Archives for category: Gardening

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This year my husband’s asparagus crop was — er–modest. By that I mean we got about one stalk a week for about six weeks and goodbye. Now though, we have a virtual three-foot-wide asparagus-top jungle that is too pretty to ignore. The clippings I harvested only took about a week to process with a pressing between sheets of lightly weighted newsprint. For bold highlights in this composition I used a snippet of sensitive fern and the tip of a whole frond at the center. Nasturtiums make the best moons so why look for anything else?

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This is the first of a series of small works that will highlight tiny foliage. I started with miniature ivy but plan to move on to raspberry, scented geranium shoots and other shapely miniatures. This will be a month-long project since most of these have yet to be harvested. I look forward to see them hung in a tight grouping of nine.

Meanwhile I’ll work on some graphics to highlight some large, dramatic and graceful sensitive ferns I have waiting in the hopper.

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The dozens of new friends who meet with me and buy my botanical art for their homes and workplaces and for their friends share with me a love of nature and the fun that we can have contemplating the outdoors one leaf at a time. I’m surprised by the number of people who share that they regularly collect and press plants just for the joy of it. I hope I inspire them to take it a step further.

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“I believe that a leaf of grass is no less than the journeywork of the stars.” I have used this quote before and you will see it again if you follow my posts. It is what this work is about. When I walk through my garden to collect plants for these pieces, I look as closely at the weeds as I do to the other plants I selected so carefully for their unusual foliage. All of it, including the twisted leaves or beetle-nibbled would-be star of the garden has a place.

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The birth of a new grandchild this week has put me in the mood to make a bit of children’s art. For this whimsical piece I chose plants that could have been the product of a child’s imagination – foam flower leaves and a crazy coleus on the bottom and fig leaves at the base of the two hills. The composition is rounded out with dainty little andromeda leaves.

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My friends in and around Stonington can see some of my pieces at Frills Gallery in Watch Hill. (It’s the white building with a front porch as you first enter town) This is a companion piece to one I made recently. The colors have changed and I’ve used different plants — fringed Bleeding Heart for the ‘tall trees’ and ferns and a Foam Flower leaf for the underbrush. A crazy little Bellflower hugs the beach.

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I love what these undulating lines do to the look of the foliage I use. In previous versions of this basic design I’ve used feathery ferns and, in one case nothing but very tiny individual fronds. While this piece uses some ordinary ferns to balance the composition, the real stars of the show are the bold Sensitive Fern at the bottom center and individual leaf clusters from my Fringed Bleeding Heart.

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After making the larger version of this seafaring image, I changed a few details and then re-cropped it for a smaller mat. For the smaller piece I also used smaller-scale foliage and added a touch of pastel on the Yellow Archangel at the bottom of the image while leaving the same foliage in its natural state above. Swapping out the standard Bleeding Heart leaf for a smaller Fringed Bleeding Heart worked well.

Both of these are now listed in my Etsy shop.

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This simple composition consists of three leaves — scented geranium, ivy, and sweet potato vine — surrounded by a faux double mat. Sometimes simple is best.

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I owe the idea for these two scenes to a lovely woman I met at the Artisan’s Market in Providence two weeks ago. She asked me if I agreed that ferns could be used to suggest sails in a nautically themed piece.

Once I put the graphic together I experimented with foliage and found that rose leaves worked well so I used them in the night-time vignette.

For daytime I kept the plant life in the foreground.