Birth of a Painting Series IV: Blue Iris

Birth of a Painting Series IV: Blue Iris

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The Life of Flowers

Article by Denise Hartley, artist and gardener, etc.

I have inherited my grandmother’s love of flowers. Just moments after arriving for a visit, she would say, “Let’s go outside and see the garden.” Her door to the garden was a glass storm door, always letting in the light and colors of the garden. Her home was full of florals, a rose bud was placed on her dinner tray, and each of her linens and drapes were patterned with florals. My son later restored her garden while renting her home, a garden that was destroyed after many years of renters. “Blue Iris” is a photo taken by my photographer son, Chris Gilbert, in that garden. His photo was the source of my painting. When we sold her home, the blue iris came home with me, recently planted in this tree stump.

Please view my page ‘Healing Plants’, a blog about my grandmother’s garden, then my sons, and last, my beautiful garden at her home: Page on this site: https://friendnature.wordpress.com/healing-plants/

Flowers give me courage, the life of a flower is so ephemeral, the beauty of the flower quickly passes, and is soon replaced by another. My life is passing just as quickly, and I will soon be replaced by my children and grandchildren. I long to look at flowers (and grandchildren’s) beautiful faces. The blooms of chamomile go into my tea, I cherish scented flowers of the sweet pea, and the budding squash blossoms that will soon be vegetables. I love flowers!

In my little greenhouse I have a tray of tiny lavender plants, also snow peas, and a flat of chamomile. The flowers attract the butterflies, bees, and birds. My desk looks out over my garden.  My dad was the gardener, with a large vegetable garden, and a pergola filled with red grapes. I am the new keeper of his garden. My garden here, although established, was a working man’s garden. I just finished planting his vegetable garden this winter, and I planted a peach tree, expecting blossoms and delicious peaches late spring.

Years ago, when my children were small, I was known as the artist that painted flowers. I had a large greenhouse filled with herbs, seed, and tiny plants. My retreat was a comfortable chair, just cherishing the quiet, and the scent of earth. The blooms, one of the healing powers of flowers, is the gardens reward. I opened a medicinal herb nursery, Emerald Gardens, and shared the bounty with the farmers market and the neighborhood deer.

Living on the South Fork of the Kaweah River, near the entrance of Sequoia National Park, I felt most comfortable backpacking alone, so I could linger in the beauty of the mountains. Hiking through mountain lion country, and crossing rivers, and snow watered creeks added excitement, but this was necessary to visit my favorite destination, Garfield Redwood Grove.  Amazing, among the redwoods were shoulder high lupin flowers, and fern. http://www.redwoodhikes.com/SequoiaNP/Garfield.html

 

I am off to paint a ceiling mural, sky and clouds, on my future grandchild’s nursery!

Many thanks for visiting this site!

From the desk of Denise

htttp://www.dahartley.com

https://friendnature.wordpress.com

 

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The Beauty of Change, the Basics for Survival, Earth Unplugged

The Earth seen from Apollo 17.

The Earth seen from Apollo 17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Basics for Survival, Earth Unplugged

The Beauty of Change, Essay 1, the Basic Steps…

Simple Steps for Improving Your Life:

  1. Cherish what you have. Appreciate your life, family, friends, and your blessings given by our planet and ‘Mother Nature.’  Everything comes from Nature. Every material object in your life came from our Earth, at a great cost. The planet cannot keep up with our consumption. Give back to Nature, recycle what you do not need, it is made from precious material. Watch what you throw away, are you really giving back to Nature by dumping into her earth and water what you have consumed and no longer want?
  2. Recognize that you have what you need. If you have a home, food, water, you have enough. Everything else is a want. The First World (us) has taken too much from a finite planet (the only one we have). We are stripping our planet of its resources for our pleasure, leaving little for the rest of humanity. We choose not to see what our selfishness has caused, and the suffering of the Third World, who is starving and thirsty. I know we can do better.
  3.  Simplify your life. Having less material objects creates a space that you will enjoy more. Give away or sell what you do not need, someone else can use it. Eating less and more healthy simple foods will increase your enjoyment also. Growing your own organic foods gives pleasure, knowing that you are working with, and in nature. Your body is part of Nature, give it simple good food, and it will reward you with good health. Learn to recognize what will enhance your diet, and create good health. Eat less high resource foods: meat, out of season fruits and vegetables (they have probably traveled more that you have), factory created foods (processed, and dead, also well traveled).

