Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Ram's Head Lady's-Slipper - A Rare & Delicate Beauty

I was walking in a little woodland two Springs ago when I came across this tiniest of Wildflowers.  

There was a small little group along the path, and not knowing what exactly I had stumbled upon, I 

was immediately taken in by the delicate, tender sweetness of their being. 

The blossom is about the size of a small button, and seemed very Orchid-like to me, but I had 

to do a bit of research before discovering what it might be called.  In the process of 

learning her name, I realised also that I had stumbled upon a rare wildflower...an 

endangered species of our Northwoods.  

Cypripedium arietinum

Ram's Head Lady's-Slipper

I think it is important that when we approach any Wildflower, that we do so with 

reverence and respect, and with an understanding that all Wildflowers are capable 

of becoming endangered (or extinct) if we do not take care properly.  And that 

we teach our children and everyone we meet along the way to do the same.  It is often a 

delicate balance in which Wildflowers are able to grow and thrive, and there are many 

ways to enjoy Wildflowers without having to "own" them, so to speak.  By not picking 

blossoms or digging up plants we help to ensure their future and offer them the 

respect and appreciation they deserve.  This latest Fairy shares a deep message for 

this reverence, for her survival and the survival of the sacred plant she tends depends upon it.

The Ram's Head Lady's-Slipper Fairy

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Around the Cottage - Winter 2017

Happiest New Year wishes to you all!  I love this time of year so very much, as we shift from the darkness and gather more light each and every day.  Before we know it, Spring blossoms will be awaking and it will be time to play in the garden once again!  It has been hard not to have my mind on the garden lately.  Seed catalogues have been arriving and I've been considering what new plants to grow this year, and thinking about what I'd like to move around when Spring does arrive.
It is surely not here today, however, and I find I must take advantage of this quiet inside time to work on art and cottage projects before the garden steals me away!

Here are a few wintry scenes from around the cottage:

The Front Entry Arbor - covered in Snow and Rose Hips.

A little vignette, with birdhouse, our old garage, clematis and the composter!  : )
Male Cardinal at the feeder.

Female Cardinal


Inside there have many changes recently - from little fix-ups to a new temporary art space (on the front porch mind you)!
My temporary work space on the front porch!  I don't know what I'm going to do when it's time to start seeds!

It is our plan to turn the garage into my new studio.  I was feeling unsure about the whole deal at first, as I liked my space upstairs, but alas, it just doesn't give two teenagers and an artist the necessary space, so I've come to recognise this as a blessing, although it will take some time to transition it all.  All in all, I like it very much on the front porch!  Which brings me to art!  I have been making it.  Perhaps not sharing as much, as I've been working on a quiet project just now, but I shall be getting some pieces together for new cards this year and will hopefully have something to share soon.

In other cottage projects, I decided to tackle the back entryway.  Perhaps it is the old-fashioned-ness in me, but I do so adore wallpaper!  Here is a photograph of how it is looking so far, taken from the mudroom.  I ran out of wallpaper and have to order more to finish the opposite wall, and there is still trim work, etc.  I ordered this wallpaper from Laura Ashley - I like her designs (and this wallpaper is made in Great Britain).  I feel rather pleased, as wallpapering is a rather a stressful task for me (perhaps the cottage ghost was secretly assisting me!)!

I do so wish you all a most Blessed 2017!  May you find much pleasure and happiness in all that you do, make, grow, collect, preserve, create and share this year!

                                                ❤ With Love from Snow Fairy Cottage ❤

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Around the Cottage

It has been a wonderful first Summer in our new little cottage.  It is hard to believe that almost a year has gone by already.  We have been very busy this Spring - making new gardens and adding on to them, bit by bit.  And now that we've made it through the busy parts of Summer (our son's bar mitzvah & Summer art shows), I'm excited to resume work on house projects, and really just enjoy a bit of being, without so much hubbub.  I have a lot of ideas for new paintings floating around, and I do look forward to spending more time in the studio very soon!  For now, here are some photographs & tidbits from around the cottage...

This is the "Side Garden" in its first year (taken mid-summer).  I really do need to come up with a better name, but it hasn't told me just yet.  This was all grass when we first bought the cottage, the shutters were black, and there were no window boxes or trellis' or arbor.  It has changed a lot!  I'm looking forward to seeing the garden grow!
The Side Garden

Here are a few photographs of flowers in the "Side Garden"

"Bergamot" aka bee balm


What a delight to have the scent of the Honeysuckle dance about, catching me in garden moments of deep bliss!

Here is the vegetable patch in its first year.  I would like to add 4 - 8 more squares...perhaps next year!  I am already planning to make next Summer the official "cement removal" Summer!  I hope it happens - removing cement feels really good! : )
"The Vegetable Patch"

Some close-ups of a few of the annual flowers and vegetables from the patch:

Oh, how I love Strawflowers!  I started these indoors about 6 weeks before the last frost date (which is generally the last weekend in May).  They really must be started indoors or the growing season isn't long enough to see them flower.  I generally cut a lot of them to bring inside and dry, but I always leave some to mature on the stalk and collect the seeds for next year.



