Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Orange is back

These lovely orange-red day lilies opened this week and surprised me because I had forgotten they existed in my collection until they appeared. I think because they have been slow to develop beyond one stem they slipped my mind. They have color like the old common doubles and shape like the red volunteers. 

double common daylily and pink hydrangeas 
small orange red daylies 

big orange red daylily
Crocosmia's bright red orange flowers began to open this morning

first basket of peaches from the farmer's market


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Artomatic one week left

 Yesterday Keith and I went to see the Sketch-crawlers at Artomatic and visit the unseen galleries of art. We had fun but still didn't see it all. Here are a few highlights of things I enjoyed and photographed to share.

artist asked visitors to take a plastic soldier and photograph it and send him the shots... to add to his creation

Jeff Wilson  oil on copper plates of tornados

Christian Tribastone's display of cool drawings with white highlights

Keith admiring Jacqui Crocetta's work we both liked 

Todd Gardner's self portraits as various clowns were fun

Yelena Rodina has some sweet story book style paintings

The Saturday sketch crawlers of Washington DC Urban sketchers

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Artomatic continues

We have had a good run this year for Artomatic. I completed my third and final required volunteer shift last night. Two weekends ago at "Meet the Artist Night" Keith and I enjoyed talking with lots of visitors about our work. They came from all over  Houston, TX sent a couple of school teachers just arrived for a Capitol visit who were very interested in my sketches.
 I worked a volunteer shift on Sunday the 10th at the front door of Artomatic which was lots of fun. I greeted all the visitors who, like me, were a little surprised to find a big bicycle race circling the neighborhood which had shut down many streets.

I wish I had known this bicycle event was coming, I might have been there just for that but I was committed to work all day. It's an annual event this Arlington series of races I stumbled on once before when I dropped by the Apple store a few years back. It was a perfect weather day for racers on the back top blue skies and lots of fresh air and low humidity from the north.
I went by the 8th and 9th floors after my first  volunteer shift at Artomatic and here are a few  imagesw of my favorite artworks from those floors.

faucet growth 

cool sculpty coral like growths dripping from faucets! 

this pottery reminds me of the sea corals and grasses 

Matt Hollis floral sculpture

Nils Henrik Sundqvist print in metal frame

James Halloran from April's "Art in the Berg" show had a great wall display

Pat Goslee was brave painting the walls orange then hanging her abstract paintings over such powerful color

I haven't been able to go tour Artomatic yet but next Saturday June 16th at noon is a big Sketch-crawl DC  tour I am going to attend.  Only two weeks left now before it all closes up for good. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

plant the crape myrtle tree

My new red crepe myrtle tree has three little trunks and is about 5 feet tall. I bought it last summer  (2011) at Merrifield Nursery in Gainesville Virginia for a substantial amount of money. I paid extra because this tree suited my needs, it is perfectly red and large enough to stand up to the passing foot traffic for the spot at the edge of our front curb.

56 years old and counting! Wonder if I can dig a hole big and deep enough to plant my tree this year?

I have wanted a really red crepe myrtle in my garden for a long time. Last summer I found that the spot I chose wasn't ready and my strength not up to the hard labor in the summer heat. This type of tree needs lots of sun and that means I have to dig in the sun too!  I reluctantly set the planting project aside on my to do list over and over feeling very guilty that I couldn't get it in the ground to start growing. I discovered sadly that getting old slows you down sometimes when your heart wants to go full speed ahead.

I have a vision of a large crepe myrtle with handsome dark red bark trunks peeling beige skin that is pollarded a bit to give it a bushy top each spring once it is happy in it's new home. At last today after a week of heavy rains that leaves soil soft and easier to dig I went out in the the sun with lots of big puffy white clouds and dug up the ground. It was hard but not as hard as I feared.

I mixed in loads of compost and  because this spot is entirely the remains of the enormous Linden tree that used to live there. The ground was sandy and much of the old mulched Linden tree had broken down to a sort of light brown soil. Sadly it died and was ground up into mulch a couple years ago and now the city won't put a big shade tree there because sensible minds prevail and they don't want the branches in the electrical wires over this spot! They tried planting a lovely delicate red bud a few years back near by but that died even with my careful watering for two summers.  That is when I decided  this is the perfect place for a sun loving, short in stature, red crepe myrtle tree to live.

dug the hole

tree sits at the edge of the hole 30 inches deep before I added compost

Finally, I planted my little red crepe myrtle tree. Now, all I have to do is water and wait. The flowers come late in the summer when ever thing in the garden looks like it is going to keel over from heat and they last into early fall.

It looks small but that rich soil should make it take off soon to reach new heights this summer. 
smile for the camera Frederick the job is almost done

 Below you can see what the flowers were like last year while it was still waiting to be planted it put on a nice display in spite of being pretty tightly packed in a small plastic pot! Oh and the leaves turn a very handsome shade of ORANGE in the fall! It's a perfect end of the season color for our garden at the edge of tenth street.
Last summer's blooms on the crepe myrtle