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???

SAD: Succulent Addictive Disorder

The days are about to get colder and darker. We are back in severe drought in my corner of Colorado. The wet spring was nice, but gone once our monsoon season was mediocre. I did put leaf mulch on my daylilies and started winter watering last weekend.

My echeveria after the sprinkler hit it last month.

I have thyroid disease and so time changes/dark days are difficult for me. Full spectrum light can help. I believe my mix of full spectrum, flourscent and purple plant lights help. I also think living in an indoor forest boosts positive energy. Something is always coming into bloom. Right now, it’s my vanda orchid, azalea, poinsettias and begonia. The Thanksgiving cactus aren’t for off. January/February will bring the orchids.

One of my poinsettias coming into bloom.

Speaking of orchids – I have over 40. They fill two rooms. They were what got my through some tough times, working at home fulltime (isolation) and separation from family. Now, I work long weeks away from home. Orchids are hard to keep up with . . . There are too many. And, my environment is nothing like their natural habitat.

One of my new orchid pots.

I’ve spent a horrific amount of money the last two months. I converted the orchids back to wood chips (from water), because that doesn’t require as much work. But, I needed several new orchid pots.

Red bromeliad – a mail order neo from Florida.

Then came the shift to air plants, succulents, and bromeliads. I gave away plants that didn’t fit the new theme. I bought new plants to create my new reality. The house feels a little different, more fun. More creative. My bank account . . . Hmmm.

My new succulent pot with crassela, aloe, miniature sansevieria, and others.

Yesterday, I played with succulent containers. It was my Saturday escape. I got 3 kinds of crassela, a reddish sempervivum, an aloe, a miniature sansevieria, a turquoise one with teardrop leaves – need ID. I used an outdoor pot whose plant had died.

Fountain converted into home for succulents and an air plant. I want to paint the frog green.

I added a couple of new succulents to the two converted fountains that I started using for succulents.

My Toki Dokie bird fountain converted to a succulent garden.

I felt pretty awful yesterday. Mostly tired, I just wanted to sleep. But, despite wondering what I was doing shopping for succulents when I felt so poorly, it turned my energy around.

Air plants hang from baskets in my kitchen window.

Creativity is a strength. It’s my top one. I have an appreciation of nature/beauty strength and curiosity in my top 5 strengths. Bringing those out really helped.

My new red desert rose plant.

I’m way over budget and out of light for more plants. I need to find other outlets for these strengths. I’ve thought of painting succulents. I love painting daylilies. Still, my art cove feels a little isolated. I’ll figure something out between winter watering my daylilies. In the mean time, I’ll live with my SAD: succulent addictive disorder.

PS, I’m considering at Etsy sales page once I have enough cuttings.

Sexy Succulents

I’m changing my inside plant scheme to largely succulents and air plants. Succulents are cool because they come in all shapes, colors and sizes. And, they require little care.

So, I found a few books on designing with succulents. I need to do more with group arrangements and pots that have a theme. I tend to grab whatever pot is empty.

I usually come home from my spring Southwest road trip with Senora desert dwellers. So, I’ve had succulents in my collection for a long time. Just now, with a crazy work schedule, they make more sense that orchids. Especially water culture orchids.

My orchids are now all moved to bark. They have cool pots. I just have so many! Maybe I will give some away as gifts at some point.

Air plants, succulents, and bromeliads is my new focus. I read one design book on mixing air plants in succulent displays. I like the effect a lot.

Freeze is upon us for a couple of weeks. Leaves are falling. I haven’t watered daylilies much this month, and we are headed back to drought weather. Leaves are falling, soon to be daylily mulch for the winter.

Come spring, I have plans to turn my old fountain into a succulent garden. I bet I could mix in a few daylilies – minis. I need to think about this idea!

Kokedama Succulents for Christmas

Last Christmas, I shared my project on making succulent kokedama to decorate my 6 foot pencil cactus. It’s getting down to 19 degrees tonight, and my houseplants take over my thoughts.

Kokedama succulent ornaments

My kokedama tree spent the summer outside on the porch. Most of the original succulents had to be replaced once or twice before spring. I would call it trial and error growing them into kokedama during the winter.

