Posts Tagged ‘nature’

Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

And now for part two…the recap:

If you read my earlier post part 1,  here is what I actually got planted in the garden so far:

  • sweet peppers  (5)- in the garden
  • tomatoes (4) – in the garden, and in a cooler
  • carrots (whole packet 2’x3′ area) – going to broad-cast them out in the garden
  • onions (about 12, letting them bloom for seed) – in the garden – already planted – left over from last year.
  • hot peppers in the garden (5) – fewer this year
  • sweet corn (about 20 planted, will be thinned) – in the garden
  • leeks (why not? 2’x3′ space)  – in garden
  • okra (2’x8′ double row) – in the garden
  • chives (broadcast, 2’x3′ row under tomatoes – in the garden
  • turnips (2 spots.  2’x3′) – in the garden
  • cilantro (about 6 plants) – flower pots
  • chocolate mint (about 4 plants) – flower pots


  • Typical Missouri weather

If you have been watching the weather in the mid-west lately, we have been having our normal May weather:  kind of cool, warm spells, thunderstorms and tornadoes!

If it wasn’t for the weather not cooperating, my honey decided to clean up the front flower beds and dumped everything in my garden!  It took me a whole day to rake out rose clippings, rocks, and about 25 lbs. of wild onions (dirt attached).  So I got the garden in much later than I really wanted to this year.  I figure I’m kind of lucky I was prevented in getting the garden in a little late because now everything that is sprouting is only about an inch tall and isn’t going to get knocked over by strong wind.


  • Good drainage
  • Add row covers

Lucky for me I spent a lot of time 2 years ago beefing up the drainage in the garden.  It wasn’t really bad drainage, but it could have been better.   I think to help protect the young plants and maybe keep off some of the wet, I am going to fashion some row covers or maybe a “hot-hat.”  I think I will probably make the “hot-hat” because really I just need to cover the 3″ tall tomatoes and I don’t have a lot of money to stick into the garden right now.   So I will make some recycling old milk jugs.

English: Fresh Cilantro (Coriander) Deutsch: V...I’m still excited because the okra in the garden is about 1/2″ tall and the onions are getting ready to bloom.  I also spotted the tips of the corn starting to come up. 

I’ve already harvested some of the cilantro, it decided to bolt on me.  So I thought I would make a nice cilantro pesto (it turned out okay, needed more time to marinate).  I also trimmed it back into shape and maybe it won’t bolt again too soon.

The mint I think I am going to try making a hot tea out of it and see how it turns out.  If it turns out okay, I’ll go through the process of preserving some of it for this winter.  Might be a nice addition to some hot chocolate.

I just looked in on my early tomatoes in the cooler.  Yes.  I have them nicely staked and growing in one of those cheap white Styrofoam coolers.  I decided that I wanted tomatoes much longer this year so I planted them to be portable.  Well, these guys are doing terrific!  I have about four little smaller-than-a-dime green tomatoes starting and plenty of little yellow flowers besides.  I put them up by the roses because earlier this year there were a TON of honeybees hunting pollen in the roses.  So I figured that maybe they would help out the tomatoes too.

Check back for the next installment – part 3 – of my Garden Experiment

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Carrots of many colors.

Last Year’s Recap

Ok, if you read my post last year on my garden I hope you were excited as I was.  As a recap, here’s what my 2012 gardening experiment helped me discover last year:

  1. I actually planted quite a few cherry tomatoes, they grew fast and I got a nice treat as I walked through the garden picking ripe tomatoes off as I worked around the garden.  I also discovered, when I hoed the garden for weeds, that if I pulled the dirt up around the plant and buried the stem a bit with dirt the plant would start growing roots higher up and make the plant more stable before and after staking it.
  2. I wound up not planting potatoes like planned, but I tried 2 varieties of squash, which got too much heat and not enough water when we went on vacation last year.
  3. It was too hot for onions last year, but I did plant 3 different kinds:  red, white, and yellow.
  4. I also planted:  beets, carrots, and corn.   The beets and carrots turned out pretty good, I didn’t have enough carrots at any one time, so I would add them to spaghetti sauce as I got enough veggies.

All in all, I consider my experiment a success.  I was able to donate about 3 dozen tomato seedlings to a local church.  I also made about 8 quarts of homemade spaghetti sauce, and I got a nice tan working in the garden.


  • For my 2013 Gardening Experiment I am still working under the same conditions as last year.
  • Limited space (only 100 square feet.)  I can’t plant more than I can take care of (including preservation), and no waste.

