Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Little Cheer

Well, we're in the middle of an ice storm here in Georgia- to those up north that means it is a little cold and there is about an inch of snow on the ground- pretty serious stuff! Of course, I'm worried about my plants, I just put out seeds! Because we had snow a few weeks ago (for one day), I didn't really think it would snow again. The ice is hanging so heavy on the trees and bushes that limbs are breaking and I lost my 6 foot tall big leaf magnolia that was growing in the woods. On the bright side, I decided to put out bird feed yesterday and the birds are loving it, its been fun watching them. And...I made a wonderful discovery! Did you know you can buy mini freeze dried marshmallows all by themselves?! I had no idea! Now you can add as many as you want to your hot chocolate, no skimping!












Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mosaiculture

Mosaiculture is a cool new gardening trend in which artists and horticulturists create beautiful sculptures using a variety of plants. First, a frame is built from chicken wire or netting and filled with soil. Next, plants are arranged on the frame according to their color and texture, creating abstract or lifelike designs.  The following images are just a few examples from the mosaiculture display featured at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens this past year. Many of them are quite large but don't let that deter you from experimenting with your own designs. After all, Chia Pets are a very simple form of mosaiculture, and one could get quite creative with mosses, catnip or wheat grass, and miniature cacti. I am thinking of trying my hand at mosaiculture this spring by creating an oversized mushroom or toadstool. It will be a few months before it gets warm enough out, but winter is a time for planning, so I can dream ;)
Let me know if you have tried mosaiculture at home and how it has worked for you; I'd love to hear it!






Monday, April 15, 2013

Hello World! Spring is in the Air!

Wow, its been a really long time since I've updated this blog! I've been having some pretty bad cervical spine issues these past few months that have been causing really intense physical (and emotional!) pain. I almost stopped doing everything I enjoy doing, and for a while I was reduced to a sniveling lump. I even thought I was going crazy for a minute. My GP tried all kinds of pills and steroids (which helped me to blow up like a cow) before I finally went for an MRI and was told I needed surgery for bulging discs. Well, I'm not buying it! I am going to try to do everything I can to heal myself; and yes this is possible since I (luckily) don't have any nerve damage yet. Knowing the problem has helped me to start taking it more seriously instead of just trying to push through the pain like I was doing before. I have good days and bad days but this is not a pity party!!! With the world coming back to life outside my door I decided to get out my camera and capture some of the beautiful spring ephemerals blooming right now; blink and they'll be gone! So, without further adieu, toothwort, hepatica, trillium, blood root, and elusive morel mushrooms, show thy selves!!!






 The image above is toothwort, sometimes called birdsfoot, the roots taste somewhat like licorice and they will numb your gums, an old remedy for tooth-ache!









If you are in to mushroom hunting there are many guides around Georgia who can take you on a hunt and help you identify these beauties correctly. While morels are prized and quite valuable (up to $40lb) there are many false morels that can make you very sick. Also, please don't pick Trillium flowers!!! These flowers have a complex seeding process (it's done by ants) and picking one will not only destroy the root system, it will prevent the flower from reproducing. You can NOT seed trillium's by yourself, so take pictures instead!
Happy Spring Everyone!!!

Trillium

The early evening star
The muse of three ivory words
Tied to one gravity of reason—
Tied to the gold pollen
Of birth and rebirth and rebirth.

The trillium and all her creamy luck
Equal in truth—unbiased, measured, even
And blooming silver on all three faces
Of muse. Serving sincerity
On all three plates of heaven.
The trio of power, wisdom, clarity
Paralleling the blonde expressions
Of stars—and the outstretched
Limbs of stars—
Blooming and bedding against
A warm cliff—Soft on a poetic landscape;
Unfolding
On a precipice, leaning clear over its demise:



Sunday, October 28, 2012

Passing Time...



When I was a little kid I used to love going to spend the weekend with my granddaddy. We would go to the movies or the dollar store or to pick peaches; but the thing I remember doing most was going visiting. Usually we would visit lovely old ladies who would put me down for naps under crocheted blankets in sun rooms filled with spider plants and philodendrons. Or we would go see scrappy old men with howling bloodhounds tied to trees who would feed me Brunswick stew with saltines and ‘get’ my nose. One lady we would visit was a widow who lived a few doors down in a white painted brick house with magnolias in the yard so huge, nothing else could grow.  She didn’t put me down for naps- we would have sweet tea- and her walls were covered with paint by number landscapes, covered floor to ceiling. I didn’t think much about it then- if those were places she wanted to go, or why she painted so much- but I thought about her the other day and was inspired to do a paint by number for myself.
 Now I love being creative; and like most people I know, I want to be unique. But painting by numbers is a new way I’ve found to spend time that is surprisingly relaxing. I sat down to work on this 9x12 wolf and before I knew it three hours had passed.  I felt good. I’m sure many people would say that painting by numbers isn’t really art, but I respectfully disagree. If you remember the film Mona Lisa Smile, you may remember the scene where Julia Robert’s students each presented her with the exact same completed paint-by-number, no two were alike.  Because of this, I believe it is still art; we are all so unique that not even a mass produced project can make us the same!
I know that old lady died long ago. I wonder if she had kids and if so, did they keep any of her paintings?  Really I guess it doesn’t matter- I’m sure she did the paintings to pass the time. But I also believe she did them for herself- because she enjoyed it- and that’s why that little old widow, in her sunlight dappled sitting room, was the first real “artist” I ever met.



These little artworks are a fun and kitschy way to decorate, so have fun with it!

 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cloudy Day Delights

It's been raining here so of course that means...mushrooms! I love hunting for unusual mushrooms, but the best ones are those I just stumble upon, like these!