What Easy Improvements I Made to Enjoy My Life More:

  • I sold my large house, and downsized (2003)…AND use way less power. Easier to clean, more time to spend outside in Nature
  • I became a vegetarian (1995)…I grow my own food, and my protein is from fruits and vegetables, legumes, and eggs from my chicken, AND have great health. I eat less and enjoy it more. I don’t eat GMO corn or soy products (they are hidden in packaged food).
  • I use less energy in my new home, replace your light bulbs with more energy efficient CFL’s…Check your appliance efficiency. My heater is on a low setting, so I dress warm.
  • Gave up TV (1995)…The new flat screen TV’s use 2x to 4x the energy of the old tube ones. Again, I am outside in Nature, or reading, or painting.
  • Unplug what you are not using, standby mode uses electricity….
  • I sold my super cool Black & Silver Dodge Ram truck, and bought a small Toyota pickup, now I have downsized again, being given a free car that has great gas mileage.
  • I found something useful to do, and am getting a teaching credential, AND blogging about climate change.
  • I stopped buying what I do not need. Yes, even Christmas presents, I bought everyone socks for Christmas! I make my own beer and wine (another blog), and gave as Christmas presents).
  • I recycle everything. I have a compost pile, recycle cans, jars, plastic, etc., I have very little trash to send back into the Earth.
Starting the Garden
Starting the Garden
Growing the Garden
Growing the Garden
Eating the Garden
Eating the Garden
Mother Nature

Mother Nature (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How does your garden grow? Flower remedies for healing…

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The Pomegranate tree (Punica granatum)

This tree was planted by my grandmother in 1955.

 Last year the fruit went into making jam,  grenadine, and vodka.

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Yarrow (Achillea millifolium)

 The flower of invulnerability. 

Achillea commemorates the Greek hero Achilles, who used yarrow to heal wounds.

Throughout history until the early part of the 20th century it was used in treating wounds,

and to staunch bleeding.

Its oils are anti-inflammatory and antiseptic,

the tannins are astringent and stop bleeding,

the silica promotes tissue repair.

An infusion is good for and eyebath, as skin lotion for varicose veins.

Good for the digestive tract, stimulates appetite.

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Yarrow stalks were used in China, to reawaken the spiritual,  I Ching used yarrow stalks for divination.

Last year I made Yarrow Beer. 

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Angelica (Angelica archangelica)

The flower of inspiration.

In ancient history it was a protective herb against illness, as well as evil spirits.

It stimulates the circulation, and is good for people who feel the cold.

It warms and invigorates the stomach, it is used for nausea, poor appetite and weak digestion.

It detoxifies the blood and protects against infection.

The oil is antibacterial and anti-fungal, a disinfectant uses to preserve food (wrap in leaves).

It relieves period and premenstrual pain.

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Apple tree, Yarrow, Borage, Chamomile, Lemon balm, Lavender, Rue, Chrysanthemum, Sage, and Thyme.

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Morning Glory with Feverfew.

Feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium, Tanacetum parthenium)

The flower of relief.

“Feverfew is ruled by Venus and hath commended it to succour our sisters to be a general strengthener

of their wombs, and to remedy such infirmities as a careless midwife hath there caused;

if they will be pleased to make use of her herb boiled in white wine,

and drink the decoction, it cleanseth the womb, expels the afterbirth

and doth a woman all the good she can desire of a herb”.

                                                               Culpeper

It is currently a remedy for headaches and migraine. Research and clinical trials

have shown that intractable migraines in 70% of sufferers improved after taking feverfew.

One in three had no further attacks. Can be eaten fresh, makes a bitter tea.

