May 30, 2020

strawberries in a teacup
Fresh strawberries in a beloved teacup, June 2001? (Prismacolor colored pencils and watercolor on Strathmore cold-press illustration board)

Not exactly sure when I did this one, but I think it was 2001. I had planned to write a story to go with it and send it to a local San Luis Obispo magazine. It must have been around this time of year as that is when strawberries are in season, really in season. It sometimes seems strawberries are in season year round here in CA, but if you Google “When are strawberries in season?” you will get an answer that reads something like this: Strawberries are officially supposed to be in the grocery store around here from April through June. According to the Google info 10 million pint baskets of strawberries are shipped every day from CA during that time. It may or may not come as a surprise to you that lots for fruit and veg come from the golden state and there are almost 25,000 acres planted here. That translates to 83% of the strawberries grown in the US come from California. Some of you may think that everything grows here and some of you might be right. However, I have tried to grow them with only spotty success. I say spotty success because most of my berries I’ve grown have had spots, or maybe tiny holes would be a better description. That’s because the slugs love to eat them too. In an evening a whole row of gorgeous red ripe strawberries can be ruined by the slugs. And I don’t think you can just cut off the holes and gobble down the rest. It’s really hard to get past the fact that each little red gem is also covered with slime that doesn’t seem to wash off easily. Darn and yuck!

It’s funny that when talking about crops being harvested, you have to remember that for strawberries, someone has to pick them. The process of harvesting lots of crops here have been mechanized, but there is still a lot of humans that need to bend over and pick a fruit or veg and put it in a box or on a conveyor belt. For crops that are planted each year, the whole plant can be removed. But other crops, like strawberries, are not replanted each year and therefore someone has to bend down and carefully remove each one from a slim stem. And picking 25,000 acres of strawberries takes a lot of people bending down. People in the grocery store want each piece of fruit to look perfect—no blemishes and certainly on slug holes. It’s hard work. While looking around for information about strawberries grown here in CA I came across a May 3, 2013 Los Angeles Times story where a newspaper writer, Hector Becerra, picked strawberries and broccoli with the migrant workers who do this work. If you look up that archived story online you will get a sense of how the lovely strawberries we buy make it to the grocery store. All of this talk of harvesting fruits and veg here in CA has also got me wondering how well that is going right now with COVID-19 forcing people to stand at least 6 feet apart and wear a mask. So, of course I wanted to check that out and found another LA Times story (April 29, 2020), directly related to this. You might want to check that out to—“A family of strawberry growers had big dreams. Then came the pandemic.” It’s such a poignant and heartbreaking story of 3 generations of a family growing strawberries in Ventura County.

Looking back at the teacup filled with strawberries I am reminded of my son’s beloved Great Aunt Ruth. She gave me that sunflower teacup when my son was born. He was my sunflower baby and such a teacup was thoughtful on so many levels. Ruth was and is an avid gardener, and there have been many times I have walked amongst her giant sunflowers on her hill beside a huge walnut tree. Sunflowers were blooming when my son was born and I obnoxiously coveted all things “sunflower” —Ruth knew that! But the cup also reminded me of so many cups of tea that she and I have drunk together over the years. When I went to visit, before and after my son was born, she always had baked something quite yummy to eat and of course we always had hot tea for those occasions. That got me thinking about a cake I have made over the years that tastes pretty amazing with a hot cup of tea. (Recipe to follow.)

I found this recipe in a 2001 Martha Stewart Living Magazine. (I couldn’t find the actual month it was printed, but it was probably sometime that summer.) The original recipe called for rhubarb and blackberries, but I have made this countless times with just about every kind of fruit imaginable, except bananas. Usually I would make it when some fruit was just about to go bad and I didn’t want to waste it.

