Saturday, February 6, 2016

Small Things

So many good things really do come in small packages, don't they?  I tore a 9 x 12 sheet of watercolor paper into 4 and am working small.  It's great fun, and feels much more relaxed.  It doesn't feel like such a great loss if only 1/4 of a sheet of expensive paper is wasted. If it turns out nicely, great! if not, no big whoop. The rooster sketch was inspired by a much beloved kitchen towel that is getting old and faded from use.  I  made this sketch to try to preserve some of the images before they become unrecognizable, and I like it so much, I'm now thinking of doing a larger version to hang in my kitchen.

I've included here a photo of the area that I am turning into a butterfly garden.  It's a little clearing down by the creek situated at the point where two streams converge.  I first envisioned a wild area just for wildflowers, but order and design seem to be creeping in.  Maybe you can see from the photo that I have broken ground for a roughly teardrop shaped bed.  What was supposed to be a bed of randomly scattered annual wildflowers is slowly becoming a perennial border.  Already I have put in some irises, oregano, verbena, ox-eye daisies, peonies, and will soon be putting in those calla lilies from the photo above.   The small tree in the center of the photo has a bed of ferns and hostas and daffodils at its base and a viburnum ('spring bouquet') is just to the right of it.  Going on around the corner to the right and out of view in the photo there are native hydrangeas and a bed of foxgloves that I started from seed last September.  Where will I put the wildflowers?  Maybe I can squeeze them in amongst the perennials!!

A new page in my nature journal is devoted to the lovely and diminutive partridge berry.  For years I thought this tiny evergreen creeper was called 'ground holly' because of its dark green, glossy evergreen leaves and bright red berries.  I still think that's a better name for it.  After a bit of research, I discovered that it's actually sold by growers as a terrarium plant, and I can see that it would be perfectly suited for that. It grows in shade along the creek banks here, and you have to look for the bright red berries to find it.  It forms a nice mat in areas that are swept clean of leaves and debris by the flood waters that frequently overrun the banks.  So, now I'm thinking of maybe making a little terrarium for the dining room table. Another small project to consider.

Small projects. small treasures. they all add up to a great happiness and contentment that doesn't seem very small at all. :)))