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Echinacea (Echinacea augustifolia) Purple coneflower.

The flower of wholeness.

Three of the nine species are native to North America, and have medicinal benefits.

Purple coneflower was one of the most important medicinal plants

known to the native Americans.

Applied externally to wounds, burns, insect bites and swollen lymph glands,

taken internally for headaches, stomach aches, coughs and colds, to treat measles and gonorrhoea.

From 1895 to 1930 American doctors proved the effects of E. angustifolia in healing boils and abscesses,

blood poisoning, postpartum infection, malaria, typhus and TB.

German studies in the last 60 years have proved the remedy for septic conditions,

rheumatoid arthritis, antibiotic resistance, whooping-cough in children,

flu, catarrh, chronic respiratory track infections, gynecological infections,

urinary infections and skin infections.

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Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

The flower of bees.

Lemon balm influences the limbic system in the brain which is concerned with

mood and temperament. A sedative, enhancing relaxation and inducing natural sleep,

calming tension and anxiety, and even mania and hysteria,

lemon balm is also restoring.

It can be taken as a tea frequently during the day or night.

Good for the digestive system, a bitter tonic support to stimulate the liver and gall-bladder.

A strong infusion in a warm bath will help calm you.

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Rue (Ruta graveolens)

The herb of grace.

Rue is a powerful remedy and low doses are the rule.

It is used in the treatment of strained eyes and headaches caused by eyestrain.

It is useful for nervous headaches and heart palpitations.

It is an antispasmodic, and is used in treating the nervous system for indigestion.

The rutin strengthens fragile blood vessels and varicose veins.

An ointment containing rue is good for gouty, rheumatic pains

and for sprained or bruised tendons.

In Chinese medicine rue is specific for snake and insect bite.

The tea expels worms.

CAUTION: Do not use during pregnancy. It can cause a rash.

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Borage (Borago officinalis) and Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

Borage

The flower of courage. 

Borage has a relaxing effect, and is said to dispel grief and sadness.

Modern research shows that borage stimulates the adrenal glands, the organs of courage,

increasing the secretion of adrenaline.

The hormonal properties of borage are present in the seeds which contain gamma linoleic acid.

The oil from the seeds can be used for menstrual problems,

allergies such as eczema, hay fever, and arthritis.

Borage tea can be taken to clear boils and skin rashes,

for arthritis and rheumatism, during infections to bring down a fever.

The mucilage in borage has a soothing action to

relieve sore throat and to sooth cough.

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Chamomile 

The flower of equilibrium.

The famous physician Dioscorides recommended it as a medicine for fevers in 900 BCE.

The Egyptians revered chamomile for its medicinal virtues, for its power to cure acute fever,

and dedicated it to the sun god Ra.

It was one of the nine sacred herbs of the Saxons who used it as a sedative.

German and Roman chamomile’s are similar, and serve the same uses.

It relaxes and relieves tension and spasm, and recommended

for colic in babies, abdominal pain, and any digestive upsets.

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Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)

The flower of elation.

Clary sage is a relaxing tonic to the nervous system, and excellent for stress.

A tea helps headaches, asthma, migraine, insomnia and indigestion.

It has an antispasmodic action and can relieve muscle tension, abdominal pain and constipation,

reduce period pains and ease childbirth.

It will help lift the spirits in depression.

Used topically, it can be applied to the skin to draw out inflammation and infection.

Aromatherapy Oil

Clary sage oil can produce a heightened state of elation or

euphoria, deeply relaxing and sleep-inducing.

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Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

The flower of survival.

Used in medicine in Ancient Greece and was praised in herbals in the Middle Ages.

Taraxacum is from the Greek word, taraxo, meaning pain or remedy.

The leaves are edible, and may be used in salads, or cooked like spinach.

This plant is highly nutritious, rich in vitamins C and B, and pro-vitamin A,

and minerals potassium and iron.

Dandelion is a spring tonic, it expels toxins, wastes and pollutants through the liver and kidneys,

cleaning the blood.

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Garden and vegetables…to keep me alive and healthy…grown from seeds.

