About Art (and Nature) from the Hartt

I don’t remember when I first fell in love with daylilies. I know I have purchased them throughout the years because I liked their colorful blooms. Then, several years ago, I picked them for a xeroscaping project. It seems like that was the tipping point to owning 180 varieties.

Daylilies in my Southwest daylily name garden

I got smarter about gardening. I think the daylily blooms were huge motivators. As I got better with daylilies, I got better with houseplants. I went through a orchid phase. Now, it is largely succulents, bromeliads and begonias.

Colorful, stripped bromeliad

Back to the daylilies. Fall always made me feel sad because the daylilies went away and it made winter seem more dismal than ever. One day, I decided to learn to paint daylilies so I would never have a day pass at my home without a daylily bloom.

Painted daylily small tile

I am a creative and so painting was very engaging for me. I made tiles to hang on my walls so that I see daylilies as soon as I open my eyes. I gave everyone daylily coasters for Christmas several years. I broadened to some more scenic paintings. I did a few oils of the Southwest that turned out well enough to hang or give away. I painted stepping stones for my garden. The list goes on. Painting kept me connected with nature during the winter months.

Working in my art cove looks like this!

I am a nurse and nurse-midwife by background. My career has been meaningful – I have helped pioneer and/or transition many health-related programs and I still work part time as faculty and leadership at a small college. However, due to multiple unforeseen issues, I decided to semi-retire this summer.

This is me out by my potting shed, tending daylilies.

Am I ready to quit working full-time? Heck no. Am I ready to work for myself doing things that I love and find engaging? Absolutely!

Succulent painting

I have had a Facebook page for almost 10 years called “Art from the Hartt” because I had a dream of selling my art. It never moved beyond the Facebook page because work took too much of my time. It is time to live the dream!

Art and Nature from the Hartt

I have a background in human wellbeing and resilience. I want to focus my business on creating art (and selling plants) that create positive emotion. I have read that having a flower in the room you are in raises your happiness score! So, that is the vision of my business – making the world more resilient through art and nature.

I have a separate page/blog about my business at Art and Nature From the Hartt (click link). You can also find the business on Facebook (click link for page). I wanted to take a moment to talk about it here so people were aware that I do sell daylily paintings and other nature and Southwest related paintings. I also will be selling daylilies, so if you are ever interested in purchasing one of the daylilies you see on my blog, you can contact me at cathy.hartt55@gmail.com. I will know more about what daylilies are available soon. I also offer some types of begonia, bromeliad, and succulent. I will be launching an Etsy store as soon as I have a bit more inventory.

Painted tile of rex begonia

Before I go, I want to introduce you to my garden helpers. I have three rescue dogs, Kachina, Sazi and Moki. Soksabai, my cat, also follows me to the daylily garden every morning when I do my photos.

My dogs Kachina, Sazi Ana and Moki
Soksabai – My gardening cat

Please contact me at the email above if you have any questions. I can do many special or personalized requests. If you love daylilies/plants and/or the Southwest – you are in the right place. I am located in Montrose, CO.

What type of art or plant raises your sense of wellbeing???

Changing leaves . . . of Begonias

My fascination with begonias grows as the days grow shorter. I feel almost rushed to get a few more for my collection before freeze sets in. All of this while I move daylilies from the Southwest garden into pots. 72 done, 3 to go. Then, I need to refresh soil in my other buried pots. So, why not blog while it warms up a bit more?

I found out about a new plant shop in the neighboring city of Grand Junction and inquired about rex begonias. She had 2. While I was there, I spotted a 3rd with unusual leaves. In fact, each leaf on the plant looks different. Check this out. Someone online said it’s likely an immature Harmony’s Firewoman.

Young Harmony’s Firewoman?
Leaf 1
Leaf 2
Leaf 3
Baby leaves from Harmony’s Firewoman

I got a couple others yesterday at the plant store. The one w the colored leaf may be another version of Harmony’s Firewoman?

Possibly Harmony’s Firewoman plant 2?
Spotted Rex Begonia

My other acquisitions have been an adventure in learning about mail order begonias. Here are my new additions since the last post. Yes, there goes my COVID bonus, but I’m planning to propagate and sell these when they get bigger.

Rex begonia Merry Christmas
Rex begonia Midnight
Rex begonia Black Mamba
Cane begonia Frosty
Speckled grey rex begonia- sold as Hideous Grey Begonia. Lol.
Rex Begonia Jurassic Pink Splash (I mislabeled Jurassic Pink Shades as Splash in my last post.)
Begonia NOID with green young leaves and darker mottled mature leaves.
Rex begonia River Nile
Another NOID Rex begonia
This is Pink Shades – mislabeled as Pink Splash last post. She has grown a lot!
Rex begonia Iron Cross
Rex begonia Ideal Red Heart

My biggest challenge so far is Ideal Silver Blue. She was one of the more costly of my choices. I got her from a lady named Dotty on Etsy. She is nice enough but selling plants is not her main business. The pot was peat and not taped inside the box for security. The mouth of the pot didn’t have anything to keep the dirt from spilling out. This plant has beautiful silver leaves which faded in front of me despite her terrarium type of environment. The seller said she might sell me a new one if this one didn’t pull through but she didn’t have any yet. Good lesson for me if I ever sell in Etsy. Anyway, the one little leaf that popped up while I was away camping last week has probably doubled in size since this photo. There is hope but I also learned what to avoid when I sell these plants.

Ideal Silver Blue with one leaf after bad damage during shipping.

I guess I need to get back to the daylily pots. I have a few more begonias coming before freeze. It’s going to be my winter adventure to grow these colorful plants.

Begonias: A Shift to Livingroom Gardening

My last Purple Corn Dancer came and went on 9.1. And, so drought and high temps end the season a few weeks early. I’m working away at my potting project with the daylilies. Every other weekend, I get about 20 done. I have a couple more weekends of labor ahead.

Begonia Rex – Fireworks?

So, with freeze a month or so away, my mind turns to my houseplants. My orchids have thinned through neglect and sales.

Begonia Rex Escargot

I’m sticking primarily to succulents, bromeliads, air plants, and begonias. Begonias weren’t originally in the plans, but I have a couple of Rexes that have been favorites for years. They really help me calm my soul.

Begonia Rex Marmaduke

So, I’m adding more and I thought I would share the pretty leaves here. I’m hoping that I get better at growing these because they are stunning color in my livingroom.

Yellow tuberous begonia bloom
Tuberous begonia with burgundy leaves
San Francisco tuberous begonia
Angel wing begonia Looking Glass
Rex Begonia – Jurassic Watermelon?
Cane/Angel Wing that’s gotten too big,

Perhaps it’s the end of daylily season that leads me to impulse buy begonias on Etsy this year. But, I think it is actually an antidote to work stress this year.

rhizomatous begonia Tiger Kitten
Baby Rex Begonia- Jurassic Pink Splash
rhizomatousRizomous begonia – Autumn’s Best
Rex begonia- Dainty Lady
Rex begonia – Robert Shatzer
Rex Begonia- Autumn

I’ve never acquired begonias through the mail. Thanks to mail order daylilies, I now realize my options for many plants are beyond the available of local nurseries.

The dry air is hard on the Rexes, but the small ones are now pots inside large glass vases on damp lava rock. I only lost one before I figured out the modified terrarium system. I hope I can grow and love these for years.

I have a few more in transit. Can’t wait. And, then I must wait because it will be too cold to ship. When spring comes, I will focus on my yard. It’s usually September that is my month for houseplant sprees.