Snack Cake

(Makes one 9 inch round cake)

4 T unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the baking pan

1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the baking pan

5 ounces (1 and 3/4 to 2 cups) of chopped fruit

1 cup plus one T of sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder 

pinch of salt

2 large eggs

1 tsp of vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a 9 inch in diameter springform cake pan (removable bottom) and set aside. Combine whatever fruit you like with 1/3 cup of sugar in a medium bowl, allow it to sit for 45 minutes or so, stirring it occasionally. Depending on the fruit, quite a bit of liquid may form around the fruit. (It’s a good idea to strain off all the liquid or it will make the cake soggy when you cook it.)
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Set that aside. Using a medium size bowl cream the butter with the 2/3 cup of sugar with an electric mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to beat the mixture well after each egg is dropped in. Add the teaspoon of vanilla extract and beat to combine. Now add the flour mixture and and beat to combine that as well. Spoon the now finished cake batter into the prepared spring form pan and spread in flat.
  3. Strain off any juice that has formed with your fruit and sugar mixture (rhubarb and strawberries give off lots of liquid when you cook them, so this step is critical if you are adding them to your cake). Spoon the fruit directly onto the cake batter, then sprinkle the last tablespoon of sugar on the fruit and batter. 
  4. Place the cake in the oven on the rack second from the bottom and bake it until the cake is golden brown and the center is set. The original recipe says to cook it for an hour, but I take it out way before an hour has passed. I usually check it when it’s been in the oven 25 to 30 minutes. Once it’s cooked to your idea of perfection take it from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool slightly before releasing the collar around the base.

I like to eat this cake when it’s still slightly warm. In fact, last Thursday I made it with some strawberries that were just past their prime. It came out OK, but I should have left the sugared berries to drain a little longer before adding them to the cake batter. While cooking they released extra water and it was a little soggy. But no matter, I found a can of spray whipped cream that hadn’t quite reached its “sell by date” and squirted a healthy amount on the still warm cake. And of course I washed that all down with a hot cup of tea in my beloved Ruth’s sunflower teacup. Very nice!

May 23, 2020

South Arroyo
Desiderio Park, 5/16/2020 (Inktense pencils, Fude Fountain pen and ink on Canson Mix Media paper)

I have a friend who has been dying to take me to a place he goes running in the arroyo near the Rose Bowl. In recent months, before COVID-19 public places closures, he described running past many wonderful sketching spots in the Lower Arroyo Park area. He knew I would enjoy doing some plein air art there. Very recently his beloved arroyo trails have become another “soft open” spot that he can now return to. Of course all who go there must stay 6 feet away from each other and wear a mask. He told me that there were some pretty terrific displays of California and Matilija poppies (also known as the fried egg plant) in the lower arroyo. We made a plan to go there together last Saturday. We’d had a couple warm days and the CA poppies were starting to fade, but there were several wonderful stands of Matilija poppies. (I hope to do a botanical of that native CA flower pretty soon.) And some of the nearby hillsides, shaded by magnificent oaks, were blanketed with nasturtiums. 

Once we had seen the nasturtiums and Matilijia poppies he walked me to the area you see here. It’s part of the Desiderio Park and quite an unusual sight, actually. All of this is in Pasadena and the huge building in the background is the Richard H. Chambers 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Courthouse. And if you thought it looked like an old Spanish Colonial Revival style resort called the Vista del Arroyo Hotel and Bungalows you would be right! It was built in 1903 and my friend told me that in it’s early days midwestern tourists loved to stay there when visiting the area. I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of many such hotels built at the turn of the last century that are still around. And that would have been the case with this historic building if the federal government hadn’t come on the scene. It seems that during the Second World War it was turned into the McCornack General Hospital. After the war it was then used as a general-purpose federal government building. I guess it fell into some kind of disrepair and in 1985 it was restored and converted to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Courthouse. I couldn’t find any stories about how the federal government came into this lovely SoCal arroyo, but it’s nice to see that the old historic building had not been torn down, but rather recycled for a new purpose. 

But there is much more going in this sketch than an old hotel finding new life. You might ask, “What else could be so interesting?” I’ll tell you, it’s the very unassuming single story bungalows you see in foreground, and here is the story behind those structures. Not so long ago those homes weren’t there, but rather it was owned and home to the Desiderio Army Reserve Center. It had been built during WWII, but had closed in 2005. So, the question became, what should be done with an old government building once it had been emptied of personnel and what ever army stuff was inside. It would be nice to imagine that those structures would have been recycled just like the old hotel. (Actually from what I could see in some old photos, the buildings on site were not historic Spanish Revival architecture, but rather nondescript two story buildings surrounded by a lot of old and cracked asphalt.) At that point it wasn’t clear what the federal government would do with the 5.1 acres. However, the city of Pasadena acquired the property and in 2013 began planning what to do next. In the end the US Army, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), City of Pasadena and San Gabriel Habitat for Humanity raised the old army buildings and put up 9 affordable homes in its place. And the rest would be open spaces and trails for the Pasadena community to use. It is now called Desiderio Park. But the wonder of 9 Habitat for Humanity houses doesn’t end there as 3 of the courtyard bungalows are reserved for vets. Wow! Right? A story where everybody gets something wonderful. Now aren’t these tidy little affordable homes way more interesting and important than saving some old hotel?

