more flowers and painting and a red surprise

Getting tired of flowers and painting yet? I'm not.

Here are a few views from this morning.

My New Dawn rose is looking gorgeous this year. There's something so beautiful about the mix of flowers in different stages. Even the faded and petal-less flowers are lovely.

Another rose that is really starting to be beautiful this year is Brother Cadfael.

The bugs have been attacking it a bit, but one flower that was half-eaten as a bud ended up being so beautiful anyway. The fragrance is amazing.

A lot of the growth on The Mayflower needed to be cut down this spring and I was worried that the plant wouldn't recover very well. Usually it is one of my first roses to open in the spring, but it's had a slow start this year.

Now the flowers are just beginning to open. This was one of my very first David Austin roses and I'm glad that it seems to have recovered. The flowers are smaller than most other David Austin roses and have a different flower form, almost raggedy pom poms. The fragrance is very rosewater-esque.

Reading fragrance descriptions in catalogs is always a bit amusing to me. Sometimes the descriptions are very poetic and mention all sorts of fragrance notes that only a professional sniffer would be able to discern. The Alnwick Rose is described as having a "hint of raspberry" in its fragrance. The funny thing is that it does smell like raspberries.

Another fragrance I'm enjoying right now is from my neighbor's mock orange. It hangs down into the back garden area just over our checkerboard patio. It's filled with flowers this year.

They smell like jasmine to me.

And there's the lavender. I noticed today that it's just about ready for me to harvest.

The smell of lavender makes me feel so content. In truth, all herbs make me happy, though. And I love them grouped together in clay pots.

Basils, cilantro, rosemary and pineapple sage are slowly acclimating to the outdoors beside the deck with my little lemon tree. They made me happy inside and now they're making me happy outside, too!

As for today's daily painting, I turned to acrylics. I tried something different by first sketching out a design on my canvas paper square and then painting over it with some watery acrylic.

A sweet little bird surrounded by flowery vines. I have a thing about flowery vines. My little patchwork embroidery is a bird surrounded by flowery vines (it's waiting for me to finish it!).

I have a very distinct memory of drawing viney gardens as a child with my crayons. Using the yellow green and the yellow orange crayons specifically. I loved that color combination.

Today's vines didn't really work so well.

I feel as if I have no control over the acrylic paints. Maybe it's my brushes. The brushes I use for my acrylic paintings are the cheapest I could find. I'm not sure why I wanted to paint such a detailed painting with my acrylics. What I like most about my acrylic paintings is being free and loose. I added a bit of paint to a couple canvases and painted the background of one of my wooden blocks. Much more satisfying.

But not as satisfying as this:

First one. It was delicious.


  1. I´m not tired either! I also like how you change your blog header with the newest pictures. :)

  2. You really do have the most beautiful rose garden. I think you must have green fingers! The strawberry looks delicious!

    1. It was yummy! Hopefully the bird (and chipmunks) won't get all the other strawberries as they ripen!

      Sometimes I have green knees, too! :)

  3. We live 30 mins from the David Austen rose center - you'd love it! All your paintings are great - it's fun isn't it? :)

    1. I WOULD love it. I think I would sneak in and secretly live there if I could.

      It's been wonderful painting every day and I am sad that the month is just about over!

  4. Roses, paintings, herbs and strawberries - that says "summertime" in my vocabulary :) How pretty your roses are and how wonderful to have so many shades and shapes to admire. We have wild strawberries here but the birds are eating them before they ripen fully. I can't complain as there are three robins and a finch who are mothers in nest around my garden this spring. Surely they deserve more than just worms for their offspring :) I just made strawberry-basil ice pops with store bought berries. I'll let you know how they turn out!

    1. One of the weeds that is taking over my yard and gardens is a kind of wild strawberry. It's covered my compost pile and invaded just about every bed. It's very pretty but is smothering everything. Plus, the strawberries taste like nothing. I did watch a robin eat one, though, so they're not completely useless. I've eaten a couple in hopes that I was imagining how non-delicious they are, but each time I'm disappointed. If they tasted good I'd let them take over my yard!

      You're right, though, about the birds. I never feel that sad when they steal all of my fruits (usually the raspberries, gooseberries and grapes... they don't ever get all the blackberries). I love having birds around. Lately there's been a mockingbird hanging around my garden and it makes me so happy to see and hear it!

      Oh, and I just read about combining basil and strawberries. Sounds yummy! I love them both!

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