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Sources:

Flower Power, by Anne McIntyre, 1996, Henry Holt and Co. NY.

The New Age Herbalist, Editor Richard Mabley (1941), 1988, Simon and Schuster Inc. Gaia Books Ltd., London.

Achillea millefolium (Yarrow) in Scotts Valley...

Achillea millefolium (Yarrow) in Scotts Valley, CA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Feverfew

Feverfew (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Change the world by changing yourself? Eating less, anti-aging!

My grandmother often said, “You are what you eat.”

Here is the science to back this up, a video by

Dr. Michael Mosley. A Junk food addict!

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“I changed my diet 18 years ago.

I love to eat,

just not meat!

I was getting that ‘chunky’ middle age body,

so I fasted! And the FAT never returned.

Also…I have not seen a doctor for ANY illness since!” 

                                                         D.A. Hartley

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I hope that you watch this video,

it just recommends a baby step, no radical diet,

but watching this could help you live a healthy life.

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Reaching the ripe old age of 50, Dr. Mosley wondered how healthy

he really was. He found that he was only slightly overweight,

BUT

pre-Diabetic,

pre-Cancerous (6 types of cancer),

pre-Heart Disease.

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THE ARTICLE…

What did cavemen really eat when they sat down to dine, morning, noon and night?

The Paleo Diet guys spun some interesting theories —

all of which turned out to be nonsense.

But the truth is, if you’re trying to isolate the “health key” to early man’s diet,

it really may hinge not so much on what he was eating.

Because one BIG health benefit early man had going:

he rarely got three squares a day.

In fact, it might have regularly been a day or two

(or four) between filling meals back in the bad old days.

So if you get a hankering to emulate cavemen, the key is probably this:

eat a fair amount less than you’re eating now.

This is the basic tenant arrived at when a leading British journalist and physican,

Michael Mosley, set out to become healthier and lose weight,

while making as few changes as possible in his life.

Dr. Mosley is considered the “Sanjay Gupta of England,”

and today we are recommending a video he recently produced on this subject.

Please Join Food & Water Watch – Make a difference.

http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/

Bill Moyers, My Hero! ‘The Toxic Assault on Our Children’ and ‘Dance of the Honey Bee’

BILL MOYERS and Company present…

Full Show: The Toxic Assault on Our Children

April 19, 2013

Biologist, mother and activist Sandra Steingraber joins Bill to explain why she was willing to go to jail — and did — for blocking access to the construction of a storage and transportation facility involved in the controversial process of fracking. Steingraber has become internationally known for building awareness about toxins she says are threatening our children’s health by contaminating our air, water and food, and talks to Bill about how we must take action stop these “toxic trespassers.”

With government captured by the very industries it’s supposed to regulate, Steingraber has lost patience with politicians and corporations, and says we need to work together now to prevent destruction to the environment.

Also on the show, Bill presents the short documentary “Dance of the Honey Bee.” Narrated by Bill McKibben, the film takes a look at the determined, beautiful, and vital role honey bees play in preserving life, as well as the threats bees face from a rapidly changing landscape.

Bill Moyers

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Sandra Steingraber, Scientist & Author, Raisin...

Sandra Steingraber, Scientist & Author, Raising Elijah (Photo credit: SteveHarbula)

***This image was selected as a picture of the we...

Native Hawaiians standing up against use of land for GMO experiments

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Native Hawaiians standing up against use of land for GMO experiments

By Imani Altemus-Williams / Waging Nonviolence
At 9 am on an overcast morning in paradise, hundreds of protesters gathered in traditional Hawaiian chant and prayer. Upon hearing the sound of the conch shell, known here as Pū, the protesters followed a group of women towards Monsanto’s grounds.

“A’ole GMO,” cried the mothers as they marched alongside Monsanto’s cornfields, located only feet from their homes on Molokai, one of the smallest of Hawaii’s main islands. In a tiny, tropical corner of the Pacific that has warded off tourism and development, Monsanto’s fields are one of only a few corporate entities that separates the bare terrain of the mountains and oceans.