Precious signs of springtime…

Springtime at Caldwell’s Lily Pond in Lincoln Park, Chicago. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg.

Non-crabby looking Crab Apple blooms Mark the new beginnings of springtime. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Awesome beauty; every spring my mind believes this is most beautiful season of the year in Chicago. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Native wild in Chicago…

These delicate spring blooms are the only Columbine native to Illinois: Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis). These blooms were prolific today in Lincoln Park’s best kept secret, Alfred Caldwell Lily Pond.

Abundant spring Wild Columbine brighten the shady Caldwell Lily Pond. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Close up image of one of the Wild Columbine flowers. These flowers are visited by insects but avoided by larger animals who find them poisonous. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Restorative scene with Wild Columbine inviting one’s restful enjoyment. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

For more information on this Illinois native CLICK the image above. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

The royally honored…

Purple Heart, Purple Queen, Wandering Jew (Tradescantia pallida) are common names for this Mexican native. In Florida it is a favorite ground cover providing a touch of color to otherwise drab shady areas in the garden. Beside the Royal purple color of this plant and it’s flower I have found no reason that it has been given the name “Queen”.

Purple Queen is very much at home in Florida and can quickly become invasive in the garden; so attention is needed when introduced to a garden design. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Poolside garden…

This Bulbine ( frutescens) was planted by a pool in a small rock garden. A South African native, it tolerate hot, dry and Sandy enviornments. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Bulbines produce either yellow or orange flowers. CLICK image above for more infomation. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Sun on the beach…

This bit of sunshine is the Dune Sunflower (Helianthus debilis) found on the sandy bank just off the beach in front of Sea Watch restaurant, Lauderdale by the Sea. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Spending hours studying a miracle…

Japanese Anemone. I make NO claim on being a master artist who is able to capture the full wonders of this flower. Copyright 2018 Pamela

Enclosed courtyard at the Bonnet House, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. In the far right you can see the area set aside for art classes. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

For some this seems very hoaky I’m sure. But yesterday I spent six and a half hours at the Bonnet House’s lovely enclosed courtyard working on my second painting. I chose, as my subject, a photograph I took a few years back of one of my garden Japanese Anemones. I can easily say I was exhausted when I got home; my brain was worn out.

I literally spent the day thinking, studying this tiny flower. Every petal, every shadow, every curve and curl was studied and mentally dissected for detail. The leaves in the background were studied just as intently for color and light/shadow. My teacher showed me how to make the other buds and blooms fade out of focus. Hours were spent on each petals. The flower showed pollen spilling onto the pedals; it would soon be time for it to enter it’s next stage of life as a seedhead.

As I spent this time I appreciated the beauty, the gracefulness of this creation. It is one of the last of season’s blooms in Chicago along with the Asters. The Japanese Anemone is an agressive plant requiring me to tame it’s appearance in my garden to places of my design. Over the years I removed many “volunteers” that tried entering other areas of the garden. But the quiet beauty, the graceful elegance of the flowers always overcame any bad aspects of the plants.

I no longer have a private garden; we downsized to a lovely condominium. Fortunately Chicago’s Lincoln Park includes Japanese Anemone in it’s mix of perennials.

While I sit here in Florida gazing at this Japanese Anemone I still a drawn to it’s subtle, simple, design. Evidence of one more miracle. The painting has elements of being done by a beginner. For me the joy was the process of creation, trying to capture it’s natural beauty and specialness.

A blessed Passover and Easter to all.

Prairie homeland…

Looking back to the more colorful days of late summer, early autumn.

Hardy, perennial prairie plants gradually go dormant, resting until next springs longer, warmer days. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg

Purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea) amongst prairie diversity. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Purple Aster, a dependable sign of the end of Summer. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg

Natural confusion…

Late autumn bloom of a usually spring blooming tree. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

The rest of Chicago is reacting “properly” to the arriving chills of freezing temperatures while parts of this tree is confused. Most of the SPRING flowering tree is dormant, as is proper for November. But confused by our unusually long, warm days of autumn this year some of it’s branches believe springtime is on the horizon. It is not unusual for perennial plants to have a second, cool season bloom period; but this is the first time I’ve witnessed a second season bloom of a tree.

The bees and the balm…

The Bee and the Bee’s Balm. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg

Macro image of Bee’s Balm. The center here reminds me of tan insect’s compound eye. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg.

The color and the scent attracts Bees: Bee Balm is a chosen nectar. People find Wild Bergamot tea soothing as well. By any name they are an American favorite. This native perennial has been used by insects, Native Americans and European settlers for centuries. I enjoy it’s unique flower design.

Restorative reflections…

Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum) began its long bloom period a little early this summer in St. Louis. Actually, it began blooming in early June, at the end of springtime. This allowed me to create these images in a garden I passed during a morning walk. Such walks and encounters dispel anxieties and remind me of their triviality. Daisys also remind me of my mother; they were her favorite flowers. So many emotions worked through me during this particular walk; therapeutic reflections of life as I admired these mid-life blooms.

Singled out of a crowd. All the same, yet different. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Shasta Daisys in abundance. This image has a few in focus in the lower part of the image so that you can grasp the full abundance of this Daisy garden. Copyright 2027 Pamela Breitberg