Beauty and the Buzz

azaleas bloming2

Each day brings something new in the gardens this time of year! A splash of color through blossoming bushes and trees, along with more and more wee bright green leaves popping out along the branches of many trees! The rains have also subsided thus allowing us to spend more time out working in the yard.

wildflowers of the smokies5

The air is filled with the hum of bees and springtime birdsong! It’s simply delightful and after what seemed like a long, gray winter, I’m thrilled to be drinking it all in! The azaleas are really starting to bloom, filling the gardens with bold, splashes of intense color throughout! Pinks, violets, salmon, red and now, white are the colors so far that seem to cover every square inch of many bushes.

wildflowers of the smokies4

Other flowers are blooming too, many of them being our native wildflowers. Needless to say, it’s a treat to walk the winding path through our gardens each day.

wildflowers of the smokies6

Mornings and evenings are prettiest, as the color becomes saturated with the subdued lighting, and you can just imagine that you’re walking through a magical meadow far, far away, where tiny fairies live and come out and flit about the numerous flowers!

wildflowers of the smokies

There’s a particular stand of trillium that has been growing near our crabapple tree for years now, and each year they get bigger and more amazing! This year they are huge and I was excited to see that they’ve spread and now a wee patch of babies is now growing near this wonderful clump!

wildflowers of the smokies trillium

When we moved here almost 19 years ago now, there was nothing in our yard except for a couple trees and shrubs. The topsoil had all washed away leaving behind a hard slate-filled yard that hardly nothing would grow in. Being the tree huggers we are and lovers of forests, we started planting trees right away and letting volunteers grow. Plus Wes hauled literally hundreds of pounds of leaves and yard debris from a dear neighbor’s woods, which we mulched and scattered about our wee “woods” for many years. At one point, we also went with friends to dig up wildflowers from an area that was about to be developed, which we planted in our yard.

wildflowers of the smokies rue anemone

The years of work have paid off for us and now we have our own beautiful woods, with much of the forest floor covered in lush green moss, and numerous wildflowers thriving and scattered throughout!

wildflowers of the smokies3

Well, I do hope you enjoyed this virtual walk through our gardens and I look forward to sharing more with you from them, in the next few posts!

azaleas bloming

I’m super excited that my precious Carolina Wrens Peedeepeeps and Elvira have decided to nest in the big potted Spider Plant right outside our kitchen window! I’ve watched their progress from the first bits of moss while building this amazing sculpture with their beaks, and I’m so impressed! There are now 5 wee brown speckled eggs in there, and Elvira sits on it staring in the late evening and throughout the night. During the day the temps must be warm enough, as they stay away from the nest. I will keep you posted on their progress each week.

carolina wren nest and eggs

Peeps is not the only one nesting, as the cardinals, chickadees, and doves are nesting in the yard as well. My precious little Tufted Titmouse friend, Tinymouse is also nesting, as she comes almost daily and sits atop my head whilst trying to gather hair for her nest! Sometimes she just sits on my shoulder, and at others atop my knee, when I’m sitting out in the lounge chair reading. It almost appears as if she’s either checking out which book it is or waiting for me to read to her! Sometimes she comes and sits on me while we’re eating on the back porch too! Such delight she brings to me each spring! With extra time on our hands from not going anywhere, Wes is spending quite a bit of time in the garden and greenhouse, so hopefully, we’ll have more flowers and fresh edible things soon!

wes siegrist in greenhouse

~  In The Studio  ~

I finally managed to make myself stay inside long enough this past week to finish my painting of a Black-crowned Night Heron, which I started at The Big Night For Small Works during this past Southeastern Wildlife Exposition. The reference for this beautiful serene swamp setting came from our visit to Brookgreen Gardens for the opening of our Exquisite Miniatures Exhibition.

black-crowned night heron miniature painting
“Among Cypress Knees”

~  See our miniatures in these shows (currently online only) this week  ~

 (Other shows have closed with upcoming exhibitions pending. Check the website for updates.)

The Art of the Miniature XVIII
May 3 – June 14, 2020: Snow Goose Gallery, Bethlehem, PA

29th Annual International Miniature Art Show
May 2 – 30, 2020: Seaside Art Gallery, Nags Head, NC

Want to enjoy your special friend as a miniature painting?
. . . Then commission us to do just that! Email photos for consideration to us at

commission a dog painting


4 thoughts on “Beauty and the Buzz

  1. Absolutely gorgeous Rachelle! We recently bought some land and our retirement property (not in FL) so we can do just that – there is even a lovely little art cottage waiting and cannot wait to plant there as well – you have me so inspired!!!! When we meet again we will have not only miniature art to talk about, but gardening as well. All the best to you and Wes – and a heartfelt thank you for sharing your wonderful blog and happenings – definately lifts my spirits and inspires me – hugs!

    1. Thank you, Barbara, and how very exciting for you!!! We only have about 3/4 of an acre but have enjoyed packing all sorts of things onto it. I know you must be so excited about the gardening adventures awaiting you at your new property! I’m delighted to have both brightened your day and inspired you, and I look forward to swapping garden tales the next time we’re together! ~ Hugs 🙂

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