spring awakening

We’re having a glorious spring, and the Nandina in my garden continues to inspire my imagination. I must admit I’ve not always appreciated this plant. As a young woman, I viewed it as a scraggly shrub.  Later, I dismissed its brilliant red berries, peeking surreptitiously through the woodland underbrush. During those years, I couldn’t imagine why this common bush was called “sacred bamboo”.

I’m looking at this shrub differently now, as I am so many things. I marvel at the iridescent quality of its damp green buds and consistently seek its Cardinal red clusters and lance-shaped leaves for decorations. I suppose this is yet another case of the ordinary morphing into the extraordinary—one more spring awakening.


gray day

I wear black . . . almost every day . . . and night. I think it became my color of choice during my “theatre” years. Black clothing was extremely versatile, whether I was on a ladder addressing a production issue or attending a donor event-- two situations that could occur within minutes of each other.

My current wardrobe is beginning to include a bit of gray. I may have mentioned before, my husband refers to it as “light black”.

Gray and black are beginning to appear in my home and creative work as well. These are some simple pieces I made with copies of the French documents I recently purchased, Finchley Paper Arts images, and some bits and pieces I’ve collected over the years. Perhaps it’s my own black and white “Ode to Spring”. At first it seemed odd, utilizing this palette for such a dazzling season, but today, it seems particularly suitable, as the dark rainy skies appear to nourish the vivid spring blooms.



If you like surprises, you should buy an old house. Almost every day, you are presented with the unexpected--“little” things that escaped detection during pre-purchase inspections. There are the usual-- leaky pipes, frayed wires, and weak floor joists. Then, there are the not so usual-- windows that rise into hollow walls, Asian Lady Beetle invasions, and the tap, tap, tapping of copper pipes.

This has been my favorite surprise to date-- a flowering Texas Mountain Laurel, which grows at the southwest corner of our home. A bit of research revealed the evergreen’s fascinating history. It’s believed that its bright red seeds, although poisonous, were once used by indigenous people for ritualistic purposes-- to embellish ceremonial garments, craft jewelry, and possibly, produce visions.

I also learned that the shrub is difficult to transplant. While it prefers well drained, rocky soil for a surface root system, it depends on a long principal taproot for survival. It’s almost impossible to capture the entire taproot during the transplanting process.

Hmm . . . it seems to me that some people endure uprooting better than others. My husband accepts transplanting rather well-- me, not so much. However, when the two of us were considering our recent move, I was the one championing the change, because, as I stated at the time, I was seeking a place to “root in”. More than once, I’d been transplanted, and while previous settings supported a network of tender, shallow roots, a deep, sinewy taproot never developed.  

I wonder . . .  will it now?