Blossom XXIII: Iris

~

“…Every day I discover even more beautiful things.

It is intoxicating me, and I want to paint it all –

my head is bursting…”

.

Claude Monet

~

~

“The priceless lesson in the New Year

is that endings birth beginnings and beginnings birth endings.

And in this elegantly choreographed dance of life,

neither ever find an end in the other.”

.

Craig D. Lounsbrough

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~

~

“The best is yet to be.”
.

Robert Browning

Blossom XXII:  ” …and Spring After Winter…”

Wednesday Vignette: Meditations

Columbine, Aquilegia vulgaris

~

“The soul becomes dyed

with the colour of its thoughts.”

.

Marcus Aurelius

~

~

“Accept the things to which fate binds you,

and love the people with whom fate

brings you together,

but do so with all your heart.”

.

Marcus Aurelius

~

~

“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority,

but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

.

Marcus Aurelius

~

~

“The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit.

The second is to look things in the face

and know them for what they are.”

.

Marcus Aurelius

~

~

“Very little is needed to make a happy life;

it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.”

.

Marcus Aurelius

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~

~

“Do not act

as if you were going to live ten thousand years.

Death hangs over you.

While you live, while it is in your power,

be good.”

.

Marcus Aurelius

quotations from The Meditations

 

Blossom XXII: “…and Spring After Winter.”

Redbud

~

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth

find reserves of strength

that will endure as long as life lasts.

There is something infinitely healing

in the repeated refrains of nature –

– the assurance that dawn comes after night,

and spring after winter.”

.

Rachel Carson

~

~

“Live in each season as it passes;

breathe the air, drink the drink,

taste the fruit,

and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”

.

Henry David Thoreau

~

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~

~

“I only went out for a walk

and finally concluded to stay out

till sundown,

for going out, I found, was really going in.”

.

John Muir

~

~

Blossom I
Blossom II
Blossom III
Blossom IV
Blossom V
Blossom VI
Blossom VII
Blossom VIII
Blossom IX
Blossom X
Blossom XI
Blossom XII
Blossom XIII
Blossom XIV
Blossom XV
Blossom XVI
Blossom XVII
Blossom XVIII
Blossom XIX
Blossom XX
Blossom XXI

Wednesday Vignette: Living Geometry

~

“The geometry of the things around

us creates coincidences, intersections.”


.

Erri De Luca

~

~

“Philosophy [nature] is written in that great book

which ever is before our eyes –

– I mean the universe –

– but we cannot understand it

if we do not first learn the language

and grasp the symbols in which it is written.

The book is written in mathematical language,

and the symbols are triangles, circles

and other geometrical figures,

without whose help it is impossible

to comprehend a single word of it;

without which one wanders in vain

through a dark labyrinth.”

.

Galileo Galilei

~

~

“You don’t see something

until you have the right metaphor

to let you perceive it”

.

James Gleick

~

~

“The harmony of the world is made manifest

in Form and Number,

and the heart and soul

and all the poetry of Natural Philosophy

are embodied in the concept of mathematical beauty.”

.

D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson

~

~

“Number rules the universe.”

.

Pythagoras

~

~

“Maths is at only one remove from magic.”

.

Neel Burton

~

~

“A circle has no end.”

.

Isaac Asimov

~

“Seed of Life” Mandala designed and stitched in cotton thread by the Woodland Gnome 2016.  Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~

More on Geometry:

Sacred Geometry, Flower of Life…. (additional links at the end of the post)

 

Wednesday Vignettes: Confidence

february-28-2017-magnolia-033

~

“We either make ourselves miserable,

or we make ourselves strong.

The amount of work is the same.”

.

Carlos Castaneda

~

february-28-2017-magnolia-007

~

“I am only one, but I am one.

I cannot do everything, but I can do something.

And because I cannot do everything,

I will not refuse

to do the something that I can do.”

.

Edward Everett Hale

~

february-28-2017-magnolia-022

~

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment;

that if one advances confidently

in the direction of his dreams,

and endeavors to live the life

which he has imagined,

he will meet with a success

unexpected in common hours..”

.

Henry David Thoreau

~

february-28-2017-magnolia-025

~

“Human spirit is the ability to face

the uncertainty of the future

with curiosity and optimism.

It is the belief that problems can be solved,

differences resolved.

It is a type of confidence.

And it is fragile.

It can be blackened by fear, and superstition. ”

.

Bernard Beckett

~

february-28-2017-magnolia-029

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

~

Magnolia liliiflora

Magnolia liliiflora

~

“The deep roots never doubt spring will come.”
.

Marty Rubin

~

march-1-2017-in-bloom-016

Blossom XXI: Magnolia stellata

Magnolia stellata

Magnolia stellata

~

“Don’t be satisfied with stories,

how things have gone with others.

Unfold your own myth.”

.

Jalaluddin Rumi

~

february-27-2017-magnolia-stellata-008

~

“Others have seen what is and asked why.

