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.