The Spirit of the Foxglove

August 19, 2013

Foxglove at Molbak's Nursery

Foxglove at Molbak’s Nursery

Foxglove, Molbaks

Foxglove, Molbaks“The foxglove bloom, all those bruised openings . . .”
— Barbara Daniels, from “Foxgloves”

“It is impossible to resist the spirit of the foxglove; its whole expression is one of aspiration.  Every one who has the rudiments of an imagination in him thinks at once of church towers and bells.”
—  Prof. F. A. Waugh, from “Little Monographs” for the “Garden Magazine”

Watercolor sketch of foxglove flowers

Watercolor sketch of foxglove flowers



The Person Yet to Be

August 15, 2013

Rudbeckia at Molbak's Nursery

Rudbeckia at Molbak’s Nursery



“Attention has created experience and, significantly, the self stored in your memory, but looking ahead, what you focus on from this moment will create the life and person yet to be.”
— Winifred Gallagher, Rapt:  Attention and the Focused Life

Last week I mentioned my struggle to draw and paint regularly.  I know that in order to get better at art, I have to work at it.  I’d love to make it a daily priority, but I’ve come to realize that I just can’t commit to that right now.  Instead, I’ve resolved to draw or paint something on my “free” days, the days I don’t go to work at the library.  So that is what I will focus on from this moment.  I am a woman with a plan!

“The choice of where we put our efforts is also connected to how much we are willing to learn as we get older, and whether we can once again grow into a new consciousness and new forms of commitment, acquiring new skills.”
— Mary Catherine Bateson, Composing a Further Life:  The Age of Active Wisdom

Watercolor and ink sketch of rudbeckia

Watercolor and ink sketch of Rudbeckia

Another watercolor sketch of Rudbeckia

Another watercolor sketch of Rudbeckia

Molbak's tree made of poinsettias -- a great spot for holiday photos

 Molbak’s Nursery in Woodinville hosts an Annual Festival of Poinsettias, with over 25 varieties of these traditional holiday flowers.  It’s a lovely destination guaranteed to lift your spirits with color during the dark days of November and December.  I’ve already gone twice this year.

Here are just some of the poinsettia varieties I captured in photos and watercolors:

Watercolor sketch of poinsettia petals

Red Glitter poinsettia

Strawberries and Cream poinsettias

I didn't get the name of this creamy poinsettia.

Carousel Dark Red

Ice Punch Marble

Prestige Maroon

Christmas Angel Marbella

Watercolor sketch of Christmas Angel Marbella Poinsettia


December 18, 2009

Santa Claus at Molbak's Nursery

Shy child on Santa's lap

On Santa's lap

Santa Claus in the flesh

“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.
He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist.”
     ~Francis P. Church

Caroling, Caroling

December 17, 2009

Strolling carolers at Molbak's Nursery


Costumed carolers


Carolers entertain the shoppers at Molbak's Nursery


Hands holding song book


It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.  And certainly the traditional carols contribute to the festive atmosphere at this time of year.  We enjoyed the strolling carolers who entertained us at Molbak’s Nursery.  They brought a touch of merry old England with their Victorian costumes. 

One of my favorite chapters from Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows is when the adventure-weary Mole and Rat seek refuge from a cold mid-Winter night in Mole’s old, foresaken home.  While Rat summoned up food and fire, they were visited by a band of neighborly carolers: 

“It was a pretty sight, and a seasonable one, that met their eyes when they flung the door open.  In the forecourt, lit by the dim rays of a horn lantern, some eight or tien little field mice stood in a semicircle, red worsted comforters round their throats, their forepaws thrust deep into their pockets, their feet jigging for warmth.  With bright beady eyes they glanced shyly at each other, sniggering a little, sniffing and applying coat sleeves a good deal.  As the door opened, one of the elder ones that carried the lantern was just saying, ‘Now then, one, two, three!’ and forthwith their shrill little voices uprose on the air, singing one of the old-time carols that their forefathers composed in fields that were fallow and held by frost, or when snowbound in chimney corners, and handed down to be sung in the miry street to lamplit windows at Yuletime.”