Statice - another beloved annual that I bring inside to dry in the Autumn.  They keep their colour well, just like strawflowers.

This is a baby birdhouse gourd, aka Gourdling : )  After they have matured to a good size, I bring them inside to cure for the winter.  When they have dried out completely, the mold is washed away and they are made into fairy houses.

"Birdhouse Gourd"

Cucumber - my daughter's favourite!  When I was a little girl, we had such an excess of cucumbers from the garden that my mother used to hollow out the center and float them in the bathtub for us to play with during bath time.  

Unripe Tomatoes : )
"Baby Tomatoes"

Other vegetables in the garden include heirloom pole beans, purple peppers, purple cabbage, zucchini, radishes, lettuces & spinach.

Venturing to the front yard garden...
The lettuce poppies are now in their pod stage.  I wait for them to dry and then collect the seed for next year's sowing.
"Lettuce Poppy Pods"

Life will never be the same again after experiencing the wafting evening delight of the Jasmine Nicotiana plant.  How it does it, I don't know, but when the sun is in its waning light, this plants sends out the most wondrous scent, and it is then that I know there are fairies dancing on my front lawn, beating mini drums and that life could not get any better - unless there is little breeze, that brings the scent wafting through the porch window and inside the cottage...then it could not get any better!

"Nicotiana - jasmine"

"The Fairy" mini rose shrub

Goodness...last, but not least!  This is a project I started yesterday and I'm just so excited about!  Our chimney was having some troubles this past winter and the leaking caused the wallpaper (all five layers of it!) to do crazy, gross things and so I decided that I would really like the look of the brick and I've started chiseling away the plaster.  I have a lot of work to go here...but I think it looks better already!  

The beginning of the project.  There were five layers of wallpaer - 3 of varying Ivy designs.  : )

Making progress...day two.

Well, I hope you've enjoyed your little trip around the cottage!  Take good care!  

With much Love,

T xx

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Walk Amongst Spring Wildflowers, etc.

How exciting it is to finally dip our little toes into Spring!  I've greatly been enjoying trips to the woodlands and I'm delighted to share with you some of the native northwoods wildflowers I've spotted so far...

One of the first Spring wildflowers to appear are the Spring Beauties (Claytonia virginica).  They are very dainty little plants, with sweet little pink stripes that run along the flower's petals.  The flowers are about the size of a small pinky finger tip.  Another, fun little name that I recently learned for this flower is "Fairy Spuds", rightly named by their little tuberous roots.

"Spring Beauties" a.k.a. "Fairy Spuds"

Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides) is such a beautiful plant!  The fruits of the blue cohosh are a very pretty "blue", but are poisonous to ingest.  It's amazing to me how the colour of this plant's flower vary.  Sometimes I've seen the petals as light yellow and here, they take on a very purplish/blue hue.  The roots are used medicinally.

"Blue Cohosh" Flowers

"Blue Cohosh" Leaves

I love the mottled leaves of the Yellow Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum).  This is such an elusive wildflower to photograph!  Rarely, am I able to take one that isn't blurry - I do wonder about that!

"Yellow Trout Lily"

Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) a.k.a "Wake Robin" is a protected wildflower in Michigan (as really ALL wildflowers should be - I believe).


Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria).  Perhaps it was once the fashion?  : )

"Dutchman's Breeches"

Ooh...one of my favourites (and I know I shouldn't)!  I jump with joy at the sight of this wildflower.  Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum).  The fruit of this plant is a clump of red, poisonous berries, spotted in the Autumn.


Smooth Soloman's Seal (Polygonatum biflorum)

"Smooth Soloman's Seal"

Large-Flowered Bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora)

"Large-Flowered Bellwort"

Broadleaf Toothwort (Dentaria diphylla).  The scent of this plant's little flowers is delectable!

"Broadleaf Toothwort"

Fringed Polygala (Polygala paucifolia) a.k.a. "Gaywings".  Happily taking flight along the forest floor.

"Fringed Polygala"

Wild Strawberry Blossoms (Fragaria virginiana)

"Wild Strawberry Blossoms"

Although not a wildflower, but a dear and beloved Fungus!  I found one of my favourite mushrooms on the trail, called Pixie Cups.  They are so teeny tiny, and always give me the most wondrous smile inside.

"Pixie Cups"

Fern Frond.  A magical sight to behold.

"Fern Frond"


"Beetle Juice, Beetle Juice, Beetle Juice"

Green Man!

"The Green Man"

I do hope you've enjoyed taking this little wildflower blog walk with me.  There are so many other wildflowers yet to be found, and many from year's past that I have not included, as it just seems right to share my current adventure finds.  The sharing is such a joyful and significant part of all that I do, and I thank you for being here to share it with me!  

Yours in Wildflower Bliss,

T xx

Heart Stone ❤

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

"Lettuce Poppy"

A new fairy painting

"Lettuce Poppy"

And a few photographs...
(from back at the farm,
as this is our first growing
season at the cottage.  : )

Here is a lettuce poppy just about to blossom.

I absolutely adore the shapely seed pods.  When they have matured, I like to collect the seeds to sow next year and bring the dried pods inside for decoration.

A beautiful white variety.