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???

. . . And Washed the Spiders Out

Today, the rain came. And, our predicted high is only 77 today. What a shift after 90 something degrees every day. It will stairstep back up by Saturday, but next week (when we are camping) it looks like it only gets above 90 a couple of times.

The walk through the garden was in drizzle. I didn’t use my cellphone at all for fear of getting water in the charging port. My camera is more resilient to moisture. Some flowers were like the cellphone – sort of weighed down by the rain. Thin man was on the ground, passed out. I had to tie him up. Other cultivators seemed to come to life with brighter colors – doing a rain dance.

Dream Catcher 7.14 – premier bloom today in the rain. But, not such an itsy bitsy spider!

And, there were only 54 cultivators in bloom today. Only 1 premier – Dream Catcher. A nice Ned Roberts spider that was one of my 3 pilot daylilies in the Southwest Garden, along with Kokopelli and Aztec Firebird. Interestingly, those are three that grew pretty well in the ground with the tree roots, and all. Not sure if they like the pots as well yet.

Soksabai, my 16 YO calico kitty, has to come help me inspect daylilies every morning. Even in the rain.

Speaking of Ned Roberts, I have had the chance to chat with his wife and daughter via Facebook recently. They live about 5 hours away from me. I need to meet them sometime – they want to come see my garden.

Art and Nature From the Hartt – Succulent Painting Coaster Tile

Today is a good day for a short blog. I think I will try painting a begonia today. Yesterday, I finished my succulent. I will get back to daylilies – just trying to challenge myself a little. Remember to watch for the announcement when our Etsy store opens. I plan to have daylily fans available in limited number this fall . . . plus the artwork!

Catching Up is Hard to Do

I spent some time today trying to re-orient myself to the new lot of daylilies that are in bloom since I got home from my road trip. I got the spent scapes cut off and tried to make a list of finales. I would like to make a list of all the ones with scapes not yet bloomed and all the ones that aren’t trying.

Anyway, I went back through the 7.8 and 7.16 photos and found more premiers. Plus, there were 5 premiers today (at least first bloom since I got home). The total is 114 that have bloomed. That’s a 67% bloom rate. To hit 80%, we will need 37 cultivators to bloom. Twenty-three more. That’s tight but we can hope. I’ll count unbloomed scapes tomorrow.

Here are the premiers from today:

Iktomi 7.18.20
Raven Woodsong 7.18.20
Fringe Benefit 7.18.20
Frans Hals 7.18.20
Orange Flurry 7.18.1
Baja’s last bud 7.18.1

And, to backtrack, here are the premiers from 7.16.20 that I finally had time to look at today. I always come home to rain – so these guys look like they just showered.

Autumn Jewels looks sad but she bloomed 7.16.1
Desert Icicle 7.16.20
Indian Sky 7.16.20
Just Plum Happy 7.16.20
Lime Frost first and last bloom 7.16.20
Papa Long Legs first and last bloom 7.16.20

So, that is it . . . back to a normal pace except work starts Monday. However, I am suppose to have July off so I plan to work from home unless they demand otherwise. Plus, I am waiting out the two-week COVID risk.

I worked on transplanting succulent cuttings and transplanting a few succulents into larger pots. I don’t have tons of love left for my orchids . . . so I use those pots but fill the holes with moss. It takes a while but it is relaxing.

Just for the record, here is a list of all of the finales so far for 2020: Apache Uprising (I missed this one but it did bloom), Ruby Spider (today), Lime Frost, Return a Smile (unless she reblooms), Early Bird Cardinal, Prairie Wildfire, Catherine Irene, Thin Man, Comanche Princess, The Colorado Kid, Blue Beat, Mildred Mitchell, Mauna Loa, Mesa Verde, Heron’s Cove, Canyon Colors (today), Jungle Queen, Wineberry Candy, Just Plum Happy, Raspberry Propeller, Santa’s Pants, Red Mystery, Bella Boo, Nosferatwo, Coral Taco, Pink Enchalada, Pink Rain Dance, Zuni Eye (I missed this one but it did bloom), Papa Long Legs, Land of Enchantment, All American Chief, Purple Many Faces, Indian Love Call, Laughing Feather, Coyote Laughs, Kokopelli, Hopi Jewel, Mount Echo Sunrise, Holy Sombrero, Ojo De Dios, Rocky Mountain Pals, Kachina Firecracker, Kiva Dancer, Echo Canyon, Indian Giver, Funny Valentine, Wild Horses, Inwood, Primal Scream, Lacy Doily, Nurse’s Stethoscope, Canyon Colors (today), Kachina Dancer (today), Apache Bandana (today). Not bad for 6 weeks!

