Garden Flower Zen

dahlia blossoms

The work seems easier…

as my eyes feast on the beauty surrounding me in the garden.

A stroll through the garden provides bright colors and fragrant discoveries painted by blooming flowers planted throughout. I may be weeding but my ears are soothed to hear the song of many birds and bees buzzing by. The time spent is full of surprises like an occasional ladybug, butterfly or dragonfly! Flowers are an essential part of an artist’s garden. I cut flowers almost every day to make our house feel alive in summer.

It is amazing what you discover when writing a blog. Looking through the photography of the garden, I see that we plant 20+ types of flowers in the garden on a regular basis. No wonder, the bees like our garden so much. I could probably write a post about each variety from the various picture’s shot over the years that show the growth progress, colors and best angles. But don’t worry, that is not the intention of this post. The goal of this post is to show you what flowers we grow in the garden as an introduction to further articles that show more intense information about each variety.

  1. Alyssum, a ground-cover that I like to plant around other bigger guys.white alyssum ground cover blossoms
  2. Bachelor Button, a frequent bloomer gives a touch of color wherever they are.bachelor button blossoms
  3. Baby’s Breath, a small white flower used in bouquets.white baby's breath blossoms
  4. Bleeding Heart, the bush springs up just as the snow melts with heart shaped blossoms appearing as we ready for planting. Notice Mr Butterfly on the top right.bleeding heart blossoms
  5. Carnation, the cinnamon scent of these blossoms make it a pleasure to snuggle them with your face every time you pass by.red pink and white carnation blossoms
  6. Coneflower, a hardy bush that grows up tall and spreads arms wide showering the garden with yellow blossoms all-summer-long. yellow cone flower bush
  7. Cosmos, a favorite wildflower blooming throughout summer.lavender cosmos blossoms
  8. Crocus & Daffodill, 2 short time early spring guys who pop their head out of the snow, with heads that turn to follow the sun.purple crocus blossomsyellow daffodill
  9. Dahlia, comes in a multitude of bright colors, shapes and sizes.pink dahlias
  10. Daisy. We had daisies and red roses at our wedding.shasta daisy blossoms
  11. Geranium, I have to take into the house over winter.red geranium
  12. Gladiola, a flower that I love but so do all the gophers, an on-going war.red gladiola
  13. Iris, is planted all around in and out of the garden. The deer seem to leave it alone, most of the time.bearded iris blossoms
  14. Lilac, lavender spring bush blossoms with a heavenly fragrance.lavendar lilac blossoms
  15. Marigold, 2 years ago I scattered a coffee can of dried flower seeds. Wrongfully, thinking were no good. But, they were just fine, notice the height of those marigolds.tall marigolds
  16. Poppy, a wildflower self seeder.pink poppy blossoms
  17. Roses, one of my favorite flowers.pink rose
  18. Snapdragons, are very fragrant and colorful blossoms.snapdragon blossoms
  19. Sunflower, pale yellow, orange, to brown. Check out the bee zooming in for a landing here.golden brown sunflower
  20. Zinnia, splashes of color all summer long.

Roses On a Snowy Day

rose bouqet
bouquet of roses up close

Bouquet of Roses on a Snowy Day

Having a snow-day is wickedly awesome anytime! If you know about the 12″ rule, then I know you fully understand what I mean. But, having a husband who buys you roses and takes you to dinner on that day too, is ever so much more heavenly. You know, I got one heck of a keeper in Peter Woelk!

bouquet of roses on table
bouquet of roses on table

These soft petals are so gorgeous as they coax me to come sit by them. My mind says, “Okay, after I get the tomatoes canned today.”¬† They are just sitting there saying, “Draw me, and paint me Val. By the way, I smell good too – if you’d like to come on over here and sniff.”

Two Blue Pillowcases

Embroidery on Pillowcases

I just completed embroidery on two blue pillowcases this week. They are flowers done in satin stitch along with french knots and regular border lines. This one is of four roses in different colors with a smattering of leaves and line doo-dads.

blue pillowcase roses
king size pillowcase with roses
Blue pillowcase with flowers
king size pillowcase with flowers

This one is two types of flowers some in lavenders and others in pink.

