Art and Eggs

“Morning Glories” © 2021 by Lynn K. Miyake

Our garden has been struggling lately in the heat. My Morning Glories refused to bloom, so I decided to create a virtual garden by sketching blossoms from my photos, first in pencil, then with ink and colored pencil added. I discovered that an imaginary garden can be almost as satisfying as the real thing.

Last week I visited Father Valentine. Upon leaving, he gave me a dozen multicolored eggs from his multicolored chickens — green, blue, white, brown, and speckled — a garden of eggs. Yum!

Combinations

Sometimes the most interesting floral combinations seem to occur by happenstance. When I came home from the mountains this week, one of my cacti was in full bloom. I was lucky to see it, since the blossoms only last for one day. In the background — Calibrachoa, Petunias with Lobelia, and Dianthus.

In the shady side of the garden, my Pincushion Flower volunteer from last year was also blooming, along with the Lobelia that I added to the pot a few weeks ago to fill up space. They seem to be getting along together nicely.

First Attempt

Blank note cards decorated with Salvia blossoms and Dead Nettle leaves

Today, I made my first attempt at decorating blank notes cards with dried flowers from the garden. Gentle Reader, it was not as easy as I expected, and I’m not entirely satisfied with the result, but hey, it’s a start. The thin leaves and blossoms were easy to glue (except for the ones that broke), but the hard stems were tricky. I had to re-glue the one on the bottom left after I took the photo.

I was able to experiment sooner than I expected because my second flower press has a unique drying system with sponges that takes only two days. The material I pressed two weeks ago in the traditional way is still drying.

I look forward to trying more intricate and colorful designs in the future, but I don’t plan on selling my creations. I’m just having fun.

How?

Finally — a morning without wind. I bring my coffee and spiritual reading into the garden, but my book remains unopened. In the trees, the birds can’t stop singing. A bee hovers over a barely visible holly blossom. The air caresses my skin as only it can do in spring. There is new life everywhere.

How can I read about God when He is at work all around me?

Springtime Blues (Pinks)

Evening Primrose (Oenothera speciosa “Siskiyou” )

After working in the garden over the past few weeks, I was looking forward to sitting outside this morning and simply enjoying the view, but the day is windy and cold, so I retreated into the warmth of the house. Yet, I can enjoy the Evening Primroses from my window.

I planted them last fall after my husband helped me create a new border in the courtyard. The variety pictured above is native to Texas and Mexico, so it does well in Southern New Mexico with little or no care. The foliage charmed me all winter by staying green, and during the past week they began producing countless, paper-like blossoms that are supposed to continue through fall. The instructions warn that these plants can be quite invasive, and they did indeed spread over the winter while many of my other plants were dormant.

With foliage and blossoms like that, as far as I’m concerned, they can go for it!

Pressed Flower Beauty

My husband recently received a thank-you card decorated with pressed flower art. I liked it so much that I cut out the flower arrangement and pasted it to a piece of card stock to make a bookmark. Then I thought, ah ha! Everything is coming into bloom in the garden. What a perfect time to take up a new hobby! I can save my cherished blossoms to enjoy when spring has passed and make home-made note cards. So I ordered a flower press and bought a how-to book. Pressed Flower Art by W. Eugene Burkhart Jr. was extremely helpful. It was a little pricey, but well worth it. The book included an abundance of colored photos and detailed instructions on everything I needed to know to learn this charming art form.

Yesterday, I filled my new flower press with blossoms, leaves, and stems. Today, I am going to press some blossoms and herbs into an old phone book. Now, all I have to do is wait for them to dry.

That may be the hardest part.

Why Did the Elk Cross the Road?

Spring comes late in the mountains where I spent the weekend. I took my camera wherever I went, but nothing was blooming. However, the Ponderosa Pines satisfied my desire for natural beauty, as they always do.

As I was leaving town, the local herd of elk were gathered along Hull Road. Very polite. They paused from time to time to let the cars go by. Many more were grazing along both sides of the road as I carefully continued on my way. There must have been 60 or 70 of them altogether.

Back home in the Rio Grande Valley, the violas and lobelia were in full bloom. Thank God for spring!

Signs of Life

Lantana montevidensis (purple)

Green is appearing at the base of last summer’s dead Lantana branches. First buds are opening on the Flowering Plum tree. Soon the tree will be covered with a veil of pink and white blossoms.

I need these signs of life.