The Good, The Green and The Ugly

Have you every noticed that things are not usually as they seem but more like what we make them out to be? Such is the story of these three tomatoes shown with the last of our peas and carrots.

The orange tomato on the left fooled me. I was waiting for it to turn red. Finally, slightly puzzled that it was taking so long to ripen, I reached under the plant and found its tag – Hillbilly (heirloom) Plant produces good yields of large orange yellow beefsteak tomatoes with read and pink streaks. Very flavourful. Excellent for salads and sandwiches.

It was ripe after all – just not red. It was also absolutely delicious.

Now the green tomato really is green. It accidentally came off with the other Hillbilly. But look at that big Ugly tomato – what happened to it? I can only guess that it was double pollinated. Let’s have a read of its tag – Carbon (heirloom) Flavour is exceptionally rich yet sweet and the essence of delicious summer tomato flavour. Medium to large, tomatoes are flattened round and smooth, without the cracking or blemishing that seems to plague some black tomatoes. They are dark purplish-brown on the outside with deep brick red interior.

I can tell you it did lived up to its flavour description but was maybe a little off on expected appearance. We had to eat it in three sittings. That was one monster tomato.

Speaking of descriptions our dear Laurie Buchanan received her birthday present copy from Len of PRECIOUS SECONDS – Mayne Island in paintings and photographs. Here is the comment she left on the Blurb publishing site under her penname Paden Plume:

This evening I sat down with a glass of wine to enjoy Terrill Welch’s new book. The description on the wine label said:

“This wine shows a heady nose of chocolate, deep rich blackberries, red fruits, and a creamy mocha finish that is unmistakable in its intensity and length. It’s reminiscent of a blackberry chocolate cupcake with a mocha coulis.”

If that description sounds good to you, let me say that turning and savoring each page of PRECIOUS SECONDS was an even more delicious treat! One that I will indulge in over and over again.

Thank you Laurie and thank you to everyone who purchased a book this week. Some of you I know who you are and others are friends in the universe who I greatly appreciate supporting my work. Thank you, thank you and thank you.

PRECIOUS SECONDS –Mayne Island in paintings and photographs now has its own facebook page HERE. Please feel free to come “like” its page and share your own “precious seconds” adventures.

And speaking of Laurie, she has brought the bubbly out to celebrate a blogging milestone. Speaking from the Heart has received over 50,000 views since February 2010. There isn’t a blogging party over there yet but we could always start one! Congratulations Laurie! I wish you many more views to your rich and engaging blog over the months and years ahead.

The weather has cooled and I have harvested the garden and the rest of the tomatoes are ripening up for dinner over the weeks ahead.

 

Sprout question: What do you have ripening for your creative dinner?

 

New: Check out my coffee table book PRECIOUS SECONDS – Mayne Island in paintings and photographs

© 2011 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at http://terrillwelchartist.com

Flowering Blue

Sometimes I am just attracted to whatever catches my attention in the garden. On this day it is blue flowers. 

Little blue forget-me-nots.

 

Small blue flowering bulbs whose name I don’t remember.

 

And the grandest of blue flowers – the hyacinth.  

Sprout question: If you were a blue flower which one would you like to be?

© 2011 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

FromMayne Island,British Columbia,Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at http://terrillwelchartist.com

Checking on the Rhubarb

Sunday. Morning comes early now. I’m sitting in the studio loft ….  restless and wanting to be outside. It froze in the bottom of the valley last night. Maybe we should go check on the rhubarb I transplanted. What do you think? Yes? I thought so. You had better put on a sturdy pair of shoes. We are climbing down the 81 steps of the-stairway-to-heaven. Oh! A jacket too – it is still a bit nippy, even if the sun is coming over the hill.

Well look at that! The sheep are out.

It is awfully nice down here by the pond.

I am guessing our company thinks so too.

This field and the sheep we are looking at over the fence belong to Joyce Kallweit of Meadowmist Farm. She does farm tours. If you are ever on Mayne Island, I recommend you stop by. I promise to wave if you give a shout up.

Her barn looks particularly inviting through the trees this morning.

Now where did I poke that rhubarb in the ground? Hum. Let’s see. Ah, there it is.

Not too bad for a young plant. It seems to be coming along. I can see the deer have eaten three of the leaves off. Looks like I will need to fence it until it gets established.

Just about time to climb back up those stairs and get to work turning the garden over.

We had a couple of big alder taken down near the bottom right. It was necessary because it was rotting out and a new fence was going in to keep these babies contained.

I guess that is about it. Up we go. Time to go to work.

I started this yesterday. I like to do it by hand with a shovel. My planning is much like when I paint. This is the underpainting of my garden. There is no drawing or sketch for reference. I just pick up the shovel and dig in.

