“It was another miracle.  The flowers were turning into bean trees.”
— Barbara Kingsolver, The Bean Trees

Wisteria seed pod

Wisteria seed pod

Ever since I reread Barbara Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees for my Armchair Arizona blog post, I am reminded of her novel when I see wisteria.  In the book, Taylor’s little daughter calls wisteria “bean trees” because the seed pods do look amazingly like hanging beans.  I like how Kingsolver looks at this plant with fresh eyes and calls it “another miracle.”

The wisteria is flowering here in Seattle.

The wisteria is flowering here in Seattle.

Wisteria blossoms

Wisteria blossoms

Wisteria

Wisteria

A couple of seed pods from last year still hang on amidst fresh blooms.

A couple of seed pods from last year still hang on amidst fresh blooms.

Last year's wisteria seed pods, pencil sketch

Last year’s wisteria seed pods, pencil sketch

 

“The earth laughs in flowers.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I must have flowers, always, and always.”
— Claude Monet

Truck in the flower fields, Jello Mold Farm

Truck in the flower fields, Jello Mold Farm

There was so much to see at Jello Mold Farm at this time of year.  It’s a busy time for flower growers.  These Skagit Valley flower fields were bursting with exuberance and beauty.  Zinnias, dahlias, sunflowers, bee balm . . . they all shout “summer!”

Zinnias

Zinnias

The blushing pink of Dahlia 'Cafe au Lait'

The blushing pink of Dahlia ‘Cafe au Lait’

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Beds of Scabiosa 'Dark Knight'

Beds of Scabiosa ‘Dark Knight’

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Scabiosa 'Fama White' contrasts nicely with the 'Dark Knight'

Scabiosa ‘Fama White’ contrasts nicely with the ‘Dark Knight’

Harvested sunflowers at the start of the trek to the warehouse

Harvested sunflowers at the start of the trek to the warehouse

Sunflower, Jello Mold Farm

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Bee balm, Monarda 'Raspberry Wine'

Bee balm, Monarda ‘Raspberry Wine’

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View from the end of the row

View from the end of the row

Sneezeweed Helenium

Sneezeweed Helenium

Cutting raspberry canes for filler in bouquets

Cutting raspberry canes for filler in bouquets

Chestnuts for texture

Chestnuts for texture

Seed pods, love-in-a-mist

Seed pods, love-in-a-mist

Love-in-a-mist

Love-in-a-mist

And always, flower gardens remind me of time passing . . . for everything there is a season.

The last sweet peas

The last sweet peas

Last of the sweetpeas

And the last poppies

And the last poppies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simple garland of money plant seed pods over my dining room door

An assortment of money plant (lunaria) seed pods

I love garlands.  The branch above my dining room doorway is almost a permanent fixture, but I like to hang different things from it to reflect the changing seasons or holidays.  For fall, I sewed together a garland of seed pods from money plants, and then looped it around the branch a few times.  I think it gives a lovely all-natural decorative touch to the room.

Detail of seed pod garland

Seed pod garland

And, of course, I was inspired to do a watercolor painting of the colorful pods.

Watercolor sketch of money plant seed pods

Handmade Money Plant Wreath

February 11, 2011

Simple wreath of seed pods from money plants

The book Fairie-ality Style: A Sourcebook of Inspirations from Nature by David Ellwand is one of the most gorgeous over-sized books that passed through my hands recently.  I loved the colorful photography and whimsical creations made of found materials in nature.  And I was inspired to make my own simple wreath of money plant seed pods after seeing one in the book.

Fairie-ality Style book by David Ellwand

Sample page from Ellwand's book

Page showing wreath made of the pods of a money plant

 

Seed pods from Lunaria annua, money plant

I love the translucent pearly pods.

Detail of wreath hanging in my kitchen window

View of the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle with Olympic Mountains in distance

Yesterday was one of those clear, sunny, cold winter days that make me appreciate living in Seattle.  All of the heavy rains of recent days meant lots of snow in the mountains, and their snowy white peaks were finally visible in all their glory.  Looking to the east, we see the snow-capped peaks of the Cascade range.  Looking west, we see the Olympic mountains.  Unbeatable scenery.

I took advantage of the sun to walk through my neighborhood.  Here are some photos of the mid-December landscape.  I can’t identify all of the plants, unfortunately.

Dried seed pod

Red and green ground cover

Christmas-y looking reds and greens

Dried hydrangea flower

Lacecap hydrangea

Hanging seed pods

Faded Beauty

April 30, 2010

Last days of a red tulip

“The flowers anew, returning seasons bring,
But faded beauty has no second spring.”
     — Ambrose Phillips

The tulips are losing their sprightliness; many have lost their petals.  Beauty fades.  Can we let it go without regret?

“Beauty’s a doubtful good, a glass, a flower,
Lost, faded, brown, dead within an hour;
And beauty, blemish’d once, forever’s lost,
In spite of physic, painting, pain, and cost.”
     — William Shakespeare

The last few petals on this tulip stand like angel wings.

Fading beauty

Seed pods of spent tulips