On pink tulips, seasonality, and upcoming events

pink-tulips-bottle-branchThis week, I’m getting ready for a few upcoming art shows and craft fairs, and it has me thinking about how I organize and present my work. I organize my botanical photography cards and photos into groups and sets according to their season of flowering.
organizing-flower-cards-by-season-bottle-branch
It always seemed like the obvious way to organize since that’s how I think of them. Ombre of Sassafras leaves card? That one is an autumn. Pink tulips? Spring, obviously! And hydrangea can only be filed under ‘summer’.
pink-tulip-card-from-bottle-branch
But one of the things that I have learned from selling my items at local art fairs, is that not everyone thinks that way. Not everyone sees a pink tulip and thinks, “Spring!” They may think, “I like pink.” Or, “my grandmother used to grow pink tulips.” Or, just “pretty!” (Or, maybe they’re thinking “ewww… too girly! I hate it!” but they’re too polite to say so outloud.) larkspur-ombre-card-by-bottle-branchSo, I’ve been thinking about alternative organizing scenarios. I could see organizing by color. Or maybe design type – a set of different ombre color gradient cards? But I keep getting stuck on seasonality.
spring-tulip-cards-from-bottle-branch
So, I am curious, dear reader, does seasonal organization make sense to you?  How would organize a catalogue of botanical images? I’d be delighted to hear what you think!

P.S. The other, more practical, thing I’ve been doing as I organize for the upcoming season, has been setting up an online list of my upcoming events. You can click here, or look up at the top right corner of my site, look under “Menu”and click on the “events” tab.

P.P.S. First event is Newton Open Studios on April 1st and 2nd! I’ll be exhibiting at First Baptist Church in Newton Centre, alongside a talented group that includes painters, textile artists, jewelry makers and more. If you’re local, I hope you’ll stop by!  (More info here.)

Hello, September!

new england wild flowersHello. Its been a while. Turns out, I wasn’t kidding when I said I was going to spend a lot of time on instagram, rather than blogging. I hope you had a lovely summer. Despite my silence here, I had a wonderful summer, filled with garden puttering, flowers, plenty of beach time, and a few fun projects.

cosmos wreath

I did a little bit of silk screening, and some more white line printing.

succulent white line prints

I developed a temporary obsession with seaweed.

sea weed collage from bottle branch

I enjoyed a Japanese wood block printing class, as well as a trip to Japan. I am a lucky girl, I know.

This summer also felt transformative. I spent some time thinking about where to go with my creative endeavors, and where to go with this blog. I’m still figuring those two things out, but for now, it feels good to be back. I hope you had a wonderful summer and thanks for sticking around!

lilliput zinnias from bottle branch

On photographs and flowers

zinnias

In addition to vegetables, my garden also produces flowers. Maybe it doesn’t produce the variety I might like (no dahlias, no roses, no aqueligia) but it still thrills me to cut and bring in home-grown flowers. I sometimes fuss and re-arrange the stems and take photos, but before long, I am tossing wilted brown stems into the compost bin.

Earlier this week, I gathered a final bouquet of the summer, wandering, snipping, reflecting, enjoying the garden as it heads toward dormancy. I was so delighted with the resulting bouquet, I posted it in on (you guessed it) instagram and facebook.

final.bouquet.complete

There is much handwringing these days about how we (collectively) over-document our lives, posting photos of our breakfasts, tweeting the splits of our latest run, sharing minutiae. It might be true that in the act of documenting our lives we miss out on living them. Yet, what about the pleasure we get from celebrating (and re-visiting the photos of) the simple and ephemeral moments in our lives?

final.bouquet.2

For me, there is undeniable pleasure in documenting my garden. It is an act of joy and an act of creativity. Sometimes its hard not to share. Forgive me, dear readers, if I sometimes over-share. I may have posted excessively about my hydgrangeas this summer, but I have spared you the snapdragons, foxglove, and clematis, among others. For this year.

mixed.bouquet

Hydrangeas at home

hydrangea and dew 2

Hydrangeas have to be one of the more magnetic flowers to photograph. Two summers ago, when I was a more dedicated user of instagram, hydrangeas cropped up in my feed regularly. Yet, I didn’t have any growing in my yard.

Last summer, we finally added some in the form of Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’. I’ve always had a thing for white and greenish hydrangeas and we were trying to stick with mostly (North American) native plants. ‘Annabelle’ fit the bill on both counts. (Not that I don’t appreciate a hedge row of blue or pink H. macrophylla.)

I also knew I wanted this particular variety because I frequently pass a pair of ‘Annabelles’ in my neighborhood. I used to fantasize about taking a few blooms home with me. So, it was a thrill this morning to go to my own newly established plants and select a few stems to clip and bring inside. There they are – puffy, delicate, frothy, almost delicious-looking.

cut hydrangeas

With plenty of blooms left on the plants, I’ll get to watch the flowers as they weather and change over the rest of the summer, long life and variability being one of the beautiful aspects of most hydrangea blossoms. I’ll probably even cut a few to bring in and dry. Feels almost like having my cake and eating it too.

An old instagram shot of unknow hydrangea with aging blossoms turning pink at the edges.
An old instagram shot of aging hydrangea blossoms turning pink at the edges.