CO St Bridge
Colorado Street Bridge (built in 1913)

There is one more image you need to see to get the full effect of Desiderio Park. You need to see the Colorado Street Bridge, it’s just to the left of the scene I sketched. It’s pretty monumental and I think it looks a lot like the aqueducts of Rome. As you might imagine many artists have painted this bridge over the years. And one of these days I plan to go back down there and try a sketch or two. 

But my quick landscape captured a rather perfect day for one CA girl. It was the perfect combination of some of the things I hold most dear here—Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, open spaces with wild flowers, oak trees, time spent with a wonderful CA friend (born in Chicago) with a couple of my beloved palm trees thrown in for good measure.

But maybe my perfect CA day was way more than spending time with a beloved friend in an amazing SoCal spot. Maybe the story was even bigger than CA itself. Maybe it was the realization that sometimes the stars and stripes align and the US Army, HUD, stuffy old Pasadena and Habitat for Humanity could create something pretty wonderful for someone. Now you might think that such a project didn’t really provide for that many people in need of affordable housing, and I thought about that. And then I thought about the Starfish Story. If you don’t know the Starfish Story, look it up. I think you’ll see what I mean. 

May 16, 2020

Mother's Day, 2020
Neighbor’s trees, Mother’s Day 2020 (watercolor, Inktense pencil and water soluble crayons on watercolor paper)

Enjoyed a nice spring day last Sunday afternoon. I sat on my front porch and did this random and ever so bushy watercolor of my “across  the street” neighbor’s trees. I was able to sit in the shade and take my time with mixing and remixing pots of color, waiting as long as I needed for the water to dry between layers and plenty of time between while to eat my lunch. On such a slow low 70s temperature day in the past I might have found myself at the Descanso Gardens. But of course that was not an option for me, or anyone, on that particular day. I have to say that even if the Descanso Gardens was open on a typical Mother’s Day I would not have gone over there—too many mom’s, grandma’s and strollers walking about for my level of comfort. I think I have always felt most comfortable at a socially appropriate distance from others. (So, what kind of mother am I anyway?) But I didn’t wallow in self pity because I wasn’t free to go where I wanted. For that matter I soon forgot that I shouldn’t be enjoying my personal porch zone and actually luxuriated in the shady confinement it provided. I wasn’t settling for second best at all. It was good.

But last Monday I got an email from the Descanso Gardens. It seems they would be opening again Saturday, May 16, 2020. It also seems they have quite a plan to help all of us safely visit the garden again. Even though you may or may not have ever been there I thought I would share with you just what they propose. Maybe you can imagine a garden near you that has been closed. Maybe they are considering similar rules for reopening. I have paraphrased what the email said here and I am wondering if what they are doing will be enough to keep us from spreading the virus to each other. Maybe the real question here is; Will people be OK with so much to think about before visiting a garden? Will they just follow the rules without complaining to the management? I need to digress here a bit as this is all sounding a lot like what is to become our New Normal if we are ever to leave our respective houses for fun outings. I’m not even sure the phrase New Normal isn’t some kind of oxymoron. Can something really be new and normal at the same time? I always thought being normal described something that had been around a while, not something brand new. Was there ever an Old Normal? I guess I also wonder if the definition of “keeping safe” has also taken on a New Normal meaning. When I was younger keeping safe meant something very tangible, like don’t take rides from strangers, look before you cross the street and don’t eat oysters in months without an “R.” 

OK, back to the Descanso’s grand opening. All in all it seems they have 5 major rules to help us stay safe and enjoy the space.

  1. Maintain 6 feet or more distance between everyone, and that includes staff and other visitors
  2. Wear a mask (for all staff and visitors).
  3. Bring your own water as all drinking fountains will be closed (maybe the water has been shut off).
  4. Purchase a ticket to enter before your visit or show your membership card to get in (2 months of membership have been added to each card carrying member)
  5. Descanso Gardens will be a cashless establishment.

Are you with me so far?

