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Before and After Challenge, Gina from Australia

July 20, 2009

A few weeks ago I got a comment from a lovely artist and blogger named Gina. In her travels she likes to make miniature artworks to leave for others to find. Here is her comment with the link to her blog about this series:

Hi Martha … lovely reading as always with many extras to click on …

i am just dashing out the door – for a week ! – i always do before and afters – i love the process and where things end up … my current series (foundart) is here.

i hope it points you to the original foundart series … but that you can find on my GEM site.

take care and happy collage/painting !


I hope you’ll explore all of Gina’s inspiring Foundart series.

My heliconias Before and After

Here is the link to the post about planting my heliconias beside the pool three years ago.

This is how they look now. They really hadn’t burst into bloom when we were showing the house. After a few rains, they are flourishing. This will be a nice house warming gift for the new owners.



Our new place will offer a different climate and all kinds of new possibilities for plantings. There’s a metaphor somewhere in this.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. gem13 permalink
    July 21, 2009 3:36 am

    thank you for the lovely mention ! … things have changed (dont they always?) … i have moved my site (and have placed pointers on GEM) ..

    i did though want to wish you well in your move …and i must say i love (always) reading you but most recently that you have given away the excess stuff you dont wish to take with you on your move … and your dogs ‘knowing’ … and not least of all your art and the journey …

    the heliconias as a gift is a wonderful thought/gesture … so true – the animals know you are leaving (and them too) the flowers know someone is coming ? …

    warmest wishes and may everything go as smoothly as possible for all of you – you, art, hubby and animals …

    >>> Gina

    • July 21, 2009 4:03 am

      Gina, I will fix that link! Thanks for letting me know about the change.

      I hadn’t thought about the flowers knowing something too, but it’s possible. The new lady was here one day last week with her Realtor and the home inspector (a whole other story, but which ended well!) and she undoubtedly saw the flowers out back. In fact, she spent a lot of time out there just looking around. I felt a good vibe from her.

      Thanks for your good wishes.

  2. July 21, 2009 4:09 am

    ah, heliconias….so that’s what those lovely orange tropical plants are called! they grow all over the place here in the british virgin islands, and all over the caribbean, i’ve seen. they remind me of birds of paradise. so exotic.

    yes, in alabama (my home state!) you’ll be able to grow all sorts of other flowers, of course. i look forward to your posts, and possibly seeing what’s blooming at your new latitude!

    i’m going to check out gina’s artwork now….

  3. July 21, 2009 4:51 am

    Stephanie, I wouldn’t have know their name, but they were tagged at the nursery! There are other types too, such as that really beautiful fake-looking one with blooms that hang down. I shot some of those at St. Petersburg’s Sunken Gardens a few weeks ago.

    I grew up in Alabama but left there as a young mother — a hundred years ago! But I remember my mother’s beautiful flower and vegetable gardens. I hope to find her green thumb when I get back there. I don’t really have it naturally.

  4. July 21, 2009 8:20 am

    Great post, Martha, as always!

    Re Gina’s “lost art” series, what a FABULOUS idea! It has my brain churning to do something similar, thanks so much for sharing that info.

    Re the heliconia’s, ahhh how I love tropical plants! As you know, I went from Miami (tropical plants galore) to Tampa (tropical and a mix of southern plants like azaleas) to summers in Minnesota with a huge variety of annuals and perennials (all new to me, of course).

    I’ve learned so much in the process of getting to know of these plants and I’d have to agree with the earlier comments that the plants are aware. Your heliconias are showing off their best for the new owners and for your memories (isn’t that nice of them). Up here, the plants are thinking Holy Cow (literally for us), we’ve got 3 months max to shine in the sun, let’s give it our best shot. They know their time is so short that they are extra showy.

    I know you’re gonna love the process of learning and relearning about the plants in Alabama, because after all, when we work in the garden we are just painting with flowers. (I’ve got a post to my blog in the works about that very subject, gardening as art, and will post it soon. I’ve been waiting for more flowers, which have been very slow this year due to the cold weather. It’s warming up, though, and I hope to post it before the end of the month.) So again I bid you a fond farewell with the best of luck in your new home, garden, and studio, I know it’ll be great for you!

    • July 21, 2009 10:20 am

      Kim, I love Gina’s idea too. I hope to someday try something similar.

      I really have high hopes of getting my hands into the dirt when I get situated. There’s a perfect gated garden enclosure within the back yard fence (to protect it from dogs past and future, no doubt!) and I hope to make use of it.

      I remember things like 4 o’clocks, hollyhocks, pussy willow, sweet peas, snapdragons, daffodils, irises, amaryllises, tulips, (and all the rest of the amazing bulbs that won’t grow in Florida!) verbenas, petunias, wisteria, and we even had wild honeysuckle growing all over our screen room when I was a kid. And my mother had roses and all kinds of vegetables too. Those things just immediately come to mind.

      I like that you talk about them as painting with flowers. My mother was such a great gardener, and she was a painter too.

      I’m going to miss you Kim, and all my other Brava buddies. I’ll just have to say “see you soon!”

  5. July 22, 2009 6:02 am

    I feel a road trip commin’ on!

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