Cosmos Blossoms

Cosmos bloom providing a great splash of color in our garden. Graceful lavender petals on slim stems. Being a type of wildflower, they are easy to plant and care for, love to be “dead-headed” and producing volumes of blossoms all season long.¬†There is more information at almanac.com and at HappyDIYhome.com about these “daisy-like” flowers on the internet, check it out. I typically look up any new flower or plant on the internet before I sow any seeds, looking for what to do and what not to do. These seeds were given to me by a gardner friend of mine and now I see why she likes them so much. It is almost like a new painting every day I walk down to the garden and see these graceful creatures.

cosmos blossoms 19
cosmos blossoms 19

Soft Lavender Petals

A lavender Cosmos patch borders around the strawberries this year. After seeing the graceful color display this year, I intend to plant a larger variety of colors next year.

cosmos blossoms 20
cosmos blossoms 20

Everyone Loves Them

The bees, butterflies, and dragonflies in our garden are constant visitors to the cosmos flowers. Similarly, the blossoms seem to attract artists too! I hover close, getting a multitude of photographs to paint from. The cosmos are such a delicate and shapely inspiration to me. There will definitely be watercolors of these beauties in the near future on this blog. I made a hand embroidered tablecloth earlier that reflects the attraction felt to these colorful flowers.

Plumerias

Plumerias come to life

After getting the plumerias color and shapes defined it becomes obvious that the white background is not going to work. The flowers are fading off into their background. I don’t want a completely solid background to the edges so I experiment as I go, applying very light washes of Sap Green first then Veridian or Thalo Green in spots.

plumeriaJH01
plumeria blossoms 01

Adding various sized drops of Hookers Green to keep it interesting, aiming for shadow behind the flower.

plumeriaJH02
plumeria blossoms 02

As more area is filled with the greens in the background the petals of the plumeria begin to stand out and shine.

plumeriaJH05
plumeria blossoms 05

Now I begin adding some Royal Blue shadows along with Ultramarine Blue, and purples. Some depth is showing where one blossom overlaps another. These transparent washes really bring out real looking shadows.

plumeriaJH06
plumeria blossoms 06

Note the difference when a shadow is added, where the red blossom overlaps the pink/orange blossom behind and where the white petal overlaps also.

plumeriaJH06
plumeria blossoms 06

Darkening places in the surroundings at the petal edges accentuate the backgrounds depth.

plumeriaJH08
plumeria blossoms 08

Done, it is confusing which way it should be hung, so I am happy that I don’t have to decide. Flattening the paper out overnight by wetting on the back side and laying face down with a heavy board overnight and allowing it to dry. Then packing to send off in the mail. Hoping that it arrives on time for Jeanie Hollands Birthday! Love You Jeannie!

plumeriaJH09
plumeria blossoms 09

More posts like this are under the “Watercolor” category.

Flowers Blooming Everywhere

They’re everywhere

The garden has flowers blooming everywhere and it has become quite an inspiration to my artistic soul. I can’t seem to quit painting the bright petals waving in the wind. Walking down with the intention of weeding, harvesting and checking everything, and the next thing I know, I am photographing the beautiful explosions of color everywhere. I can’t help myself, there really are flowers blooming where ever I look.

garden flowers
garden flowers and house

Progressive accumulation of beauty

We have spent years building the fences and slowly planting the whole garden as economically as we can. Flowers were not as high on the list as vegetables and fruit bushes and trees. But now, I have saved seeds for most all the established crops that we plant every year, so now I can buy a couple nice flower seeds or starts each year. We want plenty of flowers blooming that attract the bees and butterflies so pollination happens, and the marigolds are being planted as a deterrent to the buggy pests that don’t like their smell. We are using old fashioned methods that don’t have chemicals to worry about in our food.

First Impression Entering Garden

In this picture you can see the view from standing right when you enter the main garden gate and turn right to look back up the hill.

This thick patch of flowers up close were actually accidental. I had been spreading marigold and dahlia seeds along our driveway and couldn’t figure out why they were not sprouting up. I thought that I must have not dried them correctly and I had screwed them up. When I walked in the garden, I gave up and just scattered half a coffee can full of flower seed on the ground. Marigolds, dahlias, marigolds, dahlias.

Walked away thinking some should sprout.

A couple of weeks later, there were more marigolds and dahlias sprouting up than I have ever seen. I started transplanting the marigolds in a row along the fenceline and have done just over 3/4 of the whole garden. Our garden is big, and it is true that marigolds help keep away pests. I read it in a real book and also on the internet here.

I tried transplanting more blossoms outside of the garden and found out that Bambi absolutely loves to eat marigolds. Now I know, why none of my seeds came up along the driveway at the beginning of the season, they were hors d’ouvres for the deer population.

More posts like this?