Kokedama succulent ornaments

Spring came, and they thrived (despite me being too busy with daylilies to keep up with their watering).

Kokedama succulent ornaments

I think I have around 18 now. Most came from Home Depot. I’m thinking I’ll get ribbons or bows for them for Christmas.

Kokedama succulent ornaments

The challenge is that the pencil tree sits along a wall with no plugs. I do boost light from a few feet away, but can’t really hang lights on the tree.

Kokedama succulent ornaments

I love succulents because of their wide array of leaf colors/ shapes and ease of care. The kokedama only need to take a swim every 2-4 weeks.

Kokedama succulent ornaments

I’ll try to post an update after I decorate them. In the meantime, stay warm.

Kokedama succulent ornaments

The Last of August

I’m sitting in my tent, dosed in natural melatonin. There is cool air . . . It feels nice. Desert camping was hot all but about 2 hours a night. It will get down to 50 or so tonight. Good sleeping weather.

Purple Grasshopper 8.31

This shift also means only 3 blooms today. Honestly, it is a little bit nice to not have a million photos to take. But, I already miss the excitement of checking the garden for Premieres.

Frans Hals 8.31

Today brought travel to the 4-corners region. If you know Colorado, you know that means a drive over the San Juan Mountains. 10 k feet above sea level.

Ruby Stella 8.31

The largest city in the area is Durango and I wanted to see if their nursery had any nice succulents or air plants. The best route is over Red Mountain pass, which is high, curvy and no guard rail. I got vertigo and was sick for 2 days last time I drove it, so I take the longer route now. Adds an hour but oh well. I use to drive Red Mountain in chains in a blizzard at night. Those days are gone.

Animas River 8.31

So, I ended up with 2 bromeliads – one in bloom and one with 2 pups. I also got a small red desert rose (succulent) and another cool succulent. I was thinking of what I read about not having too much variety. The bromeliads are the same family as air plants so they bring familiar features.

My new baby red Desert Rose 8.31

I want air plants and succulents/cactus to be my core plants. The other major groups I’ll keep are orchids, begonias, poinsettias, amaryllis, calathea, African violets. I have a few others, but I’m giving a lot of miscellaneous plants away. Since you can decorate most plants with air plants, that should help blend things in together.

My white Desert Rose in bloom – taken a few days ago.

I have my new plantlets in the hatch covered by a blanket. The bromeliads are far from their natural habitat. The succulents won’t care. No clue what I’m doing tomorrow. It’s a nice problem to have.

Feng Shui

I had a peer who was into feng shui when I lived in Boulder, CO.  I actually did my house in a feng shui color pattern for awhile.  I don’t claim to know much about it, but it was a creative project.  Cleaning closets, etc, to make room for more good energy is also part of it.

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Cripple Creek 8.29

Currently, I am doing houseplant feng shui.  I spend all winter counting the days until the plants go outside and I can have more space.  And, there are some plants I am bonded with and some that I am just tired of looking at.  Not that many, maybe half dozen.

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Purple Corn Dancer 8.29

I found homes for them with friends on Facebook.  It is kind of hard – but I still have more than I need.  My problem is that new plants help me pass the winter doldrums.  But, as I have said before, the orchids are kind of high needs – and they always seem fragile – ready to rot or have the leaves drop off from dryness.

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Indian Sky 8.29

I’m not giving my orchids away – but there will be natural attrition and I just won’t keep buying them.  The rex begonias, African violets, calathea are all staying put, too.

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Frans Hals 8.29

My new theme is cool succulents and air plants.  I have a good bunch of Southwest plants from my road trips – but you can always find a fun new species.  And, air plants are fun to decorate with!  I got my first batch of mail order ones today – all 6 in a box that is maybe 5 inches square.  They are space efficient and fairly resilient to a bit of neglect if the summer gets busy. Also, pretty cost effective except the big, fancy ones.

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Purple Grasshopper 8.29

I had five in bloom today – daylilies, that is.  That’s a good number for the last Thursday in August.  It won’t last long, though. They have been in bloom for nearly 90 days.  So, I am happy for the little air plants today.  Gives me something to look forward to this winter.