Fire Flowers of the Corona

A different kind of 4th of July. I slept in – no parade. Then, after taking photos of the 28 cultivators in bloom, I decided it was too hot to take the dogs downtown. So, I puttered around the yard a little. Then, came the weather warning on my phone – big thunderstorm. I quickly finished lunch on the porch and brought the dogs in.

All American Chief 7.4.20

As the storm passed, I worked on my daylily business. I mean – I found an Oh Erica for my yard!!!! One daylily nursery had one listed as display only (not for sale) – but that must mean they have some if they aren’t for sale, right? Turns out, right. He was willing to sell me a couple of fans this fall. I’ll also be adding Dr Doom for a memory I have with my daughter.

Thin Man 7.4.20

Once the business was done, I headed out to pot some of the succulents that I have been rooting. I use orchid pots and fill the holes with decorative moss. It is cute and provides a lot of ventilation. Except, I ordered the moss a month ago and I can’t find where I put it. I had enough left over from last time for today’s project.

Purple de Oro 7.4.20

The thunderheads continued to pass over, which means non of my yard work that involves power tools got done. Other than daylily business, plotting my roadtrip, updating my GPS, and baking a silly 4th cake, I got nothing done. But, maybe that is balance.

Aztec Firebird 7.4.20

I had a few premiers today – Let’s start with an alltime favorite Ned Roberts spider – Aztec Firebird. I love this one – it is so colorful – really stands out in the garden for all who pass by.

Passionate Returns 7.4.20

Passionate Returns is back for another year. She is a favorite among my Facebook followers.

Bella Boo 7.4.20

And, little $5 special, Bella Boo, made an appearance. She makes a statement for a simple flower.

Ruby Spider celebrating her independence today 7.4.20

So, tomorrow, that means lots of yard work and getting ready for my trip. Maybe today is Groundhog day and we can just get stuck on a lazy day for awhile. LOL – Groundhog day in the daylily garden is my life . . . maybe if I do that or that differently next time, it will bloom.

Comanche Princess also looking like the 4th 7.4.20

Oh – one Finale from yesterday that I forgot to mention – Echo Canyon.

Echo Canyon finale 7.2.20

Happy 4th! PS – Fire Flowers are a synonym for fireworks. This year, my daylilies are the only fireworks. Hopefully, next year things are a little more normal, again. Wear your mask! Get one with daylilies on it!

A Word About Mother’s Day

It’s not a super easy day for my. Mom is gone and my daughters and grandkids are pretty much completely out of contact. I love them dearly and miss them with my whole heart. I need to live my values. My mom taught me that.

My poinsettias, still in bloom, moved to the yard for the summer

For me, mother’s day is about engagement in my yard. It’s perfect for Corona virus. It’s perfect every year because it’s a family day. My veggies went in yesterday and my houseplants went out today – over 100 of them.

My cacti and succulents outside on my back porch.

Every year, rain or drought, I get a mom’s day bouquet from this tree. It’s always right on time.

My mom’s day tree in bloom today.

Life is what we make of it. I’m bone tired. But, it’s mostly a good tired. Tomorrow, I must Zoom. Happy Mother’s Day to all – even those whose children are no longer involved. Or, those who want to be moms or who have lost children.

A Thanksgiving Cactus By Any Other Name Would Bloom as Bright

Happy Thanksgiving! It’s a day full of cooking and Thanksgiving cactus. I think I’ve seen a few dozen photos of humungous once on my succulent feeds lately.

