Blooming in the Garden Today

Earlier this month I was photographing my garden and planning blog posts.  Then one of my favorite friends was in a horrific accident and all my attention went to her:   We had just finished a meeting for an August art show and as we stood on the corner chatting afterwards, I remember thinking how cute Kathy looked in her motorcycle leathers & helmet.  Everything changed less than an hour later.

Black Eyed Susan

Her friend Dana set up a calendar of tasks for friends to help with, like feeding her cats and watering her garden.  Once a week I water her garden and pet her cats, filling up the food bowl if it’s empty.  I gathered some photos of our mutual friends to paste on her hospital wall so no matter where she looks, she’ll see someone who loves her. It doesn’t feel like enough.  Kathy has many friends that are thinking of ways to help, to show our love and support.  Along with many other artists, I’m donating my work for upcoming fundraisers and I don’t know if that’ll be enough.


I decided to give 20% of my sales towards Kathy’s fund. If you’ve been thinking about buying a gift of glass, garden art, or something for your home; notecards or photograph prints on metal or canvas, you’ll also be contributing to Kathy’s fund and I thank you in advance!  No, this is not a plug to get you to buy something….I’m simply looking at any possible way to help my friend & her family.


Kathy is one of those people who everyone loves. She’s full of life, energy and effervescence. She sits on many committees with me and keeps a beautiful garden as you can see in these photos. I’ve been her student & she’s been mine. She is a sports enthusiast, skiing and snowboarding during winter months & windsurfing in summer.  I could go on and on about her but I think you get the idea. She smiles at everyone and they can’t help but smile back. She radiates positive energy.


It was my honor to spend a day with her in the hospital, tending to things staff has little or no time for.  Misting her face, helping her eat, holding her hand, turning her fan, getting more ice…anything she asked of me I did.  It was one of the hardest days I’ve ever spent because of the circumstance, yet I witnessed her joyful spirit courageously fighting.

I already adored her husband, but I have renewed admiration for him in watching how he lovingly tends her.

If you can send a prayer or positive energy with healthy vibes, they’d be appreciated.

If you’re in the Columbia River Gorge, watch for announcements of opportunities to help.


I don’t know when Kathy will be back in her lovely garden, but perhaps the best way to show support later will be to purchase her enamel jewelry, wall art and switch plates.  I’ll post a link to her on-line shop when she’s ready to return to work.  In the meantime, if you’re in the Columbia River Gorge, you can purchase her jewelry now at Columbia Arts in Hood River.  She’s also one of the featured artists for First Friday in August with her enamel wall hangings.  The show, ‘A Glass Act’ runs through the end of August, so you’ll have all of August to look for Kathy’s work!

For the Bees

July 23, 2013

Steider Studios.Trio of Bees on Allium

So much is happening has happened in the garden that I’m overwhelmed this summer.  I have tons of photos to share with you, but haven’t edited or sized to fit my blog format.  So, to get my garden blog up to speed, I’ll simply start with today!  This trio of Bees on a Drumstick Allium caught my attention.

Steider Studios.Bumble in Tamarix

In spite of a continuing bad economy that is forcing many artist friends out of business, I’m humbled and overjoyed that I still have work.  As usual during summer when I long to be in my garden, my work schedule overflows.  I am rejuvenated by all the winged creatures keeping my garden alive.  Tamarix in full bloom is attracting many bees and butterflies.

Steider Studios.Bee in Malva

A friend, recently hurt in a horrific motorcycle accident has been consuming most of my creative energy as I try to find ways to help her.  You’ll learn more about her in an upcoming post.  I love watching bees twist and turn and tumble their way through collecting pollen.  Capturing them with my camera is my escape from everything else.

Steider Studios.Tiny Bee.Tamarix

For now it’s enough that I post these bees.  On this blog.  Just to get going again.  I think this is the tiniest bee I’ve ever seen!

Thanks for stopping by.  Please stay tuned for my friend Kathy.

Saturday was an exceptionally lovely day in the Trout Lake Valley with blue skies framing a majestic Mt. Adams.  My gardening mentor, Miriam invited me to join her on a self-guided tour of five Trout Lake gardens and I jumped at the chance, always looking for inspiration in another’s garden vision.  We picked up our mutual friend Jan whose garden could easily have been on this tour and headed out in Miriam’s convertible to enjoy the day.

Peck’s Perennial and Vegetable Garden was our first stop with the most amazing giant vegetable garden I’ve seen in a long time.  They plant continually for a constant source of fresh produce and it feeds their family all year.  Angela made me want to plant vegetables again while giving us a personal tour of her organic garden.

From the flyer:  The Peck Garden is seven years old and was designed by Angela.  The whole family pitches in to help with the yard work and harvest.  The perennial garden is a great space for family and friends while the vegetable garden is flourishing.  They use organic manure as fertilizer, but the manure had been composted, resulting in fewer weeds and more produce.  They also have a variety of fruit trees in the vegetable garden area and a hedge of raspberries.  They have a beautiful selection of roses, and rhododendrons dominate the front of the house.  This garden has a welcoming and friendly appearance reflecting the characteristics of the family that cares for it.

