Sunday, January 21, 2007

Witch Hazel ( Hamamelis )

It's looking like a lovely Sunday, the sun is out.. well hopefully for a little while at least!

This is my Witch Hazel tree, a hamamelis mollis. I have had it in my garden for many years, and it moved with us to our current house.

It's a lovely yellow color in autumn, usually covered in the webs of little flying spiders.

Here it is just a few weeks ago, covered in white frost.

Earlier this month, the oddly shaped yellow flowers started emerging. This is its 3rd season of flowering in this garden. It does very well here, much better than our old house!

The flowers have a lovely and strong scent. I first remember smelling the scent of one long ago. I would walk past this type of tree in the winter months on the way to work, but never saw it. It grew behind a huge wall that i couldn't see over. But then I saw one in a botanical garden in winter, and knew it was the same type of tree. And such pretty flowers!

Of course, I had to get one for myself! But it never did well at the old house, not sure why. It would only grow a handful of flowers.

But here at our house in the country, it grows fantastically. Maybe it likes the boggy soil.

I love this little tree, It calls to me during the cold months, to come outside and take in its wonderful perfume, admire its pretty spidery blooms.

I'll be submitting this post to the Festival of Trees. You can join in too!
It will be the Festival of the Trees 9, to be hosted by Kelly Schmitt Youngberg at Ginkgo Dreams.
Send your tree, forest, and wood related blog posts, be they silly, philosophical, scientific, or whimsical, to: kelly [at] ginkgodreams [dot] com

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

jeweled grass

It's only just grass, but it looked so pretty yesterday. Each blade of grass had caught a drop of rain on its tip, and when the sun came out, it looked like jewels glimmering.
Grass.. it's the most common plant here on our green isle, it grows everywhere. And I think it looks especially beautiful when it's a little long, and the wind blows over it, creating waves of grass. It's almost magical.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Am I a gardener?

Carol from May Dreams Gardens has a post on "What makes a gardener?" For Green Thumb Sunday, I thought it would be fun to answer her questions.

1. "Do you consider yourself a gardener? How did you decide you were a gardener?"
Yes, I am a gardener. I realised I was accumulating more and more plants, growing flowers, herbs, plants from seed, rooting various twigs and stems. I never actually "decided" that I was a gardener, it just became obvious after a while.2. "When is the first time you referred to yourself as a gardener? Where and how did you learn to be a gardener?"
I don't really remember when I first refered to myself as a gardener. I got my first plants in Manhatten,NYC more than 30 years ago, when I visited a plant shop. The owner was cutting up little pieces of wandering jew as cuttings, and I asked him what he was doing. We chatted for a while, and he gave me a few cuttings of various plants. That started my house plant craze, where I would get cuttings from friends and aquintances and get free plants. Soon after, I started getting seeds from flowers and planting window boxes. My "garden" soon traveled up the fire escape, and onto the roof, where I planted herbs that I used for cooking. So I started gardening in a New York City apartment, in containers. I learned by doing. I was hooked!

3. "Has anyone ever introduced you to someone else as a gardener?"
Yes, I was know as the plant lady at work, because my office-studio looked like a jungle, with vines and hanging plants and flowers in every empty space! People would give me thier dying or sick plants, and I would nurse it back to health, then give it back, or sometimes they let me keep it.4. "When someone tells you they are a gardener, what image of them does it bring to mind? What do you expect of them?"
I imagine them digging in thier garden, planting seeds in little pots in early spring, maybe some little glass jars with rooting plants. I expect them to have a love of nature and enjoy chatting about plants.

5. "Can a gardener live where there is no place to plant anything, and still remain a gardener?"
YES! Me in the middle of New York Manhatten proves it!6. "What about horticulturalists? Are they a subset of “gardeners” or a whole different group?"
I imagine a horticulturalist is a profesional, a person with lots more knowledge than myself, and knowing all the latin names!

all the pics above are from my time at Don Bluth Studios, in the mid 90s. My office-studio had a nice large window facing south, so was perfect to grow plants.

Friday, January 12, 2007


This week's topic for Studio Friday January 12th suggested by Hanne: TRAVELS!

"Travelling is a wonderful possibility to open for new inspiration and ideas. I´ll say it´s actually one of the greatest advantages to travelling!

A lot of new impressions and probably also new materials to bring home for future artwork. Maybe new friends - who knows? Anyway, I thought it could be very interesting to know where other bloggers travel. And if you don´t travel right now because of limited econonomy or other restrictions - I think we always travell in our mind: dreaming of somewhere in the countryside - or maybe a big city loaded with museums, galleries and flea markeds for new "input" for our studios and art.

~ Hanne There are two places in the world that came to mind... not cities, not museums, nor flea markets. I am always awed by nature, and when we accidently drove through the Welsh mountains many years ago, I was just going nuts with the wildness and beauty of the surroundings! We stopped in Betws-y-Coed, and discovered a campground where we spent almost every summer after that with the kids while they were growing up. This is a pic of nearby Fairy Glen, a magical stream with little waterfalls and mossy rocks.

The other place in the world that took my breath away was Muir Woods, near San Fransisco California. It was slightly foggy, and the giant redwood trees seemed to touch the heavens, dissapearing into the mist. The stillness, scents, and feeling of foreverness has stayed in my heart, and I long to go back there someday.*dreams*edit: I am putting up a map of where Wales is located. It's just across the Irish Sea from Dublin. We were thinking of crossing Great Britain in one day, to catch a ferry to Holland, so we could visit my Mom and Dad. We had no idea it would take many hours to drive through those "Welsh mountains" in Wales, and we spent 2 days in GB instead of one that trip, but it was more than worth it! ;-)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Tree catches the Moon

This morning the beech tree behind our house had caught the moon in his branches.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Warm and Windy January

The heather is budding, should be flowering soon.

A caterpillar moves slowly through the geraniums. Aren't they meant to be in a cocoon by now?

The fierce wind blows everything down. There are branches from the neighbor's beech all over.. covered by a lovely moss, or is it lichen?