Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Today in the Garden: Spring's Purest Whites

At long last the peonies, which until now had been holding their buds so tightly, have opened. Here they are, in all their pink-tipped fragrance, with Baptisia Purple Smoke in the background.

Here they are with snow-in-summer, cerastium tomentosum, white and more white.

And here, more spring whites:  Artemisia Silver Brocade sprawling in front of Dianthus Tatra Fragrance.

More whites: St. Francis, under a white birch tree, brings grace to this corner of the yard, with its frosty hostas and snow white Lamium White Nancy.

Finally, today's bouquet:  peonies, baptisia, bleeding hearts, honeysuckle, ferns, hosta leaves.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Today in the garden...blue, blue, and more blue

I treasure this time of year because I can bask in the glory of the garden I've created and--in a constant spirit of trial and error--continue to create.  In summer, it may look parched and leggy and tatty, but now, in the full flush of late spring, it bursts with juice and vigor, in ethereal shades of blue.

In the foreground, the purple-blue flowers of Baptisia Purple Smoke.  In the background, a hanging pot of Browallia Blue Bells

In another part of the garden, the spikes of a purple-blue baptisia tower over the white foliage and blooms of Lamium White Nancy

In the front landscaping, Spanish bluebells (hyacinthoides hispanica) cozy up to forget-me-nots (some kind of myosotis).
Beside the path to our front door, another kind of blue:  the glaucous glow of Fescue Elijah Blue, flanked by the frosty  blue of sedum cauticola.

The display of blues is matched, elsewhere in the garden, by a bed showing of delicate shades of pink, silver, and maroon.

L--R from left foreground:  Lamiastrum Herman's Pride, Dicentra Formosa (with pink flowers), Heuchera Mocha ( maroon foliage), and Lamium Pink Pewter (white foliage).

Pink, maroon, and silver-white

Friday, May 27, 2011

Today in the garden...

Lonicera Harlequin climbs a post.  When my sister Jeanne died at age 58, the neighbors gave me a gift certificate to a favorite nursery, where I bought this harlequin honeysuckle, with its wild and crazy variegated flowers and foliage.  Wild and crazy like Jeanne.

Lonicera Harlequin

Cerastium Tomentosum (snow-in-summer) tumbles over the edges of the silver garden

Lamium Pink Pewter, Brunnera Jack Frost, and Heuchera Silver Scrolls show off their veined and variegated foliage.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ripples in the Sand

I love the rippled sand left behind by the departing ocean at low tide.

The rippled, forked shapes are different with each withdrawal of the tide, yet so alike in their iterations, ephemeral yet eternal.

I especially like the way they feel under the soles of my feet.

That's why I set out to make a fiber creation based on this 8 x 10 photo of the ripples left behind by the tide on Cape Cod Bay in Eastham, MA.  I used a Sharpie marker to highlight its ridges and troughs.

I had this copied at 3 times its 8 x 10 size--24 x 30.

When I taped this 24 x 30 blowup onto a glass-topped table, and stuck a utility light under it, I created a giant light table. 

Then I was able to copy the contours of these ripples onto a piece of muslin. 

Once I backed the muslin up to a piece of shiny blue-tan fabric that looked like wet, rippled sand, I could sew the two together along these lines, creating a series of channels through which I would draw lengths of cording, thus creating the three-dimensional look of the sand ripples.

 Here are two different sizes of channels created for the cording.  The top one is 5/8" wide, the bottom one 6/8" or 3/4" wide.  Which looks more like the ripples in this photo?