Exhibit of my watercolor sketches at the Elisabeth C Miller Library

An exhibit of my watercolor sketches is now on display at the Elisabeth C. Miller Library at the Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle.  The exhibit, which runs through September 28, is available for viewing during the library’s normal visiting hours.  Please check this link for hours and driving directions.

I spent a delightful couple of hours yesterday morning with a group of six women who drove down from Bow, Washington to see the show.  This is the first time I’ve actually met new friends through my blog, and they are each kindred spirits — some painters, a couple of librarians, some with ties to the Midwest, fellow travelers.   I am touched that they made the effort to see my work and it was a real pleasure to meet them.

Magnificent bouquet from the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market.

I was also very honored to see a stunning bouquet from the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market delivered to the Miller Library to celebrate my show.  The bouquet is so beautiful, and it is such a thoughtful gesture of support from my friends at the Market.  The bouquet was quite a showpiece of local, seasonal blooms — I was tickled to see a stem of blackberries tucked in among the flowers and greens!

Display cases show sample blog posts, some photographs, and tools of my trade — watercolor sets and journals.

The framed watercolors are arranged by season — spring, summer, fall and winter.

I invite you all to stop by the Miller Library to see my show.  And to spend some time visiting this wonderful horticultural resource in the city.  Tomorrow’s blog post will take you along the trails of the Union Bay Natural Area adjacent to the Miller Library.  And Friday’s post will introduce you to the Otis Douglas Hyde Herbarium, also part of the Center for Urban Horticulture.  I’ll close here with some photographs from the demonstration gardens.


This purple trumpet flower is called “the devil’s trumpet,” or datura

Bed of sneezeweed

Sneezeweed, so much variety in one bed



I loved the range of colors here, too.

A hanging curtain of green

Looking through the curtain

Grape leaves like stained glass

Watercolor sketch of bleeding hearts, May 2012

As your summer calendar fills with events and activities and vacations, please pencil in a visit to the Elisabeth C. Miller Library in Seattle for my first-ever exhibit of watercolor sketches.  The exhibit runs from August 2 – September 28, 2012 during normal library hours.  The exhibit will feature about 40 of my watercolor paintings of flowers, leaves, and natural objects.  You can see an announcement at this link.

While you are there, relax for an hour or two and:

  • browse the library’s extensive collection of horticultural books and magazines;
  • stroll through the demonstration gardens;
  • pack a picnic to eat on the grounds; and/or
  • walk the trails of the Union Bay Natural Area, a bird-watching mecca adjacent to the library.

I hope to see you there!

Poster for Botanical Art Exhibit currently on display at the Miller Library, Center for Urban Horticulture

The current exhibit at the Elisabeth C. Miller Library includes two pieces of my work — a photograph of a bleeding heart plant and a watercolor sketch of a rhododendron.  The exhibit is just part of a recent Plant Biodiversity Conference and features native plants of the Pacific Northwest.  The biggest challenge for me was finding images of native plants and flowers from my archives of photos and watercolor sketches.

The Botanical Art Exhibit will remain on display through March 29th, and I invite you to check it out.

Botanical Art Exhibit at the Miller Library

My pieces are in the second and fourth windows of this display case.

This year's Garden Lovers' Book Sale

Yesterday I went to the annual Garden Lovers’ Book Sale at the Elisabeth C. Miller Library in Seattle.  (You can link to the library’s website here: http://depts.washington.edu/hortlib/index.shtml.)  I need more books like I need another hole in the head, but I couldn’t resist purchasing two — at the bargain price of $1 each — that I hope to glean for inspiration for my watercolor sketches: a first edition of In and Out of the Garden by Sara Midda, and a 1984 Diary from the Royal Horticultural Society featuring the botanical prints of Pierre-Joseph Redoubt.  When I got home, I found out that I will be able to use the diary for my 2012 weekly calendar and planner because the dates match perfectly!

My two Garden Lovers' Book Sale bargains!

As always, I enjoyed my visit to the Elisabeth C. Miller Library and the surrounding gardens of the Center for Urban Horticulture.  The Library was also hosting a show and sale of botanical prints by the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the American Association of Botanical Artists, a very talented group.