This year, I made up the following list of things others grow:

  •  tomatoes – in the house
  • cucumbers – on a trellis in the garden
  • sweet peppers – in the garden
  • pole beans – on a trellis in the garden
  • carrots – going to broad-cast them out in the garden
  • summer squash – in the garden
  • onions – in the garden – already planted – left over from last year.
  • hot peppers in the garden – fewer this year
  • lettuce – broad-casted in the garden
  • peas – trellis in the garden
  • sweet corn – in the garden
  • radishes – in the garden
  • potatoes – in the garden
  • salad greens – in the garden
  • pumpkins – trellis in garden
  • watermelons – trellis in the garden
  • spinach – in garden
  • broccoli – in garden
  • melons – trellis in garden
  • cabbage – in garden
  • beets – broad-cast in garden
  • winter squash – in garden
  • asparagus – raised bed in garden
  • collards – in garden
  • celery – in garden
  • Brussels sprouts – in garden
  • leeks – in garden
  • kale – in garden
  • parsnips – in garden
  • Chinese cabbage – in garden
  • rutabagas – in garden


In the previous list I highlighted (in blue), the plants I am going to get into the garden this year.  Since I have told myself that I am going to try and only add 2 new plants every year to the garden I am going to attempt the same list  as last year, because while I was content with what I accomplished last year, it was really too hot and about halfway through the season the garden dried up while I was on vacation.

I have high hopes this year for growing things, as we have already had several rain showers so far this year.

Check back for part 2 on the garden.

As always: comment, like, and share!

Image representing Etsy as depicted in CrunchBase

In honor of the upcoming holiday we are promoting a 25% coupon good on any item in our Etsy Store.  Click the badge on the left of the screen to get taken to the Full Gamut Workshop fan page.  Once you get there, just click on our Etsy Store link at the top of the page.  Find and share something unique to give to someone this year.  Remember, you are also giving the gift of supporting upcoming artists and we truly appreciate all of our fans!


  • handmade glass pendants
  • natural stone pendants
  • jewelry and clothing accessories
  • unique artwork
  • home decor –
  • art and craft supplies – like hemp, beads, natural stones and crystals

Check back often to our shop as I am putting new items up as fast as I can.

I know it sounds complicated, but I understand how you feel.  I felt that way the first time I tried it.  Once you try it though, you will find that it’s really quite easy to get your coupon for that special one-of a kind Christmas item.

As always, like, comment, and share!


(c) 2012 – D. Hellm

I finally found time to get this painting framed.  Interested in acquiring this original?

I am selling it framed for $20 and free shipping in the US.

Other countries I will quote a shipping price in the contact email.

Thanks a bunch for your interest!


Please contact me at:


Posted: September 8, 2012 in Art / Hobby
Tags: , , , ,


(c) 1999 – Full Gamut Workshop – D.Hellm


(c) 2002 Full Gamut Workshop



(c) D. Hellm 2012

I’m finally back in my studio after a wonderful vacation in the state of Washington.  I thought I’d share with you the first painting I have done since I got back.


Techniques used:

  • Color mixing – to orange and purple tones
  • Wet-on-wet graded washes
  • Dry-on-wet graded washes

Thoughts, notes, and critiques:

The whole point of this project was to work on my color mixing skills and work on my washes while working within the watercolor media.  When working with water colors, you are using pigment suspended in water and allowing the pigment to settle as the water evaporates from the mixture.  Because of the way watercolors behave you get the added benefit of rich vibrant coloring if you do careful layering within your painting.

I was trying to stay within a harmonious color scheme of all cool color-values with a little bit of brightness to add life to the painting.  Think a color palette of sunset.  So keeping that in mind, I mixed my colors first.  The three primary colors of red, yellow, blue and the secondary colors orange and purple.  I kept mixing them until I found the values I liked for my color scheme.

This entire painting was done in watercolor layers from back to front.  First I painted the entire paper with bands of red, orange, yellow, and purple  and allowed this to mostly dry.  So my trees which were much further into the foreground would appear with sharper lines than the mountains miles away.

Then I made and layered different tones of purple to create the trees. To create the illusion of depth I painted the trees in layers adding pigment or water accordingly to lighten or darken areas of the trees.  You can see that the illusion of depth was also achieved by the degree of detail depending on where the trees are in the composition.  The tree closest to the viewer is sharper with more detail apparent.  The mid-layer tree (the one in the middle) is a little softer and the last tree is still more out of focus compared to its two companions.

The grass I painted last using a dry brush technique with blue paint with a little bit of careful splattering.

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