Pink and cream Thanksgiving cactus.

I have 4 of them myself. They are different from Christmas cactus because the leaves have several points on the end. Christmas cactus are smoother- and harder to find in my experience.

Bright pink Thanksgiving cactus.

I don’t have to do much special to get them to bloom, although they bloom more prolifically if they spend a few weeks in the poinsettia bloom-forcing closet. They sometimes rebloom in spring under those lights. They like equinox length days.

Red Thanksgiving cactus bud.

Christmas cactus and Thanksgiving cactus are clearly close kin. Siblings. Cousins to these two holiday bloomers are Easter and Orchid cactus. They are similar in that they grow in trees (epiphytes) and are fed by rain and the debris it provides.

Furry leaf tips on my Easter cactus.

I have had my Easter cactus a few years and it didn’t rebloom until I hung it in a planter from my outside plant hanger. It bloomed in June in the high desert without much water.

Easter cactus reblooming last summer.

Anyway, it almost looks furry at the joints. And the flowers look more like daisies to me.

Orchid cactus bloom.

My orchid cactus bloomed for the first time this year. (I started it as a cutting 2 years ago.) It tried to bud in August, but it shriveled. It budded again in September and bloomed after freeze in my kitchen.

Orchid cactus foliage (much larger than its colorful cousins).

My only recipe for success is summer outside in the brilliant Colorado high desert. And, the bloom closet for the holiday cactus. Honestly, they are kind of plain most of the year, but the bright blooms seem to make them worth the wait.

Do you have a Thanksgiving cactus? What is your favorite color?

Echeveria: Colorful And Creative

Yesterday, I talked about Crassula. They remind me of braids. Echeveria are rosettes – and WorldofSucculents.com has 19 pages of different varieties. There is no way I want to take a stab at the ID, unless they came labeled. It’s like daylilies, there are so many similar hybrids that it’s impossible.

These kids love summer in my desert yard. Summer growers. I’m honestly surprised that I don’t have more because they are so readily available. But, maybe that’s exactly why I don’t have more.

Maybe I’ll start with what I think I know.

Echeveria Blue Rose?

This one is one of my oldest, having joined us on a road trip through Tucson a few years ago. I’m pretty sure she is a Blue Rose. She was 3 rosettes when I got her. She lost a bunch of leaves in a downpour late last summer and by the time I went to clean them up, they had sprouted new plants. Her babies are now in at least 3 additional pots.

Echeveria Licorice.

This one was labeled Licorice Echeveria and is a new addition.

Pearl von Nurnberg Echeveria.

As is Pearl Von Nurnberg. She is in mom’s old button box.

Topsy Turvy Echeveria from above.

A different Topsy Turvy that appears to be a greener hue.

These two I believe are both Topsy Turvies.

Painted Echeveria.

Oh, and my Painted Echeveria.

Echeveria Silver Star.

This one is called Silver Star, I believe.

Large blue tinged Echeveria.

This is my largest one bought on discount a couple days ago due to dog-eared leaves. It’s going to quickly outgrow this pot!

Below are several other varieties. The first one grows under hydroponic lights on the ceiling of my basement closet. it looks like a catepillar inching along.

Echeveria under hydroponic lights – year 3.

Round leaf Echeveria.

Pink tipped Echeveria.

Older Echeveria stays small in a small pot.

Ruffled leaf Echeveria.

Common Echeveria adds color to the pot.

Small blue Echeveria in kokomo.

Fuzzy leaf Echeveria in kokomo.

Enjoying the plant light in a large succulent arrangement.

Echeveria are fun to find and collect. the cool part is that i can put them outside to grow next summer while i focus on my daylilies. These guys are nearly as colorful, too. And, they even come in blue!

The Trouble With Winter-Growing Succulents

The trouble with succulents is that you can buy them anywhere and they are usually very affordable. So, I’m always dragging new ones home. I need to give some orchids away if I bring many more home.