Then they elaborated further (my comments in parenthesis):

  • Hours have been extended—Open daily from 9am to 7pm. Members only from 8 to 9am (I’m a member, I like that.)
  • The entrance has been altered to help with social distancing. (I’m curious to see what that will look like…)
  • Hand sanitizing stations have been provided in the front courtyard.
  • All indoor spaces have been closed—no gift shop, art gallery or Boddy House will be open.
  • Restrooms will be cleaned every 30 minutes.
  • No special programs will be conducted until it is deemed safe to do so.
  • The Enchanted Railroad is closed for now.
  • There is no seating in the central courtyard. This should help with maintaining appropriate social distancing. (That’s a huge change as they have a large area with cafe tables, chairs and umbrellas bunched together. That will have been cleared out.) 
  • Wheelchair rental will not be available. If someone in your group requires a wheel chair you will need to bring one.
  • The Kitchen will be open for limited hours. You may purchase drinks or food. You may consume drinks in the garden, but must take the food home or to the picnic area outside the facility. (That’s actually a little weird as in the past they never allowed visitors anything but water when walking around. And I can’t really imagine drinking anything while wearing a mask, anyway. I guess you might be able to slip a very flexible straw under the mask if you get really parched…) 

Don’t get me wrong, I am willing to try anything they suggest or demand from me for the privilege to walk in the rose garden again. I do so love to plein air paint there. I wonder if that will be allowed right now. Of course I can’t imagine how long I could sit among the flowers with a mask on. I would be so tempted to lift my mask just so I could smell the roses. How about you?

May 16, 2020 update:

I didn’t go to the Descanso Gardens today, but I did see some short videos people at the garden have been posting today. Looks lovely, with no reports of a garden revolt.

Also, I shared this watercolor with a virtual sketching group last evening. We were supposed to draw human heads in different positions and at different angles. I didn’t do that. One person said my neighborhood landscape had great energy. I thought that an OK comment as it did have a bit of a scribble going on. But I wasn’t the only one who did not draw heads. One grandma has not been able to see her 3-year-old grand daughter for a while, so she has been recently drawing virtually with that youngest grandchild. She shared some cute cartoons they’d made together. I especially liked her rendering of a duck going shopping. And so it goes with the new normal I guess…


May 9, 2020

May birthday roses
May 2020 birthday roses (Inktense pencils and Opera watercolor on Canson Mix Media paper)

Here are a few preliminary sketches of roses I’m thinking of rendering as a botanical or two. (I’ve ordered the illustration board from Blick’s and waiting for it to arrive.) Sometimes I wonder how anyone, me included, could think they are remotely capable of improving on, or even maintaining, the beauty of such roses in the flesh. But I am always drawn to attempt imitating the colors of such lovely ephemeral things anyway. It is my experience that none of the colors from nature actually come from a tube or cake. (I just realized that I sometimes use Opera right from the tube. The top rose was drawn with several Intense pencil colors, as well as undiluted Opera watercolor. I guess I’m not really the color diva I think I am. Oh, well.) Even though I know I won’t actually create the colors of nature I do enjoy the challenge of experimenting with combinations of one color or another, always mindful to leave enough white paper showing to add a highlight or color effect that I am seeking. I’m very aware of the number of layers of pigment I plan to use. If I’m not careful sometimes a color looses its intensity and luster. And there have been many times that I’ve gone too far with a pot of watercolor and it looks kind of muddy. I just toss it out and start again, trying to remember where I should have stopped in the first place. For my botanicals on illustration board I speed up the initial color threads with Prismacolor colored pencils.

Anyway, last time I wrote about the diseases and critters that can ruin roses. But of course there are all kinds of vermin that can get into any garden and take it down whether you have roses or not. A while back I planted what I am calling my victory pickle garden and have had a bit of trouble with the bugs ever since. But instead of listing all the creepy crawling things who decimated two thirds of my cucumbers and dill I decided to describe the unsung online appropriately socially distanced heroes who have helped me along the way, turning all that buggy mayhem into a pretty good start to a summer vegetable garden. Go pickle plants and friends, go! 

