landscape alphabet at the British museum by Charles Joeseph HullmandelYes! – I’d frame that.  I find the ‘G’ particularly nice and it reminds me of Colorado history and some of my favorite Laura Ingalls Wilder stories.  I’m also partial to the H – (I love a good bridge) and the W (maybe my parents would like that — it is the first letter of my maiden name) seems so pleasingly garden-y.

landscape alphabet at the British museum by Charles Joeseph Hullmandel

The full set can be seen at the British Museums website.  This illustrated alphabet was create between 1818 and 1860 by Charles Joseph Hullmandel  and includes a full set of 26 contoured landscapes.

landscape alphabet at the British museum by Charles Joeseph Hullmandel

These are my favorites — which do you love?


I have so many links and interesting things that I have discovered while researching and writing my book that I can’t wait to share.  My biggest fear is that I will never remember them all — in fact I have already forgotten so many.   I really don’t want to forget this one,  so this is just a quick post before I head back to book finishing land.

planting plan from the botany collection at the university of amsterdam via www.studiogblog.comWhat do you think this might be a picture of?  It is part of the botany collection a the university of Amsterdam.  It is titled ‘Schemavoorbepalingbedekkingsgraad” which translates to ‘Schedule for Determining Coverage’.  I deduce it to be a planting plan.

I adore this kind of thing. I want to print it out and hang it on my wall.  I think it is charming and interesting as a work of art, but knowing that it is a planting plan as well really makes me smile.  I wonder what plants this represents?  And are the choices in color and symbol shape related to the plants or completely abstract?  I think the questions make it even more interesting.

I used to take great pride in my planting plans ( I haven’t done one in a while). They were full color affairs with beautiful photographic images representing all the chosen plants so that the clients could get a great sense of what they were getting.  The printing costs where ridiculous.  These days, I think I would want to make something more like this.  Sure, it’s not as descriptive, but I find it much more satisfying…so maybe not for clients…but just for me.

image from the botany collection at the University of Amsterdam

You can download a copy for yourself at the The memory of the Netherlands



senecio bicolor gouache paintings from Gottorf Castle circa 1660 - via

I discovered this morning that the entire Gottorfer Codex (danish: Gottorpsk Codex) is available on issuu. The Gottorfer Codex is a beautiful collection of gouache paintings on vellum depicting the flowers in the garden of Gottorf  Castle  (Schloss Gottorf) which is in Northern Germany near the Danish border.

tropaeolum majus gouache paintings from Gottorf Castle circa 1660 - via

The duplicates of the original images (which were all created between 1649 and 1659) are in the public domain and some of them are even available at very hi resolution (here) so you can download them to use as you wish.

agave americana gouache paintings from Gottorf Castle circa 1660 - via


These are a few of my favorites…I think at least I will put them in my rotation of screensavers and I am pondering other ways to play with them.  Of course anyone can print and frame them, but I have been wanting to play with collage…any have any other ideas?


I am hunting for a technique whereby I might be able to create my own version of this image.  I simply love the idea of contemporary art in the garden but hate the idea of mold and mildew destroying something I cherish.  art in the garden via

Have you ever had the notion to put a painting or other similar art in the garden?  And if you have or did — techically speaking – how did you pull it off? I’d really like to hear about successes and failures.

image via espacio vita

gorgeous garden gnomes by rochelle greayer
I’m off for the weekend – literally – catching a flight in the morning for Richmond, VA.  I’ll be spending some sweet time with friends as we gather to catch up on our personal celebrations (big birthdays, big moves, big changes, big accomplishments).

I can’t wait!

But before I go — I’ve got a little irreverence for you.  Gnomes –  you might think they are tacky (I have certainly thought that myself) but these stylish versions all make me smile and I would be happy to give them a home.  I even threw in an extra one.

Til Monday!


1. Ceramic Gnomes from Potted

2. Glazed Dijon Gnome from Urban Barn

3. Modern Gnomes from Gardens2You

4. Gnome Glow Lamp from Urban Barn

5. Bees Wax Gnome Candle from Atomic Garden Oakland

6. Wire Gnome from CB2

evacuation spot people in New Orleans

There is little doubt in my mind that these new sculptures in New Orleans by artist Douglas Kornfeld will save lives.  Each denotes an evacuation gathering place for anyone who needs to get out quick.   You can see the old FEMA/ CDC versions of meeting point signs below.  I can see how that didn’t really work so well…

evacuation spot people in New Orleans

 Photos by James Shaw and Found via Anya Kamenetz‘s article on Fast Company

Nine days ago we got side tracked on the way down the driveway. An afternoon of errand running got waylaid by a small bird hopping and trying to quickly flap her way off the road in front of the car.

fledgling bluebird by rochelle greayer on instagram www.studiogblog.comWe stopped, we gathered her up and detoured to the local antique shop where days before I was coveting a pretty birdcage (I just needed a good excuse….).

All errands cancelled…bird in new birdcage, we realized that our plan to singlehandedly help her back to health was probably a bad one since she kept trying to fly, but instead would land on her back and have a hard time flipping over.    If I was going to prevent her from dying in the night, flat on her back…I was going to get no sleep….and then what?

blue bird from National geographic images via www.studiogblog.comSo after some quick recon with friends and vets, we headed to Tufts Wildlife Clinic where we dropped her off.  She is making progress after spending a couple days in wing wraps but they report that she still has a shoulder droop that they are watching. We are waiting to hear about her progress….fingers crossed.  But we did find out that she is a fledgling bluebird and that ‘she’ is actually a ‘he’.  So we have a boy named Betsy.

learn to draw bluebirds via www.studiogblog.comDid you know that bluebirds are one of the best bird friends a gardener can ask for?   She (err, I mean he) and his little family can keep my garden seriously pest free.  Until I found him, I didn’t realize I had bluebirds and given their status as a ‘declining species’  (but coming back) I am desperate to get him back and help him to thrive.

Do you have bluebirds where you live?

bluebird by valentina ramos via www.studiogblog.comI’ve noticed something about blue colored birds.  They really like to eat off my blueberry bush. In fact when I chase birds off my berries….it is almost exclusively a flutter of blue wings.  Concidence? Or some sort of wild kingdom Veruca Salt sort of story. Hmmm…

lego bluebirds via www.studiogblog.comWhen these things happen, I figure it is summer’s way of teaching. While wait to hear about how Betsy is progressing, and hoping that we will get to release him back into our garden soon, we’ve got our eye on all things bluebirds.  I thought you might enjoy some of our inspiration too.

bluebird coloring sheet via www.studiogblog.comImages:

Top – Our Besty – by rochelle greayer on instagram.

Full grown male Blue bird from National Geographic.

Learn to drawn Blue birds.

Blue bird art by Valentina Ramos

Lego Birds

Coloring sheets from 50 Birds  (download uncolored here)