I have seen what could be and asked why not. ”

.

Pablo Picasso

~

february-27-2017-magnolia-stellata-002

~

“To be creative means to be in love with life.

You can be creative only if you love life enough

that you want to enhance its beauty,

you want to bring a little more music to it,

a little more poetry to it,

a little more dance to it.”


.

Osho

~

february-27-2017-magnolia-stellata-011

~

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy,

a quickening that is translated through you

into action, and because there is only one of you

in all time, this expression is unique.

And if you block it, it will never exist

through any other medium and will be lost.”

.

Martha Graham

~

february-27-2017-magnolia-stellata-001

~

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
.

Sylvia Plath

***

“The chief enemy of creativity is good sense.”

.

Pablo Picasso

***

“Vulnerability is the birthplace

of innovation, creativity and change.”


.

Brené Brown

~

february-27-2017-magnolia-stellata-009

~

“Thank you!” to everyone who visits Forest Garden, everyone who has followed this site over the years, and especially to everyone who leaves a comment and opens a conversation. 

Because of your kindness and interest, today is a special day for us.   Today we have surpassed 200,000 views on Forest Garden. 

~

Magnolia lili

Magnolia liliiflora

~

This journey  began in the summer of 2013, while a crew of arborists cleaned up the three oak trees which fell across our front garden, unexpectedly, in a June thunderstorm. 
I was alone in the house trying to make peace with the devastation in our garden while my partner was out there with the crew, making sure it was all handled to suit him. 
~
June 13 storm damaged trees 001
~
It was the second time in three years that we had old growth oaks fall across our yard, and heavy equipment driving through the garden to clean up the mess!  We were determined to rebuild our garden, and to make it better than it had been before. 
This Forest Garden Blog took root in our spirit of determination to create a garden in this unpredictable forest community; and to help others who might be struggling with the same challenges that we face here.
~

The nearly finished bed. More compost will be added to cover the remaining wood on the border, and eventually I'll install some edging material to hold it all together.

~
I appreciate every single individual who visits us. 
We hope you always find a spot of beauty here, an idea to inspire you, the information you may be seeking, and warm encouragement to grow a garden of your own!

Happy Spring!

The Woodland Gnome 2017

Woodland Gnome

~

Blossom I
Blossom II
Blossom III
Blossom IV
Blossom V
Blossom VI
Blossom VII
Blossom VIII
Blossom IX
Blossom X
Blossom XI
Blossom XII
Blossom XIII
Blossom XIV
Blossom XV
Blossom XVI
Blossom XVII
Blossom XVIII
Blossom XVIX
Blossom XX

 

Blossom XX : February Iris

february-17-2017-first-iris-003

~

Imagine our surprise to find this vibrant miniature Iris reticulata blooming in the garden this afternoon.

We’ve had a sunny day today.  Once the wind died down, the temperature crept over 50F.  And so late this afternoon the warm February sun coaxed this bud to open.  What a joy to find it as I cleaned up from planting the carrots!

~

february-17-2017-first-iris-004

~

“Isn’t that the only way to curate a life?

To live among things that make you gasp with delight?”

.

Maira Kalman

~

february-17-2017-first-iris-001

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

 

“Being here to witness the beauty,

to learn, to be astonished, to love –

is enough. Being able to create

in addition

is a delightful honour.”

.

Jay Woodman

~

february-15-2017-violas-001

~

Blossom I
Blossom II
Blossom III
Blossom IV
Blossom V
Blossom VI
Blossom VII
Blossom VIII
Blossom IX
Blossom X
Blossom XI
Blossom XII
Blossom XIII
Blossom XIV
Blossom XV
Blossom XVI
Blossom XVII
Blossom XVIII
Blossom XVIX

Blossom XIX: First Snowdrops

The first Snowdrops of spring.

The first Snowdrops of spring.

~

We were delighted, and a bit surprised, to discover these pretty snowdrops blooming on the bank behind our house today.  Sheltered, and facing the afternoon sun, these tiny Galanthus emerged to brighten our day with their pristine flowers.

Our bulbs have been popping up all over the garden during the last fortnight.  But these are the first bulbs to bloom in our yard this year.  The premier act, we expect others soon to follow.  Galanthus nivalis lead the season, closely followed by the Crocus and early Daffodils.  I’m happy to see a little clump forming here where the original bulbs have matured and multiplied.  One of the nicest things about many spring bulbs is that they naturalize over time, making spreading patches of  color to delight my gardener’s heart.

~

february-6-2017-flowers-013~

We enjoyed a sunny afternoon in the mid 60s today, and used it productively.  I made the tour and spread a bag of Milorganite around the perimeter of our garden, watching for signs of spring.  I”m still pruning, cutting back spent perennials, replenishing mulch and noticing buds swelling on many shrubs and trees.

We can’t get overly confident just yet.   We expect wintery weather to return by the end of this week.   Williamsburg often endures winter storms right through March or even early April.