My son has been making pickles and enjoys putting garlic in the brine with the cucumbers and dill. If this pickle garden was going to have all possible ingredients I knew there should be garlic and it should go in the ground first. I ordered that straight away. (I have actually already written about ordering garlic seed from Filaree Garlic Farm in Omak, WA. See the art of garlic and story, January 25, 2020.)  Filaree Garlic Farm also sells asparagus, potatoes, shallots and sweet potato slips. (I grew Yukon Gold potatoes in Grass Valley a number of years ago, and harvesting those spuds was a fun version of digging for gold. I discovered many plump potato nuggets in every shovelful of dirt. I also tried growing asparagus in my Grass Valley garden, but that didn’t turn out so well. My chickens ate all 7 spears down to the ground before I could chase them away.) Once the garlic arrived I tucked it into the prepared ground. About that same time I also got a small dill plant and two different kinds of dill seed from my local Ace Hardware Store. I soon planted the plant and dug in the dill seed (Ferry-Morse Bouquet and Long Island Mammoth). Then I turned over the soil for the tomatoes and cucumbers. It was about this time that we were to stay home and if we were to go out we were to keep 6 feet away from everyone. I called my local Armstrong Garden Center and ordered 3 different kinds of tomatoes and 2 kinds of cucumbers (one for picking and one for salads—Lemon Cucumbers). They were delivered to my door the very next day. I put the tomatoes in right away. But I waited a bit to be sure the small cuke plants had hardened off before putting them into the ground. During that time I ordered online a cucumber and squash A-Frame support from Gardener’s Supply Co (in Burlington Vermont). It’s a metal lattice frame that folds into a triangle and a cucumber plant can then grow vertically up the sides. I don’t have a lot of room in my garden and thought this a good solution for a plant that needs some space to spread out. Once that arrived, I set it up and planted all the cucumbers. We had a fair amount of rain then and it seemed to suit everything in the garden, and everything started to increase in size ever so slightly. But once the temperatures warmed and the sun peeked from behind the clouds I noticed several of the cucumbers were looking puny and maybe a little dried out. I thought they were getting too much sun (that doesn’t seem like a bright idea now, but it seemed right at the time). I put out an umbrella. After a day or two of shade it was clear that wasn’t working. By then it was making sense to me that these plant needed the sun to grow, right? I finally realized, too late I might add, that some creepy crawly critters were eating the cucumbers and tiny dill seedlings. I decided I needed to get some cucumber seeds and start again. But I had heard that lots of people were planting gardens and vegetable seeds were becoming scarce. I looked online at veggie seeds available at Ace Hardware and there were no seeds of any kind to be seen. I took a chance and called my local Ace Hardware and a person there went to check to see if they had any pickling cucumber seeds. They had three kinds—(Ferry-Morse Sumter, Cucumber Slicer and American Seed National Pickling Cucumbers). I was saved and asked her to set these aside, which she gladly did for me. Within the hour I donned my mask and sun hat and walked there to get the savior pickle seeds and some diatomaceous Earth to take care of the crawling bugs. So, do you think I was satisfied? Was my garden now complete? Of course not. I realized I wanted a basil plant, even though it was not to be part of the pickle project. I knew it would be more of a friend of the pickles like the tomatoes. For this one I splurged a little and ordered an ‘Italian Large Leaf’ basil from the Grower’s Exchange in Sandston Virginia. As of Saturday, May 9, 2020, I can report that the victory pickle garden and friends is looking great. So, now we wait for the actual fruit.

If you are not a real gardener at heart, you probably stopped reading this garden tale by the second paragraph. But I thought it important to share all the businesses who are still out there, waiting to help us with a dream garden or whatever you are dreaming about right now. And they don’t have to be from CA to please this CA girl. Thank you!

May 2, 2020

Castilleja (CA native wildflower) botanical, 1991 (watercolor and Prismacolor colored pencil on Strathmore cold press illustration board)

For whatever reason, I seem to be on a botanical roll at the moment. I recently shared an old  “botanical-like” rendering of a Melastome from the Cloud Forest of the Strybing Arboretum in Golden Gate Park. Last week’s offering was a recent monk’s hood compilation from the internet and this week’s botanical is an old rendering of a California wildflower from an Atascadero hillside I explored long ago. 

