February 15, 2011

GBBD - Searching High and Low

The last month has been cold and dark so there have been many hours spent by the fire and reading by lamp light...reading gardening books, magazines and simply dreaming about the possibilities of the spring to come.

The extended freezes we've experienced have taken their toll on the garden and the gardener.

This month I'm forced to be a bit more creative when it comes to blooms in my garden...I'm going to have to fudge a bit and offer blooms in my life instead...Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts this meme on the 15th of each month and it's a wonderful chance to see what is blooming in other gardens around the world.

We spent a few days in Colorado recently and I was immediately smitten with the charm of Steamboat.  Three feet of snow fell during our stay but life went on and the spots of color amidst the snow were so vibrant.

Here we spot a favorite bloom walking amidst the snow flakes.  We were walking along the Yampa River which runs through downtown Steamboat.  At the time we were visiting, they had already had over 300 inches of snow.  As we walked it was as if we were in a cocoon - it was so quiet and there was such peace along the river.

In such a stark environment I was reminded of how we find color and richness in our lives through our relationships.  As gardeners with nurturing instincts, we are cultivating more than just flowers.

Another favorite bloom bombing down the mountain...can't you sense the quiet?  
(Photo taken by my husband with his phone)

While strolling downtown Steamboat, my daughter found an adorable headband with felt flowers attached.  We tried our hand at making the blooms last weekend.  This photo shows our first attempts.  The little blue flower in the lower right corner will have a seed bead attached to the center before it's glued to the headband.  The larger charcoal flower (top) will be attached to a hat.

To make the charcoal flower you can find directions here.  To make the blue flower, just cut a thin strip of felt and roll it tight.  Add a touch of fabric glue to the end and secure.   Cut out the leaf shapes and glue them to the back of the flower.  Next, cut a small circle of felt the size of the flower and glue it to the back of the flower.  This secures the flower and leaves together and gives a neat, finished appearance.   Add a bead to the center if you'd like.  Such an easy way to add some blooms to your life!

After spending several hours this weekend cleaning up the debris left behind from all the cold weather, I was certain there wasn't one thing blooming in my yard.  I had thoroughly been over every inch of the garden and had seen nothing. 

Even the violets had given up in the freezes, leaving behind these spent blooms.   Before writing this blog I had always taken pictures of my plants when they were vibrant and healthy.   Writing the blog has taught me to slow down and capture images during less desirable times in the garden and I have to admit most of my favorite pictures are these types of shots.  Maybe because they are less expected and imperfect?

As I came down the stairs this morning, I caught a glimpse of soft petals moving in the light (warm, {yippee}) breeze...
thus learning another lesson...don't give up on something just because it looks a little worse for wear...it may still have a little something left to offer you.

Hoping you have a happy bloom day!


  1. Absolutely gorgeous Cat. I love that you are including portraits and people, even your own. I saw this on another blog, (not gardening)and found it so interesting that I keep going back. The blogger is also a good photographer like you. And thumbs up on being creative for GBBD.

  2. Wonderful and inspirational. You have captured a magical essence in your beautiful photos and the corresponding, thoughtful captions.
    I know that I was one man with his shovel and created a garden, made a statement, of my love for the great outdoors.
    And with the promise of the impending spring, may we all rejoice in the rebirth.
    With respect and kindness, Gary.

  3. Your posts are so thought provoking, Cat; not to mention beautifully photographed. Yes, as gardeners we do cultivate more than just plants. It's in our nature to nurture all that is around us and is important to our lives. Thank you, once again, for making us (me) take the time to see it.

  4. Interesting approach to Bloom Day. I noticed that my cycad has damage again this winter too but not nearly so bad as last winter. Happy Bloom Day. Hurry, Spring.

  5. That photo of your oldest bloom is gorgeous! Love the texture and you caught the light in her eyes beautifully. Love you!

  6. How absolutely wonderful to find a garden where my son is.

    I think of TX and remember my husband going on a business trip- and having to FedEx his winter coat. In California we didn't know it could get cold in TX.

  7. Dear Cat, What a heartwarming post. Wow! It must be fun to be flying down that beautiful mountain! Your daughter? is lovely. I love the way you play with your violet photos to give them that timeless quality. Lovely!! I can imagine the quite in our winter walks. Beautiful landscapes.

  8. Hi Cat, Looks like you had a wonderful time in Colorado. I very much like the felt flowers that you and your daughter created. I also think that the antiqued flower shots at the end of the post are so very beautiful!

  9. Lovely 'bloom' you have Cat, great photos and a new approach to GBBD. Happy Blooms Day!

  10. "life blooms" what a wonderful idea! all captured perfectly in your photos! (i do wish you some heat, though!)

  11. Gorgeous portrait! She has such beautiful eyes. You found your blooms where no one else have thought of. Clever!

  12. You know its been cold in these parts when even the Violets have been smacked around! Happy GBBD.

  13. Love the texture on those frozen violets. So much atmosphere in your photos!

  14. What a beautiful post. I love the way you take gorgeous photographs of the ephemeral and then turn them into little works of art, I also think it is a great reminder to appreciate even the less obvious beauty in our gardens, and as you say, not to give up too easily. Your non plant blooms are lovely too!

  15. Enjoyed your post, Cat. Your photography is absolutely beautiful! Also, I think Steamboat is one of my favorite spots in Colorado. I am sure you had a wonderful time with your family!
    I never thought I would take photos of plants that had lost their vigor, either. I discovered through blogging, too... there is beauty in all things.

  16. What a lovely post. Congratulations on having a life filled with flowers.

  17. Beautiful pictures, once again, and creative "blooms." The mountain scene is breathtaking -- I can "hear" the quiet. And you make a drooping flower look beautiful -- so impressed with your photography!

  18. What beautiful "blooms." Very uplifting. I can't wait to see your garden in spring. I used to go camping near Steamboat. It is a great place. The felt flowers are wonderful.

  19. I loved seeing your images of Colorado, especially the mountain action shots. You make me want to return there to ski – so beautiful! Your daughter is a lovely bloom. Sorry to be so late to visit; I’ve been offline.

  20. "As gardeners with nurturing instincts, we are cultivating more than just flowers." I love that line in this post.

    You have such nice skiing blooms! I just got back from Mammoth Mtn. and four incredible days skiing with both my sons. They have bloomed so beautifully and your words remind me of my role in that transformation.

    Looks like you had some great powder!

  21. Very nice photos and beautiful portrait! happy bloom day!

  22. Hi Cat - a novel and most ingenious bloom day Your lovely prose combined with winter wonderland scenery, beautiful daughter and iced violas. Thanks for a great post.

  23. Getting caught up a bit, Cat. What a great series on 'blooms'. Your eldest bloom has beautiful, full-of-expression eyes; the mountain shots are spectacular, and you've brought the violets to life.

    Perhaps time for a little warmth to bring your garden back to life.


Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
"Pooh!" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. "I just wanted to be sure of you."
~A.A. Milne

Thanks for taking the time to visit!