Friday, May 20, 2011

Spring Showers & Flowers

Winter arctic air has a sharp, clean scent. It is dry air and offers a clear view of the stars at night. Spring air is moist and humid. It has a earthy scent combined with chlorophyll and fragrant blossoms.
With lots of rain showers in Maine these past few weeks the moist air has arrived and everything is growing. The azaleas have fat fuchsia buds on them...
The rhododendron have big green buds...

The lilacs have tight violet buds..
The daffodils are in full well as the grape hyacinth. 
The Tsukubai in the tiny side garden sits in a cluster of daffodils. I made this basin when I designed the gardens.
8x12 watercolor, Rives BFK

I found a nice spot to sketch in the shade with a view into the meditation garden... 
Polished granite and marble stones form the walkway by a second Tsukubai... 
...that sits on the edge of the grassy central island of the garden. My garden is an intimate walled space with old and new plantings  and small water features. 
8x12 watercolor, Rives BFK
There are a couple hundred narcissus growing around my studio.

They are planted in waves along a border of mature lilac bushes.
8x12 watercolor, Rives BFK
They blossom in successive displays; each group has their debut opening day ....some are species with an exquisite scent that fills the air with fragrance...
The azaleas were the exact match for my Derwent watercolor pencil "magenta".
I sat close to the shrub and sketched the tiny bright buds on the woody stems.

I marked all the notes in watercolor pencil as I moved about capturing the multitude of blossoms surrounding me... 

 I have a great love for plants, outdoor environments and botany. In college I had a double major in botany and art. I might easily have become an architect or garden designer. 
 8x12 watercolor,Rives BFK

White and blue violets poked up through the paving stones in the garden.
Pansies crowded a pot by my studio door...

8x12 watercolor,Rives BFK
A small birds nest made of clay and straw was discovered in the wisteria vine when we were pruning. I have no idea what kind of bird builds a nest of clay...many birds raise their families in this garden every spring.
8x12 watercolor,Rives BFK
More pansies leaned into the afternoon sun by the back door.

8x12 watercolor,Rives BFK
The azalea buds burst open after a series of afternoon showers. The rain even knocked some of the flower petals off. Every day brings changes. Everything is growing fast! The garden is a lovely little space for reflection and respite in this big bustling world.
 8x12 watercolor,Rives BFK

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