A few hours later you can see we have made some headway. This week, my painting is going to have some competition. I just have to get those peas and the greens planted. But I do have a painting in mind for a 24 X 36 canvas. It will happen.

Before we leave… let’s sneak up on some of those tulips over there.

Sprout question: What is the rhubarb in your creative week?

© 2011 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

FromMayne Island,British Columbia,Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at http://terrillwelchartist.com

Mayne Island Japanese Garden Dressed in Winter

This morning is -4 Celsius or 24.8 degrees Fahrenheit here on Mayne Island. On the west coast this is chilly. We have a damp cold that seeps right into your bones without stopping to slow down much even for your woolies. There are still a couple of inches of snow left in the yard and the winter birds are thankful for the full bird feeder. Our hot water in-floor heating has a hard time keeping up when it gets below freezing outside. The Floors are beautifully warm but not much heat is rising to the loft. I have turned on the oven with the door open for a bit to circulate some heat up to the studio. A few more flakes of white stuff are expected over the next couple of days.

Now that we have dispensed with the weather report let’s have a look at some of the photographs of the Japanese Garden dressed in winter.

You may remember this image from “A Search for Colour…

Winter has its grace with this beauty caught still dressed in her fall finery.

View and purchase full resolution image here.

The garden pond is partly frozen obscuring some to the reflections.

There is a peace which settles deeply when we drink in this snow-covered garden’s quiet.

The bridge seems to beautiful to disturb by walking across its whiteness.

Now stepping back and having a gaze at the whole picture… I hope you are smiling.

View and purchase full resolution image here.

May you be warm.

Sprout question: What makes you feel warmest when you get really cold?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

A Search for Colour ends in the Japanese Garden

With the slate gray of winter loping around cavorting with my finer spirits, tempting them into the gloom, I went in search of colour.

There is this leaf amongst the twigs with the sun soaking through it.

An orange calendula is there to greet me in its last rain-soaked days before predicted weekend frost will pluck its brilliance.

These yellow calendulas will fair no better.

Then I go to the Japanese Garden. At last I feel satisfied. I take this image home and render it in a painterly fashion.

View and purchase full resolution image here.

I prefer the simplicity of this version rather than just a photograph… but I do have that way as well.

Sprout question: What keeps your spirits up when the sun fails to find you?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Big Fat Red Champion

I have been painting but that is not what I want to show you this morning. Remember back in April when I showed you the new garden bed I was digging? There is a big fat red champion in that garden I would like you to meet.


We already ate his bigger cousin sliced thick with fresh basil, sea salt and hand ground black pepper on homemade oat and honey bread. Soooo good! But this fellow is a good size as well. Let’s get a bit of a closer look.

Yep looks and feels delicious.

Our recent warm spell has started these tomatoes ripening on the vine. They are only two weeks behind those grown in local organic greenhouses. We have those huge fir trees all around us and this is the most sun I could find in the yard within the deer fence. So I decided to give it a try. I’m impressed because the sun doesn’t reach the plot until 10:00 am and it is in the shade again by 4:00 pm.

Look at that – a full 3.5 inches across. The small tag in the ground tells me these are Champion Tomatoes. I have four kinds of tomatoes growing. There are these big guys, a patio tomato and two kinds of tomatoes that volunteered from the compost I put down.

We are also eating baby carrots and green beans. The lettuce greens and peas are about finished and I have lots to dill for salads. However, it is these large plump tomatoes that really make me smile. This fall I will double the size of this garden bed for next year.

Delightful and supportive Leah Piken Kolidas is hosting the theme of FIRE for the month of August at Creative Everyday. I think these large plump red tomatoes qualify.

History tip: Did you know that in the early 1930s Japanese farmers of Active Pass Growers Association had eight acres of tomatoes under glass and produced 50 tons of tomatoes a year for the city of Vancouver B.C.? Source – Mayne Island & The Outer Gulf Islands A History by Marie Elliott.

Sprout Question: What creative gifts has the heat of summer warmed for you?

Note: Creative Potager has a new page Artist Biography and a post announcing my solo exhibition “SEA, LAND AND TIME.” Please share both as appropriate.

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Flower Salad

It is almost getting to hot for salad greens now but I have a spot where the mixed greens are out of the hot sun by about one o’clock in the afternoon so they have stayed nice a little longer. I also grow calendula and nasturtium flowers especially for salad. The tomatoes are from an organic Vancouver Island greenhouse. My tomatoes are not yet ripe but if we peer into the three feet tall vines I wonder what we will find?

and

And there is another one…

Also I saw this interesting 2.5 to 3 inch long dragonfly fellow this morning. Not sure what kind it might be but very interesting.

Carrots are looking good.

Oh! While you are out here, can you water the garden please?

Sprout Question: If you could grow one new thing in your creative garden what would you be willing to weed, water and love until harvest time?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada