Garden Influence & Flora Faves

Details of my pots above: Deluxe clover cup, Small covered jar, Large plate,
Flower brick, Screen vase pair, & Wall pillow tile.

More flowers have been popping up on my work in the last couple of years. And why not? I love them! In the dead of a Massachusetts winter, I long for spring and summer, and daydream about those floriferous seasons by placing a little bit of them on my pots.

Penstemon & Eupatorium  Knautia  Geranium & sedumLady's Mantle, Alchemilla  Allium bulgaricum  Heuchera and dicentra

First row: Penstemon & Eupatorium, Knautia, and Sedum & Geranium.
Second row: Alchemilla, Allium bulgaricum, and Heuchera.

I am completely preoccupied with being outside during this time of year, specifically, with being in or sitting beside my flower garden. I wrote about my lovely distraction four years ago in this Perennial Influence post, which still perfectly articulates every sentiment I have for gardening, so I hope you’ll give it a read. A recent pic I posted to my Ceramics Page of my main perennial bed and the corresponding number of thumbs up seems to indicate a universal need and appreciation for beauty and diversion, so I thought I’d do an updated pictorial from garden.

Dicentra & Lamium  Sedum  NepetaSpirea & Knautia  Digitalis & Knautia  Heuchera, Hosta & Fern

First row: Dicentra & Lamium, Sedum, and Nepeta.
Second row: Spirea, Digitalis & Knautia, and Heuchera, Hosta & Fern.

I seem to think about my plantings very similarly to how I think about my pots: How do they look from farther away, as well as close up? What colors best compliment a grouping? What shapes and textures add to the whole? Which are heartbreakers not worth the effort, and which make me the most happy?

Salvia  Lupine  Dogwood, Heuchera, Geranium & HostaIlex  Hosta Patriot  Dicentra

First row: Salvia, Lupine, and Geranium, Heuchera, & Red-twig dogwood.
Second row: Ilex, Hosta (Patriot), and Dicentra.
All images courtesy of my gardens.

Happy Summer!
Below are detail pix of pottery and sculpture faves that have hugs & kisses of flora.

Michael Connelly  Matt Wedel  McKenzie SmithMakoto Kagoshima  Baraby Barford  Kurt Anderson  Michael Kline  Michael Sherrill  Steve Colby

First row: Michael Connelly, Matt Wedel, and McKenzie Smith.
Second row: Makoto Kagoshima, Baraby Barford, and Kurt Anderson
Third row: Michael Kline, Michael Sherrill, and Steve Colby.

Perennial Influence

I couldn’t think of a subject for a new post, so posed the question (to myself), “What have you been thinking about?” I’m in a making cycle, bisqued last weekend, glazed all week for upcoming deadlines and commissions leading up to another firing, and have some new, big ideas, but what I’m really thinking about is my garden.

Agastache  Allium  Allium_bulgaricum  Astilbe
Baptisia  Crimson_Barberry  Bugbane  Dianthus

First Row: Agastache, Allium, Allium bulgaricum, and Astilbe
Second: Baptisia, Barberry, Bugbane, and Dianthus

I love flowers and trees, learning new things and being outside, but when we bought our home almost four years ago, my thumbs all but turned green. My Great Grandma, Grandpa and Dad were each avid gardeners (veggies and flowers), and I enjoy the feeling that I am continuing a family tradition in some small way. Other than the gorgeous results and insects and birds the perennials attract, my favorite part is the escapism. All I think about when I garden is the activity itself and “Ooooo, pretty, pretty.”

Dogwood_Red_twig  Echinacea  Blue_fescue  Fox_glove
Geranium  Hellebore  Heuchera  Heuchera_Red

First ro: Red-twig Dogwood, Echinacea, Blue Fescue and Fox glove
Second: Geranium, Hellebore, Heuchera bloom and Red-leaf Heuchera

I have discovered that I garden the same way I make pots: research and preparation balanced with a healthy dose of impatience and stubbornness. I wound up having little interest in planning, mostly choosing and placing plants together based on color, contrast and shape. As an artist, I seem to be drawn to unusual colors (loving deep purple and bronzed–leaf plants, for example, next to the chartreuse and limes), odd shapes (alliums and lupines) and rich textures. Gardening is the quintessential 3D design experience for me.

Hostas  Hydrangea_Pee_Gee  Lupine_flowers  Lupine_leaves
Japanese_Maple  Penstemon  Sedum  Switchgrass

First row: Hostas, Pee-gee Hydrangea, Lupine flowers and Lupine leaves
Second: Japanese maple, Pentsemon, Sedum and Switchgrass

One of my goals with the garden—other than mental relaxation—was to attract butterflies and birds.  I become giddy (yes, giddy) as new blooms bring big, clumsy bumblebees, darting ruby-throated hummingbirds, waves of monarchs, lazy tiger swallowtails and lone hummingbird moths (the insect I had never seen before having this garden).  Because the garden is so close to the house, lining the entire front porch, I can stand at the door in the morning when I brush my teeth, or sit out there in the evening with a glass of wine in hand, surveying the scene.

our-garden-808All this happiness certainly feeds my studio time, and I’m definitely aware of wanting my slip-trailed shapes to be outlined like an astilbe leaf, a glaze the color of a penstemon leaf, a stamp the radiating shape of a lupine leaf with droplets of water, a vase shaped like the waterfalling grass…
All images courtesy of my garden.