Friday, April 06, 2007

I spent a lovely day in the garden, sewing seeds and repotting plants and planning a garden bed under two huge fiddlewood trees. It seems ages since I had time to work in the garden for as long as it needs, I've barely been able to keep things alive over the summer. But now that the beautiful autumn weather is here I am finding the time to potter around and put everything to rights.

I usually over-extend myself with grandiose plans, so this year I'm concentrating on herbs and salad plants. I want to be self-sufficient in parsley, mint, shallots and simple salad plants like spinach and my new passion, Japanese Mizuna mustard greens. So lovely, I keep picking leaves to eat every time I go past the window-box where they are growing.

I was working on my roses when I saw this fellow. He was so gorgeous I removed him for a photo shoot. I don't approve of the way he is devouring my roses, but I know he will turn into a beautiful butterfly, and the world needs butterflies as well as roses.

I could hardly believe the intricate detail of him, I could only see it when I had the photos in PhotoShop. He's 4" long, and the black, cream and madder patterns of him mimic my favourite reproduction palette perfectly. Some of it even looks like stipple quilting patterns.

His false face was fascinating. When I touched him he would bury his real head and his tail would rear up, with the red horns attracting attention and the dots exactly like eyes. Just an amazing defence mechanism. Still, lovely as he is, I hope he doesn't have too many brothers and sisters out there in the garden.

There are several interesting things flowering at the moment, but this is the strangest. It's some tropical thing, I may try and track down the name of it later. It's growing up the cedar tree, and laden with these strange flowers. Click on the picture to make it bigger and see the detail. It's incredible the way it all fits together.

There is pattern and inspiration in everything around us. Caterpillars and flowers and wallpaper books and seed packets and tiled floors; it's good to be able to take parts of our ordinary lives and weave them into our patchwork. All the colours and shapes I see in my garden and my possessions contribute to the quilts I plan and design. It makes the creative process multi-dimensional, combining memories and symbols, favourite images and patterns.

4 comments:

ForestJane 4:03 PM  

Beautiful post, lovely pictures, and even a grin at the top when I read... "I spent a lovely day in the garden, sewing seeds and... " a quilter to the end, huh? :D

keryn 8:27 PM  

It must have been a Freudian slip; but I shan't bother to correct it. I'll try to remember to 'sow' the next lot of seeds I plant.

meggie 3:46 PM  

I always love your posts Keryn.
Thanks for the magic pics.

Jenni @ Fairybread 4:53 PM  

Lovely little fellow. Glad you are having some cooler weather too.

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