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My mail order air plants 8.29

Stay of Execution

So, my day job is busy, although the buzz of the term is settling down some.  My evening job this week is tweaking the new drip system.  Last night, it was staples and stakes.  Tonight, I tried sprayer heads on a couple of the larger pots that were hogging water.  I think the little sprayers will work better without a much water waste.

I can’t believe I still have 7 in bloom today.  But, the buds become rare and every day I say goodbye to at least one cultivator for another year.

Purple Corn Dancer is in 2 locations and so she has most of her buds left in location #2.

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Purple Corn Dancer 8.27

Frans Hals has maybe 10 buds left – +/-

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Frans Hals 8.27

Purple Grasshopper and Ruby Stella have a handful of buds left.

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Purple Grasshopper 8.27

I think both Navajo Curls and Cripple Creek have a bud or two left.

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Navajo Curls 8.27

Purple Thunderbird maybe has one bud left (max).

PurpleThunderbird8.27.1.jpg

And, then it ends.  Except that I found one of my Lowe’s Stella hybrid rebloomers with a new scape.  It only has a few buds, but it is still 90 degrees.  So, my hope is that the new drip system might give me a few more reblooms.  My stay of execution.

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Ruby Stella 8.27

My poinsettias seem to be perking up – but it is not a good year for them.  I need to start forcing the big ones so they can all cycle through the bloom closet.

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El Desperado 8.27

I’m camping this weekend and maybe looking for succulents down in SW Colorado.  Oh, and I mail ordered my first air plants.  They should be here tomorrow.  I was reading that too many varieties of plant detracts from all of them.  I honestly am OK with having less and getting more air plants and succulents.  All my super market specials make the place look cluttered  . . . we will see.  The long and boring winter is less than 4 months away.  My stay of execution is only temporary.

Momma’s Bouquet

My mom would be 102 years old this day.  That makes me sound older than I am.  Mom waited to have kids.  It is also the anniversary of the job offer for my current job.  This job is a great match for my strengths, but not for my senior energy.  I am likely too liberal minded to be an early morning person – my coworkers do much better.  Yes, circadian rhythm does relate to our liberal vs conservative brain.  I am middle-of-the-road, slightly liberal.  And, yea, political views are only one small part of how this part of our brain impacts our work.  Liberals do better starting and ending their days later than conservatives.

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Frans Hals 8.24

At any rate, I didn’t celebrate today – other than a few more air plants.  My yard looks neglected.  I worked all summer and camped every other weekend.  I have been keeping up with daylily photos (sort of), but not much else.

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Purple Corn Dancer 8.24

Today’s chore was installing a drip system in the front garden.  Daylilies, squash, poinsettias – they get too dry.  When I worked from home, I could run out and water.  Don’t get me wrong – I am glad to be less isolated.  But, my yard suffers especially when summer isn’t a pause.

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Carlotta 8.24

I went to the nursery for a plant for a coworker – a surprise.  I grabbed a couple of air plants – my new addiction.  I like them because they are small and less needy than my orchids.  I was into water culture orchids – but with not being home, it is hard to keep up with all the water changes.  The air plants are small – and I plan to get more into succulents as my current plants thin.

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Purple Thunderbird 8.24

So, the coleus were half price – I have some in with my daylilies that are on the side of the driveway but not in all the pots.  So, I grabbed 3 of those.  They are actually nice companion plants for daylilies.  I got some fall colors.  Then, of course, I have to decide if I bring them in when it gets cold. Probably – one big pot.  I can take cuttings and replant outside next spring.  Sure . . . if I have time.

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Navajo Curls 8.24

Putting in the drip system meant giving the daylilies a haircut.  I cut a lot of stuff back – like those blue bells.  I have about 27 drippers in and 17 to go.  For now, I need to this sleep, precious sleep.  Goodnight, momma.  I lost you too young and miss you every day.

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Purple Grasshopper 8.24

Oh, BTW – I tried the block editor for WordPress on Internet Explorer – It was awful! A few more days of testing S mode before I likely go to regular Windows 10.

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Ruby Stella 8.24

One last note – the featured photo is from earlier this year.  Catherine Irene – the same name as my mom.