Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Welcome to Annake's Garden -- What We're About

People who see our name on our  business cards or on our banner at craft shows often ask me if it is just a catchy title, or if it is a metaphor, or if a real garden is involved somehow.

Indeed there is a real garden, replete with trees, shrubs, masses of flowers, grape arbors, berry bushes, vegetable beds and patches of herbs. The garden is sleeping now. The ground is frozen to a depth of three feet. Unfortunately, there is no comforting blanket of snow over the garden today, but we are hopeful that it is on its way. Skiers and snowboarders are not the only ones who pray for snow, you know. Gardeners need snow, especially those of us who need to ease the damages of a prolonged drought.

Our Head Garden Gnome is recharging his gardening batteries by browsing through a tall stack of seed catalogs and making wish lists. I'm fueling my springtime dreams by looking at pictures of last year's flowers.

SE View of Annake's Garden
SE View of Annake's Garden
We began photographing our garden's blossoms in mid-spring of last year. Our immediate goal was to make an album of lovely blooms to comfort a very dear friend who was mourning the death of an adult son. We finished one album and began a second, continuing to add to it throughout the seasons. We had missed photographing the early spring flowers, however, so we will be watching for the earliest snowdrops, crocuses, and windflowers more eagerly than ever this year. I'll keep a watchful eye on the fattening buds of forsythia and apricot and apple trees so I can bring a few into the house to force into bloom.

The photography had added benefits, too, not the least of which is our ability to share our flowers with you on this Website. We hope you enjoy them.

Black-eyed Susans
The Garden in bloom
The pictures also provide me with both inspiration and a wealth of reference for my art and craft projects. Flowers have been an inspiration for me since I drew violets in purple crayon on butcher paper when I was four years old. Since then they have adorned pictures, pillows, rugs, quilt blocks, clothing and a long list of other objects. I moved on to drawing and painting animals, landscapes, portraits --- even abstracts --- but I always come back to flower subjects.

iris needlepoint
Iris needlepoint, a current project
My pick-up work for this week is a small needlepoint picture destined for a round frame. Its subject is a sturdy bi-color iris (irises are my favorite flowers) which grows at the southeast corner of our front perennial garden. It has bright yellow standards and lavender-to-purple falls. We have another variety with purple standards and golden-yellow falls that is just as beautiful. I prefer the former flower for art needlework, however, because the darker tones at the bottom of the bloom seem to give the picture a more realistic “weight”.

In a sense, though, Annake's Garden is also a metaphor. It represents the group of artisans who contribute their talents to our enterprise. Their work is diverse, but there is a common thread. We all draw our inspiration from Nature, whether from aspen wood or weathered barn wood, natural gemstones, animals, trees or flowers, landscapes or skyscapes.

We're really hoping that "Annake's Garden" is a catchy title, too.

Please visit our Web garden often, and enjoy it with us throughout the year.


white poppies
White poppies along a Garden path

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