I have not felt that sentiment for many, many years. Days like today make me feel so Blessed! I took a walk with my camera again, and clicked pics of some amazing things that I had been missing out on. Owning a greenhouse business was good in some ways that I miss, but I had not been able to enjoy what I was experiencing. While being a greenhouse owner, I had too many things to worry about. Timing of crops, employees, customers (I did meet many wonderful people, but a few trying ones), cash flow, weather, and more. Having the business fail, made me feel like a complete failure- I had given it everything I had, and it wasn't enough. Life went by in a blur, working at the greenhouse every day from sunrise to sunset, or even later- (unfortunately, lights strung in the greenhouses let the work day go until I could not stand up any more).
Now I have severe financial worries, etc., but being able to slow down and really look at what is surrounding me is wonderful. I am finding more and more to inspire my work with my quilts in my own backyard. I do miss the greenhouses full of blooming flowers of all kinds, and miss being able to play with new, varieties, but there is a lot in my own bedraggled gardens. This is the first year in recent memory, that we have the lawn mowed in May! In past years, we were lucky to have it done the first time by mid June (we got around 100 bales off the lawn last year).
I did start a few seeds- here are some tomato plants, we have a couple weeks to wait for safe planting, so they will be just right. I also have a few baby petunias, alyssum, dianthus, and others. I should have blooms in a couple weeks from them. For now, I am revelling in the small wonders of the perennial plants, trees, and shrubs in my gardens.
The Bleeding heart is just beginning to open it's buds.
This one is in my shade garden, where earlier there were clumps of the bright blue Snow Glories, and more things just emerging.
The lilac bushes are budding, now. They seem to be opening before my eyes, with the warm, sunny days like today.
Here is the Lilac Garden. My son, Zack (AKA Computer Geek) started collecting lilacs when he helped me at the Lilac Festival in Rochester, NY back when I did the art show, there. These bushes started as tiny 3-6" tall babies, Zack grew too- he's 6' 4"+ now. The garden area around the bushes needs much weeding, and cleaning up, but look, the lawn is mowed around it! We were making the garden expand to contain all the lilacs along with other plants- that makes it easier than to mow around each bush.
Next, on my walk was my Maple Garden. It was pictured earlier during the snowstorm. The maples are starting to open their buds. I love the way they look, using the bright blue sky as the backdrop. I played with a few closeups of the opening buds- here is one on the right, and part of a tree on the left.
The Maple Garden is a huge bed, that has many treasures in it. The Hydrangea shrub is leafing out, while the flowers from last year are still hanging on. In the left picture, I held this one up, to get it with the blue sky as the background, I took a few more pics like this- I think they may end up in my blue quilt.
As you can see, even if I don't care for oranges or reds, they will crop up in the gardens occasionally. The right picture is a Goldflame Spirea, who's leaves will turn golden yellow, with pink fluffy flowers.
Hear are some nodding blooms of my Narcissus, Thalia. It is what's called a triandrus type (yea, I still remember scientific plant speak)- usually 3 flowers on each stem. I love the way they hold their heads. They are one of the later blooming varieties, so now that the yellow daffs are gone, these are just coming out. Next will be the double Narcissus- I can't wait!
Well, Here is what's happening in the studio with some of my pictures. I have been printing some of the Snow Glory and sky photos on silk. I played with a photo in the computer to see what effects I could get- Fun. The strips in the center, were trimmings from the first batch of photos I took, and dyed, using Colorhue dyes. The Electric Blue is perfect with the photos. I am not exactly sure what is going to happen, but a blue and white quilt is in the works. I can see that I need to print the hydrangea shown, and a couple more to go with it.
Here on the left are some more dyed strips, I had fun starting with the blue, and adding red to it as I did more strips. The fuschsia strips are great. One strip in blue, that looks printed, (3rd from left) had been printed. A result of a printer jam- It worked great to over-dye it.
The right picture is of some pieces of a Habotai silk, and some more of my vintage kimono scraps, I kept adding little bits of dye to the container. Blue moved to purple and fuschsia, with red added, then yellow added after the blue was exhausted, to get the tangerine, and peach. Front left piece was used to wipe the bottle tops! I was just playing!
I am not sure just how the blue quilt is going to end up. I am going to let the photos and fabrics let me know what they want to be. Kind of a celebration quilt, I think.
I'll keep you posted.
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