Tiffan’s Perennial Garden was our next stop and I must admit it was my favorite because of Donna’s colorful garden art and hand painted birdhouses throughout the garden.  We have similar tastes in plant material and she gave me  pink columbine seeds; PLUS offered LAVA ROCKS for my current project!  I’ll be back soon to pick up those rocks!!

From the flyer:  The Tiffan Family Garden was designed by Donna six years ago.  The garden has a fairly high maintenance level and the whole family works in the yard.  It is a perennial garden designed to attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.  There is also a vegetable garden, chicken coop and a variety of berries and fruit trees.  The layout of the garden was meant to be expanded over time; the oldest beds are the ones closest to the house and the rest were added later.  The vegetable garden is the newest section; it was added this year.  In the future they would like to add a gazebo and a pond.

Pearson’s Organic Garden and Orchard was our mid-way point and although it was wonderful, the fruit tower offered to guests was amazing!  As were the sunflowers and hollyhocks!  Laura was a delightful host and it felt spiritual standing in her 114 year old garden.

From the flyer:  The Pearson Garden is the oldest garden on the tour.  Started in 1898, it is still in use today.  Laura Pearson designed the vegetable garden and works very hard to keep up with the work.  She is the third generation gardener at the house, and the plants are flourishing.  She grows all of her potatoes, carrots, beets and many other vegetables.  Her orchard produces apples, pears, cherries, plums and Asian pears.  She stores her potatoes and apples in her fruit cellar which is under the house.  They also have a cider press in the cellar to make fresh apple cider all year long.  In the future, they would like to have a better composting system in the vegetable garden, to improve growth and cut down on weeds.

Allen’s Indoor Garden captured my heart with the whimsical touches added for Sharon’s grandchildren.  At this point we realized time was running out, and although we didn’t want to rush we didn’t spend as much time here as at the other gardens.   I loved how the horses came out and posed for me while we perused the garden.

From the flyer:  The four year old Allen Garden is every unique.  The main garden is actually indoors.  The house plants add color and fresh scent to the house and pool and are creative living decorations.   In the back of the house there is a children’s garden complete with a beanpole teepee, meandering paths and vibrant scents, perfect for the grandkids.  Both the garden and houseplants are cared for by Sharon Allen.  Eventually Sharon would like to have a whole yard landscaped for a natural look, with wildflower meadows and dry creek beds.  The goal is for a low maintenance garden with native plants and flowers.

Lambert’s Riverside Garden was our last stop with only thirty minutes left in the tour.  Char was so engaging and let us stay beyond the close of the tour, enjoying her river view, charming home and colorful, fragrant garden.  It was the perfect end to a perfect day of garden touring in the Trout Lake Valley.

From the flyer:  The Lambert Garden is nine years old and numerous people have had influence over the design.  The layout was planned by Brooks Heard, and a gentleman from Underwood made plant suggestions.  Lucinda Guilderhouse also made plant suggestions, but Char made all the final decisions.  The garden work is done by Char and her husband Jim, who work hard to keep their yard pristine.  This garden is one for relaxation and family.  The fragrant blooms attract bees and the lights create a magical feeling at night.  In the future Char would like to add a permanent greenhouse, raspberries and raised beds in a vegetable garden area.

At the Tiffan Garden, Donna had one plant that none of us could identify.  Do you know what this is?

Thanks for stopping by and taking the Trout Lake Garden Tour with me!


July Flowers

July 22, 2012

One of my favorites, Eremurus robustus (Foxtail Lily) grows about 8′ tall & signals the start of summer in my Pacific Northwest garden.

Leucanthemum superbum (Shasta Daisies) seem to jump up everywhere if I don’t keep my eye on them.

Allium ‘Hair’ is another favorite that adds whimsey to a bouquet of color.  They took awhile to spread, but are now interspersed throughout my garden.

Hot pink Yarrow adds giant sparks of color, and pulls up easily when it starts taking over.

Filipendula rubra ‘Venusta’  is about to bloom.  It’s taken awhile to get started and deer love it.

What can I say about lilies…my favorites!  This is Lily lankongense ‘Angela North’.

Lily lankongense ‘Rosepoint Lace’.

Although not fragrant, I love this pale pink Asiatic lily as most of my Asiatics are red or yellow.

Eryngium amithystinum (Sea Holly) is taking over one section of my garden and hard to pull out!

Rudbeckia (Black Eyed Susan) ready to open.

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, another favorite is ready to open.  I’m trying to incorporate these into more sections of the garden.

Astrantia ‘Rose Symphony’ is so sweet, and finally starting to spread.

Rodgersia pinnata is another deer favorite so I think this is the first flower I’ve seen.

I love Peonies and have a small collection, but have forgotten the names of most.  This red with yellow center is very striking.

…As is this pink – also with yellow center

But I really love this pink and fluffy peony with very large blooms.

‘Bowl of Beauty’ was one of the first I planted in my garden.

Along with ‘Sarah Bernhardt’, another big beautiful fluffy bloom.

Thanks for stopping by, I always appreciate it!

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