So, yesterday I got a Crassula Campfire while shopping for T-Day. The most common Crassula is the common jade plant. I love them because their active growth season is winter! But, that only makes them more addictive.

I got looking around at all my Crassula and I have a lot of them!

It took some time to try to classify some of them today. But, that’s what breaks are for, right? Good thing for a snowy, cold Colorado day in my PJs. https://worldofsucculents.com is my favorite site to ID these guys. Disclaimer – I am not a plant scientist so many of these are guesses!

I’ve had some of these guys a long time – like Hobbit.

I’ve had this one on the kitchen windowsill for years.

I also have several living in kokodemas since last year – hung on my pencil cactus.

(Some of them have weird names.)

My year-round ornaments.

I got one labeled “Pagoda” last year, but I think it’s a different Crassula. I couldn’t find it in the listings.

I got little planters that resemble my dogs last year in Moab . . . Two of them have Crassula.

I have some of the cute small stacked ones that I added this Fall.

They are a great addition to container plant groups. the trailing ones are cool.

Some other newer additions are my Propeller or Airplane Crassula.

The Silver Dollar Crassula lives up to it’s name.

And, the curly leafed jade lives up to it’s name, as well.

Honestly, I think I have a couple other Crassulas tucked away on a shelf somewhere.

I will say that I’m glad daylilies are generally name labeled pretty well. My daylilies are all tucked up for the single digit temps this week – under mulch or in the back porch. The trouble with both succulents and daylilies is that they are like Lay’s Potatoe Chips.

Curious World

Air plants are strange little things. I’ve had a few, but never really got into them until this year. Maybe putting them out for the summer and seeing a lot of growth helped.

Air plant in amber glass container.

I read a book on them called Air Plants: The Curious World of Tillandias. The book showed them in arrangements with succulent, and that fascinated me.

Air plants dance in hanging baskets.

I also like the airy appearance that they give to my winter plant menagerie.

Larger air plant with nice red color.

They come in large sizes, which makes them look more like a real plant.

Small air plants in Native American pots.

Or small sizes, where they look like mineature desert plants.

Air plants perched on holders add character to this large pot succulent arrangement.

They come in lots of colors and add to the variety of the succulents, while mimicking the shape of agave and yucca. And, the blooms are cool!

Reddish color highlights this air plant in hanging glass container.

I’m about at my limit, though, because it isn’t humid here so they need a spritz a couple times a week. I have enough on my plate with work, yard, house, and pet menagerie.

Air plant in a specially designed stone holder.

I have killed a few, but have lots more pups. Cautiously optimistic that I won’t burn out caring for these beauties. I even have one serving as the star on mt pencil cactus with kokomo succulent ornaments.

Air plant perches above my pathos.

They do create a curious world and I’m a curious girl.

Air plant in macrame hanger.

This week, I move my evergreen daylilies into the porch for 3 months. And, then, it begins to turn into spring!

Air plant in pumpkin glass container.

The Strangest Flower Ever!

Lifesavers. You know the little addictive, brightly colored circle candy? Well, when I saw this odd flower with the name Lifesaver cactus, I just had to get one. I ordered online in August and put it in a south window. It’s near my purple LED boost light, too.

I can’t decide if it’s pretty or weird. It reminds me of Saguaro cactus blooms- the weird wax look.

Then, I got to thinking about some of my other cactus blooms this summer. I was so busy chasing daylilies that I likely didn’t post many of these.

Yucca bloom after a wet spring in my yard.

Pincushion Cactus flower.

White Desert Rose bloom.

Easter Lily Cactus bloom.

Rebloom on my Easter Cactus.

Thanksgiving Cactus bloom.

Orchid Cactus bloom.

Cactus flowers are stunning things. There reproductive parts look like a universe in and of themselves. Or, a chorus of ballet dancers. They don’t ever last long. Maybe longer than a daylily. Or, not. But, I have to admit, I’ve never seen anything quite like this Lifesaver bloom.

Lifesaver Cactus

I’m hopeful that I’ll see more cactus and succulent flowers this winter while the daylilies reat.