Notes From My Garden: It’s a Jungle Out There

Our gardens have exploded into full bloom lately with late tulips and daffodils, alliums, lilacs, irises, bleeding hearts, lilies of the valley, and more. We also planted the containers hanging on our fence gates (which are still lined with reused coffee bags), and added a few new containers to our patio.

lush backyard lush backyard

tulips and alliums

white bleeding hearts

lilies of the valley

new garden containers new garden gate basket new garden gate basket

mowing the lawn for first time

We finally got around to mowing our lawn for the first time!

It’s always a fun little adventure to go exploring in my own backyard, looking for different shapes, colors and textures. Hope you’re enjoying a lovely late Spring/early Summer too.



Notes From My Garden: It’s Amazing Out There!

I’m always in awe over everything that’s happening in our yard and neighborhood during Spring, especially after seeing all our plants go dormant and stay brown and grey for so many months in Winter. We planted lots of bulbs last Fall, so it’s exciting to see new flowers blooming throughout our petalspink snow

more crab apple trees in bloomcrab apple tree

bleeding hearts pink tulips pink tulips

purple tulipsorange tulips lilies of the valleySo many sizes, shapes, colors and textures! It’s amazing out there! Hope you’re enjoying Spring too.



Notes from the Garden: Spring is Here

Spring is definitely here! We have so much blooming right now, including our crab apple tree which looks and smells like a beautiful, giant bouquet.

pink tree

crab apple blossoms

spring in the backyard


magnolia shrubtulips spring bulbstulipvinca vines

It’s such a fun time of year to hang out in our backyard and explore! You never know what treasures you’re going to find. Hope you’re taking time to stop and smell the spring flowers.



Notes From the Garden: Spring Treasures

We are starting to see more and more signs of spring around here. This week we have new daffodils blooming and buds s.l.o.w.l.y. starting to open on some of our vines, shrubs and trees.

first daffodil of spring

spring greens

Sometimes you have to look closely to find treasures in the wild.

vinca vines

buds on crab apple tree

skull in backyard

look – a small skull! how cool is that!
bird skull found in backyard ducks in backyard

look – a mallard couple, probably stopping by to ask for directions to the nearest pond!

We finished all our spring clean-up chores, so now I’m ready to plant some spring pansies and spruce up our patio with a few flowering containers and baskets.

It’s such a fun time of year to start exploring our backyard again! You never know what treasures you’re going to find.



Notes From the Garden: Signs of Spring

We are starting to see more and more signs of spring around here. All kinds of birds have returned, which is wonderful to hear in the early mornings and at dusk, a chorus of robins, grackles and mourning doves.


buds on magnolia shrub

buds on apple tree

tiny crocuses

spring bulbs

It’s such a fun time of year to start exploring our backyard again!

exploring the backyardspring in the backyard spring in the backyardspring in the backyardI’m anxious to look for more signs of spring, to find more buds opening and bulbs popping up and blooming. This week’s yard chores include raking the lawn, getting fresh mulch for all of the garden beds, and planting pansies.



Spring Fever

A trip to the local greenhouse is always a great cure for the Winter blues and Spring fever!IMG_9004

I love walking through the greenhouse, soaking up all the green plants and smelling the wet soil from a recent watering.

fern at greenhouse green arrangement at greenhouse

It’s exciting to see the bright colors of pansies and other flowers starting to show up when things are still brown and gray outside.pansies at greenhouse

orange flowers at greenhousepink flowers at greenhouse

IMG_9008Hope you are finding ways to get inspired these days to get through spring fever!



This Week’s Fresh-Cut Flowers

This week’s fresh-cut flowers are definitely brightening up my office with soft and bold pops of color and textures. Since I try to buy a new bouquet every week, I thought it would be fun to finally learn the names of these flowers.

fresh cut flowers

I really love these lime green daisy poms which seem to end up in every bouquet I purchase. I haven’t had any of the purple statice flowers in awhile. And a pink carnation is always a sweet addition with its layers of ruffles.

lime green pom daisy

purple statice

pink green purple flowersThe alstroemeria (Peruvian lily) flowers come in such a wide variety of colors, yet this white version is as lovely as any.

Alstroemeria flower pink daisies

Two of the pink daisies were broken off so I saved them by putting them in a tiny dish filled with water.

pink daisiesThis bouquet includes a small variety of flowers, yet packs a punch with the soft pink, bright fuchsia, purple, and lime green – great for the soul and for drawing inspiration!


From My Sketchbook: Drawing Inspiration from the Greenhouse

Trips to the greenhouse are a pick-me-up during the winter months when everything is dormant and gray outside, but they also provide inspiration for my drawing, illustration and surface pattern design projects.

Here are a few color palettes I’m working with these days using tiny plants on display at the local greenhouse.
tiny plants color palettesSince I can’t bring all of them home on every visit, I try to bring home pictures to use for reference for new illustrations in my sketchbook.

sketchbook tiny fernssketchbook tiny plantssketchbook tiny plantsMy plan next is to draw these sketches digitally and turn them into a new collection of surface patterns! So fun!



Freshening Up At the Greenhouse

It’s always refreshing to take a trip to the local greenhouse in winter to soak up all the green plants growing indoors while it’s cold and snowy outside. I love noticing all the different hues of green and the shapes and textures.

mini plants at the greenhouse

mini plants at the greenhouse flowers at the greenhousemini plants at the greenhouse mini plants at the greenhouse red pink and green leaves

arrow leaf greenhouse fern foxtail fern

On this trip, we brought how some succulents to add to our houseplant collection. They sure are popular right now, aren’t they? I’m hoping they like the dry climate in our house, especially in winter.

succulents from the greenhouse

My regular trips to the greenhouse not only serve as a pick-me-up but also give me inspiration for my drawing, illustration and surface pattern design projects. Stay tuned for a couple new pages from my sketchbook!