~

february-6-2017-flowers-011

~

But with that said, we feel spring in the air.  The Heaths opened their  Bulb Shop up for the season at their Gloucester gardens last week.  I find it satisfying somehow that the first of our spring bulbs has blossomed within a week of their spring opening!  We will make a trip later this month to enjoy their display gardens, see what is new, and perhaps pick up a bag or two of something nice for this summer’s display.

~

These lovely evergreen Arum italicum are from Brent and Becky's bulbs. This clump in its second season, growing with Violas.

These lovely evergreen Arum italicum are from Brent and Becky’s Bulbs. This clump in its second season, growing with Violas.

~

So for my gardening friends snowed under this week, please let these little snowdrops cheer you with their promise of spring to come!  It won’t be long now until your gardens will also burst into the beauties of springtime!

~

Camellia japonica opened its first blooms of the season this weekend. These are our 'winter roses.'

Camellia japonica opened its first blooms of the season this weekend. These are our ‘winter roses.’

~

Woodland Gnome 2017

 

Blossom I
Blossom II
Blossom III
Blossom IV
Blossom V
Blossom VI
Blossom VII
Blossom VIII
Blossom IX
Blossom X
Blossom XI
Blossom XII
Blossom XIII
Blossom XIV
Blossom XV
Blossom XVI
Blossom XVII
Blossom XVIII
Blossom XX

 

Blossom XVIII: Tough

january-20-2017-garden-014

~

“We have not journeyed all this way

because we are made of sugar candy.”

.

Winston S. Churchill

~

january-20-2017-garden-009

~

 

“Anyone can be tough for a season.

It takes a special kind of human

to rise to life’s challenges for a lifetime.”


.

Chris Matakas

~

january-20-2017-garden-011

~

“If you’re looking for the easy challenge,

you’re not cut out for success.”


.

T Jay Taylor

~

january-20-2017-garden-012

~

“Anyone who has a continuous smile on his face

conceals a toughness that is almost frightening.”

.

Greta Garbo

~

Helleborus argutifolius 'Snow Fever'

Helleborus argutifolius ‘Snow Fever’

~

Do you often think of flowers as ‘tough’ ?  Likely not.

And yet look at these beautiful Hellebores blooming in our garden today.  So fragile looking, but tough enough to bloom in January.  These sheltered under the deep  snowfall when temperatures here dipped into the single digits two weeks ago.  That is extremely cold for coastal Virginia, but the Hellebores kept  on growing and even blooming despite their environment.

There is a lesson there for gardeners; perhaps for all of us.  Such beauty is an expression of itself.  It fulfills its own plan and promise.

Hellebores fill a special niche in our garden.  They are one of the toughest perennials we grow.  Their graceful evergreen leaves maintain a presence year round, through summer’s heat and drought as easily as through frigid winter days.  Their delicate veins and subtle shading express the same sort of athletic beauty as a ballerina.   And just when it looks like the garden has suffered defeat at winter’s hand, these wondrous flowers emerge from the frozen Earth.

And they last.  The cut flowers last a long time whether left growing out of doors or cut for a vase.  These plants will still be blooming when the garden has filled with Daffodils and Azalea next April.

A new neighbor and I were chatting today, and she asked me what perennial I would recommend for her front garden.  She has a wide sheltered bed near the street; an inviting  bed and breakfast for every rabbit and deer in the neighborhood.  It is shaded with a thick growth of native hollies and young hardwood trees.

I’ll be you know what advice I offered…. Hellebores.

~

january-20-2017-garden-010

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2017

 

Blossom I
Blossom II
Blossom III
Blossom IV
Blossom V
Blossom VI
Blossom VII
Blossom VIII
Blossom IX
Blossom X
Blossom XI
Blossom XII
Blossom XIII
Blossom XIV
Blossom XV
Blossom XVI
Blossom XVII
Blossom XX

 

Blossom XVII: Samhain Magic

october-31-2016-camellias-001

~

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes

the whole world around you

because the greatest secrets are always hidden

in the most unlikely places.

Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

.

Roald Dahl

~

october-28-2016-2016-garden-002

~

“We do not need magic to transform our world.

We carry all of the power we need

inside ourselves already.”

.

J.K. Rowling

~

october-31-2016-camellias-005

~

“I want to be magic.

I want to touch the heart of the world and make it smile.

I want to be a friend of elves and live in a tree.

Or under a hill.

I want to marry a moonbeam

and hear the stars sing.

I don’t want to pretend at magic anymore.

I want to be magic.”

.

Charles de Lint

~

october-31-2016-camellias-002

~

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2016

~

october-24-2016-autumn-022~

Blossom I
Blossom II
Blossom III
Blossom IV
Blossom V
Blossom VI
Blossom VII
Blossom VIII
Blossom IX
Blossom X
Blossom XI
Blossom XII
Blossom XIII
Blossom XIV
Blossom XV
BlossomXVI
Blossom VXIII

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