Botanical prints on display and for sale

The gardens at the Center for Urban Horticulture were full of blooming daffodils and hellebores, but I was most captivated by the blossoming magnolias — Leonard Messel magnolias which have a lovely pinkish tinge.

Blossoms of the Leonard Messel Magnolia

Blossom and bud, Leonard Messel magnolia, Center for Urban Horticulture

Long, pinkish petals of the Leonard Messel magnolia

Nature Journaling

February 19, 2011

The nature sketchbooks of Molly Hashimoto

Union Bay Wild Exhibit: Paintings and prints by Molly Hashimoto

The Elisabeth C Miller Library at the Center for Urban Horticulture is showing an exhibit of nature paintings by Molly Hashimoto through March 24th.  I aspire to keep a nature journal, so it was encouraging to see some of Hashimoto’s on display.  The “Union Bay Wild” exhibit is definitely worth a stop.  And while you are there, stroll the grounds to see what’s blooming in the botanical gardens.  You can link to the library website here: http://depts.washington.edu/hortlib/index.shtml.

Seen on a recent stroll through the gardens at the Center for Urban Horticulture

Hellebore, Center for Urban Horticulture

Vintage Seed Catalogues

February 18, 2011

My mother used to order her garden seeds from Burpee

I’ve mentioned before that the Elisabeth C Miller Library at the Center for Urban Horticulture is an extraordinary resource.  (You can link to the library here: http://depts.washington.edu/hortlib/index.shtml). On my last visit, I learned that the library has a vintage seed catalog collection going back decades.  I remember my mother ordering her vegetable and flower seeds from the Burpee Seed Company, and their old catalogues were included in this extensive collection.  What a find!

Vintage seed catalog

The collection is housed in file drawers

Vintage seed catalog, Elisabeth C Miller Library

Seed Catalogues

February 17, 2011

Seed catalogues, Elisabeth C Miller Library

He Knows No Winter

He knows no winter, he who loves the soil,
For, stormy days, when he is free from toil,
He plans his summer crops, selects his seeds
From bright-paged catalogues for garden needs.
When looking out upon frost-silvered fields,
He visualizes autumn’s golden yields;
He sees in snow and sleet and icy rain
Precious moisture for his early grain;
He hears spring-heralds in the storm’s turmoil
He knows no winter, he who loves the soil.
     — Sudie Stuart Hager

Seed catalogues, Elisabeth C Miller Library

February Hellebores

February 15, 2011

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.”
     — Anne Bradstreet

February blooms: hellebores

Hellebores in a neighbor's garden

White hellebores

Thanks goodness for hellebores, such gorgeous blooms that brighten February in the Pacific Northwest.

Seed catalogues, Elisabeth C Miller Library

Quilts from the Ground Up

January 18, 2011

Children's section of the Elisabeth C. Miller Library in Seattle

I went to see the “From the Ground Up” quilt art exhibit currently on display at the Elisabeth C. Miller Library at Seattle’s Center for Urban Horticulture.  All of the quilts, from Contemporary Quilt Art Association quilters, feature botanical themes.  I thoroughly enjoyed the spots of color the quilts added to a gray winter day.  The Miller Library is always a worthy destination — the collection of gardening, plant, tree, and botany books is truly outstanding, and Seattle residents just need to show I.D. to borrow up to three books.  But if you want to see the quilt exhibit, you’ll need to go soon.  The show ends January 28th.

"January" quilt by Deborah Gregory

"Leaf Sampler" quilt by Colleen Wise

"I Wish My Umbrella was a Palm" quilt sculpture by Lynne Rigby

Detail of hand stitching on "I Wish My Umbrella was a Palm" quilt

"Clematis Montana" quilt by Sonia Grasvick

"Winter at Lake Cushman" quilt by Melodie Bankers (one of four seasonal quilts)

"Remains of Autumn" quilt by Gisele Blythe

Detail with leaf skeleton, "Remains of Autumn" quilt