It all started when my son asked me to do a series of poisonous plant botanicals. His positive enthusiasm for such a series of works was matched with my positive enthusiasm for not wanting to engage in such a project. He wanted me to start with monk’s hood and then proceed to other delightfully deadly, but beautiful, flowers. He had also measured a part of his forearm for a monk’s hood tattoo and given me those dimensions for my sketch. So, yeah, not that enthused. Find your own art, right? Anyway, as time went on he told me he wasn’t really going to get that tattoo and my interest in what he might be considering perked up considerably. (Not the tattoo, but the flower.) Then I made a sketch the size he wanted for his finished botanical and a week or so later I began grudgingly looking for a usable sheet of illustration board in those dimensions. I didn’t think I had any larger pieces anymore and it’s not something I can just run down to an art store and buy anymore. It’s just not that common or easy to find. Years ago local hometown art stores were common and would likely carry all Strathmore papers as a 30 by 40 inch sheet. All you had to do was look through stacks and stacks of paper to find whatever you wanted. I was always looking through such stacks in such stores. You used to be able to find everything from rabbit skin glue, that was used by Renaissance painters as sizing for their canvases, all the way to synthetic brushes of every size, shape, price and/or proposed function. There just aren’t many independently owned brick and mortar art stores you can dig through anymore. (It feels like it’s the same for independently owned bookstores too. Right?) The larger art store players that are around today seem to have changed a bit too. I used to order all kinds of materials from Daniel Smith by mail, including the Strathmore illustration board I now seek. Just a few weeks ago I looked to see if I could order paper online from them, but found they only carry paint now. Daniel Smith used to have a large catalog that was filled with every imaginable art material. They even had rabbit skin glue listed in the catalog. Oh well! Thank goodness I can order what I want from Blick’s online.

So, once I knew I had what I needed to create a fresh batch of botanicals I asked my son what he wanted, hoping that none of the plant material he was thinking of had any connection to a poison, the word “poison,” or “implied poison.” He said he liked a whole host of flowers that I love, like roses, orchids and hydrangea. Yes! All I was missing for this new, and now exciting, botanical adventure was a trip to the rose garden at the Descanso Gardens. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you, but it’s spring and you might imagine that everything is in bloom in SoCal! And I’m also sure I don’t need to remind you that the Descanso is closed right now. Such a disappointment.

Roses aren’t really as common as you might think. They do take a little care and are susceptible to a couple common pests that can just decimate them. Gophers love roses, and not in a good way. A friend from Paso Robles told me of a rose garden that had been planted by her husband for their anniversary. How romantic, right? I guess they lasted only a couple years. It seems that one night her 8 mature rose bushes were nibbled completely off at the base, all gone in a single night. Roses are also susceptible to aphids, mildew and something called black spot (no pirates here…). If you live where there are deer, they can be a huge problem for your roses as well, even if you have them in pots right up against the house. Another Paso friend told me deer would come that close to eat her roses. She said it sounded like someone was walking around in high heals in the dark on the deck.

But I can’t go to my beloved Descanso Gardens to look at roses. What should I do? Thank goodness I remembered various gardens in Glendale where I have seen spring roses in the past. There are a couple houses in nearby neighborhoods that immediately sprang to mind. One corner house has a most amazing display of about 20 identical orange blossomed roses (variety unknown), with just as many clumps of identical ornamental grasses (this variety also unknown). This time of year it’s quite a sight of texture and color with masses of spiky golden puffs of soft grasses beside a sea of velvety orange rose blossoms. Crazy, but the house is quite unforgettable really. So, the other day I went on a rose adventure, but went past this garden and headed straight to a nearby friend’s Glendale garden. He had told me that his roses were looking quite spectacular. It was kind of a funny moment when I got into his backyard as he stayed in the house, at an appropriate social distance. We just smiled and waved to each other through the back windows. I took pictures of some absolutely stunning roses that day, and they included the following: Marmalade Skies, McCartney Rose (named for Paul McCartney), Diana, Princess of Wales, and Sterling Silver. Each flower also had such an amazing scent. I don’t know which one my son would like me to turn into a botanical, but I would be happy to render any of the roses I saw and smelled the other day. Stay tuned. 

Descanso Gardens update

You can still visit their website

For a real spring treat, go to the “Now Blooming” section and click on the “bloom calendar.” There you will find what blooms in the garden by the month. And if you do look there you will see that roses are first on the list of May flowers. Scroll down below the list and there are some lovely shots of roses and other spring lovelies. Not sure who took the photos, but imagine there must be gardeners about the place, even now. But among the photos are a couple videos of goslings wandering carefree where ever they please as there is no humans to bother them. Whoever took the short videos of the goslings also added some music—pretty cute. Somehow it’s nice to know that the birds are enjoying the Descanso Gardens right now and they could probably care less about the roses in bloom. 

And Happy Birthday Megan!