the past few years to the point that I've lost some of the plants. My oriental poppies are gone among others. It's hard to lose things but gardens tell us what they need and the right end of this particular bed is crying out for shade-loving plants. I may divide some astilbe and hostas from other parts of the garden and move them here this autumn.

Speaking of hostas, they are blooming in the front yard and were looking absolutely gorgeous this morning. These are 'Francee'.

Other favourites from my garden tour this morning include my Summer Snowflake viburnum (Viburnum plicatum) and a stunningly beautiful poppy.

The vegetable garden is also bursting with colour at the moment including this blue borage plant that reseeded from last year. The warm colours in the background come from ripening tomatoes, squash blossoms and nasturtiums. It's exciting to see so much happening at once but not everything is thriving. This morning I discovered that my hot pepper plant has wilted and my eggplant is struggling a little. In a garden, nothing is static which provides both its pleasure and ongoing challenges.


"The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature."  Alfred Austin


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Meeko Time

Every now and then, Meeko leans over and whispers 'If you're looking for a blog subject, I'm sure people wouldn't mind one all about me'.

It's hot and humid here. Even without the heat, in the summer my art productivity always slows down. My concentration is always off when others are in the house, even though I enjoy my daughters' school vacation presence. Snatching an hour to paint here and there doesn't always work. I'm better off with a stretch of a few hours of uninterrupted studio time--time to think, time to putter, time to produce. Plus I have a very big garden that requires my regular presence during the summer. This past week, I've been getting up early each morning to go out and work in the garden for two to three hours before the day's heat hits. If I don't look after it daily, it becomes an unworkable jungle.

The rest of my summer days seem to be a bit of a blur--dentist appointments (Chloé got her wisdom teeth removed this past week; Emma's appointment is in August), various errands, visits to framing suppliers, preparations for a garage sale, the beginning of a painting commission, mom's 'taxi', walks with Meeko.

Wait a minute. Meeko. Once again, I think the furry boy might be right.

A serviceberry from our garden. Meeko loves berries.
Gentle boy.
A rare off-leash summer run. Yippee!
"I stand on guard for thee." I think it's more to do with dogs, cats and squirrels in the park. 
Gardening companion whether at work or at rest.

A blog post brought to you by Meeko.

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