vegetable garden

Sunflower time

brown ink fountain pen, watercolor in Etchr sketchbook

I’m trying out a new sketchbook, a beautiful Etchr cloth bound hard cover portrait style 5.5″X8″sketchbook with 100% cotton hotpress w/c paper. You know, with the handy pocket at the back and elastic to hold it shut. Lovely smooth paper for gliding a pen over. Still, working wet and sloppy with the watercolor, which is my way, doesn’t adapt itself (myself) to the hotpress paper, which shows every puddle and stroke. Can I get used to it? Not sure yet.

This year I’d hoped to have a whole stand of these towering flowers in the back garden, like symbolic soldiers in the brave defense of Ukraine. Also for the best demonstration of midsummer’s beauty. Some of them popped up willy nilly in the vegetable garden and I added them to the lineup at the fence. They wilted and drooped and almost died, but in the end showed their true grit, dropping a few leaves and stretching upward to heights of 6 and 7 feet. I also planted seeds of a new variety, the Velvet Queen.

Whenever the sun is out, which is daylong lately, the honey bees are doing a frenzied nectar feed. I can’t bear to interrupt by cutting a flower for the house. Though I did bring a couple inside recently and they found a spot on the window sill by my studio art table.

Lo and behold, this favorite art quote was leaned up at the window already! A perfect pairing with the flowers.

I think of my studio as a vegetable garden, where things follow their natural course. They grow, they ripen. You have to graft. You have to water.    -Joan Miro

-Joan Miro


The Fortune

watercolor, India ink, black gesso, collage on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

Garden Lady beckons with sunshine and dark fragrant soil

Lures the mind with visions of baskets overflowing

Prods with reminders that you must PLAN and PLOW and PLANT!

But caution advised!

Consult your fortune cooky first to gain perspective.

     “Keep a level head.”

     “Watch what you say (and think)”

     “Wish upon a star tonight.”

(but watch what you wish tor)


“You were right the first time!”

                  Caution advised. An excess of over planning can lead to under performing.

Have you been planning your spring vegetable garden? We have. Maybe you’ve got it all figured out. But our first spring here in the northwest we are scrambling to learn what to expect, pouring over books and taking online courses and staring at our garden plot wondering. . .how ambitious should we get? 

Time to consult astrology, the iChing, Tarot cards, Celtic Runes, almanacs, and maybe even fortune cookies? Or just dive in, move the soil around, get the irrigation right, plant and see what grows!