Birth of a Painting Series IV: Blue Iris
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