Saturday, February 21, 2009

Three Things I Learned at the Garden Show

I learned a few things at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show this week. The first thing was that lily bulbs can be really big. And that I am powerless to resist buying them. This one is African Queen and it will be "rich orange with a burgundy reverse". I think I would like that to be the description of my life.

The second important thing that I learned was that heathers, that old garden stand-by available at Home Depot, are not heathers at all but "heaths". This is of concern to me as I feel it should have been part of my Scottish heritage to know this. The true heathers that cover the Scottish highlands are "Calluna vulgaris" and the shopping mall parking lot heaths are "Ericas". Callunas have scale-like leaves while Ericas have more of a needle. Or as the nice guy from Heaths and Heathers in Shelton told me "Heather = feather. Heath = teeth" I feel much more Scottish now! This is Calluna "Silver Knight"

The third thing I learned at the garden show was that spending too many hours in the dark and cavernous belly of the Trade and Convention Center leaves me feeling like this. Maybe the show will be reincarnated at an outdoor space some time in the future.
(Moss head photo by Dutch artist Levi van Veluw)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


This (hopefully) scientifically accurate painting of Pinto Abalone will be auctioned by the Puget Sound Restoration Fund to raise money to help increase abalone populations. The Pinto is the only abalone native to this area and is smaller and bumpier than the more southern varieties. I enjoyed painting the bubble gum pink algae covering the rock and the shells. It really is this color!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Bloggers Meet Up

Hello to my fellow Seattle garden bloggers who I met at our recent gathering. It was so much fun to meet the real people behind the blogs. Thanks to Karen at Greenwalks for organizing. Everyone is welcome to join us next time, Sunday 22 March.

Read all about it at Karen's blog and Melanthia's blog.

See you all next time!

Three Scarlet Gardens

I have been immersed in the delicate browns, greys and whites of winter and enjoying painting these colors. Today, though, waking up to more snow and cold, I crave something hotter. There are three gardens in my life right now that all offer me a flash of scarlet. First, outside amid the frost blasted grey rosemary and crumpled black flax plants I have indulged in some grocery store primulas and a single pansy. Scarlet! I will probably get them planted into the ground eventually, but even if I don't they are doing their job of warming me up.

The second garden bringing heat to my color palette is an indoor bowl of amaryllis, looking pretty good against my newly painted dark grey kitchen wall.

And the third garden is an underwater collection of plants and animals at the Seattle Aquarium where I have been researching abalone for a painting. I think this is kelp, either giant or bull.

Aren't they all a perfect tonic for the cold weather! Franky Scarlet I DO give a damn.