Saturday, August 17, 2013

When Good Plants Go Bad

When Meeko and I go on our neighbourhood walks, I spend a lot of time looking at other people's gardens. I often notice tidy clumps of black-eyed susans maybe two or three feet in height.

When I was a little girl, I loved black-eyed susans.  Black-eyed susans, cow vetch, asters, wild daisies and queen anne's lace would often end up in bouquets gathered on walks through the little ravine not far from my childhood house.



I think you would all admit that black-eyed susans are a very happy looking flower. It's really quite hard to be mad at them. But I am.

You see there's a gang of black-eyed susans that have decided to take over one end of my garden. They are actually the flowerbeds that belong to Emma and Chloé. Neither of them really took care of their garden plots this year and I refused to do it for them. The black-eyed susans figured that no one was looking and moved in, but not in a polite and delicate way. These black-eyed susans have filled out every inch of the beds and have grown to a crazy height. They are taller than me!

I asked a local model if he would mind posing in front of them to give you a sense of scale.

Somewhere in behind that adorable model (thank you Meeko) and those towering yellow hooligans are pink phlox, obedient plant and a few other plants I haven't seen in so long I've forgotten what they are.

It's clear that these black-eyed susans have world domination in mind and I'm going to have to take them out but, you know what? I'm going to wait until they've finished blooming. I don't admire their thug-like behaviour but I've got to admit that they're pretty in a vase.

And they even came in handy as a photo prop alongside an original watercolor I just listed on Etsy.

So I guess if they are using part of my garden rent-free, I'll take advantage of having them. Bouquet of black-eyed susans, anyone?


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A bit of research has determined that the flowers that have taken over my garden are probably brown-eyed susans rather than black-eyed susans although they are closely related. Brown-eyed susans tend to have smaller flowers not to mention rude behaviour. ;)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Mermaid's Tale

We have just come back from a glorious week beside the ocean in Maine. Two days at home and my head is still back in Maine with the mermaids, sea birds and beach glass.

Mermaids, you ask? Well, the only one I was able to get a photo of was a beautiful sand sculpture made by Emma and her cousin, Erica. But I think there's a possibility that there were other mermaids lingering behind the rocks just beyond my camera's reach.

Emma and Erica's beautifully sculpted mermaid complete with seaweed hair.
We rented a house with my sister's family. We spent many hours walking on the rocky beach in front of where we stayed. Each tide would bring in more sea glass, enough to share with everyone who was there.

My collection of sea glass and pottery. The most amazing find was the glass stopper pictured on the right.
It turns out that Emma has an eagle eye for finding sea glass. Even after the rest of us had combed the beach thinking we had found it all, Emma would find pocketsful of sea glass treasures.

And speaking of eagles, we saw one!  A bald eagle flew by on more than one occasion. Once, it flew within feet of the front porch. I don't have a photo of it that time. We just stood there awestruck. Here's a photo of it a little higher up in the sky on one of its fly-bys.

We also saw loons, herons and seagulls. I took a series of photos of one heron looking for and catching his supper.




I've started a painting of some of my beautiful beach finds. It's a way of me staying in touch with our beautiful Maine vacation while I slowly get used to being back home.
This painting is still in progress. A few more details to go.
Uh oh. It's happening again. There go my thoughts, somewhere back in Maine with the mermaids, beach glass and sea birds.

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