A collection of great art and craft finds, travel suggestions for Philadelphia and beyond, my photography, ceramics, paintings and cards, outdoor adventure, cooking, gardening, baking, interior design and sustainable and ecological interests.
In my most recent research into the garden at Grumblethorpe House
in Germantown, I found more images, including the one at top of a woman
in Victorian dress walking in the side yard. Closest to her is the Overcup Oak,
described by a visitor to the garden in 1904, that was taken down
in the late 1990's due to poor tree health. Behind the fence stands the
gingko to the left and the beech to the right, both which you can come
visit today in the garden. The chicken wire surrounding the new tree
in the foreground may be the dogwood which is also still in the garden.
In my online searching I found a collection of photographs taken by
Alfred Hand in 1920-21 that is part of the Library Company of Philadelphia's
collection They show the garden and the house including the old porch
overhang (now removed), the carpenter's shop, the observatory
and smokehouse (before they were destroyed) and
the property wall before much of it collapsed.
You can also see some of the trees and the grape vine and
wisteria vine over the arbor that are still there.
I'm putting together an exhibit of images of the garden and
the stories of the Wister Family characters and their
gardening and farming
experiences from their journals and sketches.
These are some designs in progress for posters to be displayed
in the garden to share some of the history with visitors today.
There will be a few more including some focusing on
the farm and the bee keeping activities that include funny
comments from the Wister family, which included
multi-talented poets, musicians, botanists, artists, winemakers,
merchants, astronomers, farmers, scientists and gardeners.
Historic Grumblethorpe on Germantown Ave. built in 1744 (photo source: www.nj.com)
Herb Garden (in April) off of the kitchen with sundial
I began my internship with Grumblethorpe in April with the task of bringing some order to the herb garden, designing a pollinator garden for the students who come to learn about caterpillars and butterflies,
and to add signs and design a brochure for visitors.
It has evolved into a mystery solving expedition for me:
What plants were grown here by the Wister family historically?
and how to exemplify the fantastic exploration and scientific
curiosity with weather, rare plants, minerals, bees, forests, and astronomy
that was a part of the Wister homestead?
A vegetable and formal bed beyond, with the ancient Ginko tree on the left
Formal bed with boxwood-border bed and pergola gates
The observatory Charles Wister built
After reading Suzanne Wister Eastwick's compilation of the family garden records,
the mystery only deepened with descriptions of family ties to Academy of
Natural Sciences collections, the first person recollections of the wild garden filled
with collected orchid and fern species from the Wissahickon,
the "Beemaster" with 25 hives who brought a swarm 9 miles to the house in a wheelbarrow,
the amateur astronomer who built an observatory to watch eclipses and the transit of Mercury,
as well as the interest in meteorology, designing of iron rain gauges and clock-making.
I was searching for and Andy Goldsworthy book called A Collaboration with Nature and found Whole Earth Provision Co.'s post about his birthday, the paintings of Church and several ecologist/writers/activists I haven't heard of before, but who I want to learn more about.
I'm so excited to be participating in the Woodbury, NJ Fall Arts Fest on September 29th from 11-6 pm. The location looks beautiful and the music and vendors will be amazing.
I've been busy getting prints made and framing new images taken at Bartram's Farm, the Spring Gardens Community Garden and the Ambler Arboretum. As a grad student at Ambler, I get to walk the grounds in every season so I began photographing the woodlands and formal gardens with my square format camera during breaks in classes. It's a beautiful setting to study in.
Spring Gardens Community Garden, Lamb's Ear
Dingman's Ferry, Fern Forest Floor
New Garden, Cucumbers
Burlington County Farm Show
One of my new clay pieces New terrarium creations
Lots of local trips to farms and small towns, as well as camping and hiking will influence my booth, as well as the terrarium making we are engaged in for my Forest Ecology class. I also worked in a clay studio again this summer and some of my newest pieces may make an appearance at my table as well.
And as halloween is getting closer, I'll be selling photo cards I made using pictures I took in Charleston and here in my neighborhood near Girard Ave.
Pesto Time! This is the second batch from the basil in the garden. I have 4 plants of different sizes and I've been picking off all of the top leaves every other week for more pesto. I use the basic recipe I learned years ago and guestimate the amounts.
I recently joined the Bike Philly Challenge on endomondo.com with the Temple Ambler team and it has been a huge motivator to do more biking, even in the heat and when my schedule seems to busy to get out there. You can log your biking trips under transport or exercise, draw exactly where you rode and it tallies your mileage and you can chart your progress on graphs and with other members.
India Point Park, Providence, RI
The ramp to the path, behind steps
It inspired me to plan a trip to Providence, Rhode Island just for biking and I found some beautiful trails, but getting to those trails proved to be a bit dicey and confusing. Each person we asked had different directions on how to get to the trailhead and they all said, "It's a little confusing, but then you follow the signs and you'll eventually find it" It ended up taking us over an hour of following bike path signs that led us in the wrong direction, calling the bike shop, and finally we happened to be in a spot where we saw a biker taking the path up an over the bridge to get to the trail. There were kiosks with nothing posted on them and trails that led nowhere and we decided ultimately, the bike path was designed for drivers who parked in the adjoining lots, not for bicyclists who were traveling from town out to the paths.