Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Country Wonderland

We hope you are enjoying a fun and joyful week of holiday preparations. And to get us all in the festive, wintery mood, some images from our library of the Skagit Valley in snow.

This fertile valley and picturesque farmlands lie an hour north of our home. On this day, after a sudden snowfall, the barns lay serene and still and a cool, clear sky sent twinkling lights dancing across the hushed purity of the fields.

We felt transported by the views to a country wonderland, a real-life vintage postcard, nostalgic scenes of a timeless way of life. We hope they do the same for you.

See more scenes of winter beauty here.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Autumn Foliage in Bruges

Hello and warm greetings! Our balmy, sunny autumn has flown with the leaves on strong winds – winds that cleared the skies for a magical view of a glorious, almost-full moon last night. Did you see it? At midnight, looking out from the upper windows, our property appeared as if in near daylight with deep shadows cast by the trees and all else silvered with gleaming light. And the day dawned with ice on the bird baths and a faint threat of snow.

A day to stay in and delight in armchair travel! Join me on a little surprise tour. David recently returned from a wonderful trip to Belgium, including the magnificent medieval city of Bruges with the famous Flemish light, loved by painters for centuries:

Canals, marvelous architecture, autumn color, and a sweet pup napping in the sun.

In Bruges, two prominent features are chocolate and lace.

As well as beautiful views that haven't changed in hundreds of years.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Jewelled Tones

As the richness and glitter of winter days approaches, an unplanned but common motif emerges from recent shoots – hues of garnet, ruby and tourmaline, shades of alexandrite, topaz, amethyst and sapphire, jewelled tones to welcome the coming festive season.

The last of the roses from Mom's garden – Rosa 'Mr. Lincoln', photographed in a simple blue bottle on her antique Welsh sideboard.

A serendipitous mid-autumn flower market find – armfuls of rainbow-hued ranunculus!

Perfect buds in mesmerizing colors, faceted and sparkling like costly gems.

Outshining a silk damask pillow in our living room.

Saturated pinks and purples of handmade candles purchased in Cusco, Peru, regal in a silver candelabra – a wedding gift to my parents that now sits on a shelf in our office.

Vivid colors in our entry hall – hand bags and textiles from Peru, and more ranunculus.

My thoughts turn to velvets and satins, exotic wrappings and treasures from distant lands, gifts to be given with a grateful heart and joy to be shared with loved ones far and near.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Forest Pansy

Autumn can make be moody and melancholy. The dark, the damp, the dreary.

But this week such gloom and glum has been banished by Seattle's record-breaking warm and sunny weather – 74 degrees today! November! Not an occasion to squander.

So, the last two days have found me on a frantic and frenetic frenzy of photographing fall foliage!

Yesterday's first stop was magic, no doubt. Lured by a liquid light swishing through multi-colored leaves in a park I've driven past hundreds of times, I was enchanted to discover sweet trees festooned with golden hearts!

And with such a sweet name – 'Forest Pansy', of the Redbud family. (Cersis canadensis)

Nature's garlands, buntings and banners.

I left exhilarated, elated and extra-appreciative of living in such a gorgeous city.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Berries and Cream and Whirling Butterflies

Somehow, these roses remind me of frothy, whipped, double cream – rich and thick and perfect with freshly-picked wild blackberries.

Blackberries are hugely abundant here in late summer and it's common to see happy pickers on the roadsides with buckets and bowls, eating as much as they put in their containers. As I pass them in their anonymity, I like to imagine what scrumptious delights they are going to treat their families to that night – pie or cobbler or jam from their grandmother's recipe.

I really do use this gate post in our garden quite often to rest jars and pitchers on while I'm tending to the roses. Sometimes I hang my camera from it, too. This is the fence that divides the upper front lawn (seen above) with the upper back garden. We have many bird baths, but the one you can just make out here is by far the most popular. None of the birds would touch it when it was first purchased but now they jostle and spar with one another to get in first.

Tremendous bird activity in the garden this morning – robins and tohees and jays and crows and chickadees. A hummer is resting on the wire outside my window as I write this, which reminds me to freshen up their feeders. We don't leave food for the other birds – plenty of worms and berries for them – but the hummers we take care of throughout the winter when nothing is blooming.

Canning jars are so nostalgic, aren't they? I have begun my own collection in recent years but most that I use in photos are borrowed from Mom, who has dozens in all sizes dating from the early 1900s. My parents had an antique shop on our property when we were growing up and Sundays were spent on country drives to go "antiquing". I remember their thrill of expectation and discovery exploring condemned old houses.

These are all David Austin roses – 'The Shepherdess', left and 'A Shropshire Lad', right.

'Lady Emma Hamilton' and 'The Shepherdess'. The Shepherdess so very much resembles scoops of vanilla ice cream. Mmm, perhaps I'll get some sugar cones...

One of my favorite flowering plants is Gaura lindheimeri, known as Whirling Butterflies or Beeblossom or Indian Feather. Aren't those the most wonderful names? To me, they are such magical and sweet plants. This one is 'Pink Cloud', with beautiful burgundy and green stems.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Delightful Dahlias

Ah, the amazing forms and colors of dahlias!

We've nearly doubled the size of our Dahlia Collection with our recent shoots around the Pacific Northwest.

See them all here!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Multi-Hued Hydrangeas

A random sampling of hydrangea blooms from our garden revealed a gorgeous spectrum when gathered together!

And arranged with some of the abundant roses created a fantasy garden hat.

See these and many more images here!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Lavender Dream

A girl, a purple bike and a field of lavender.

• • • •
Production notes:
Location: Purple Haze Lavender Farm, Olympic Peninsula, Washington. The Peninsula is home to the largest Lavender Festival in the US.
Model: Winifrede Walbaum
Date: July 6, 2010

See more images from our Lavender collection here!