March 2021 Week Four and a Bit

rambling ratz

The final week of March saw a mini heatwave, with the hottest March day for 53 years. This warm sunny weather brought lots of insects to the garden, such as this bee tucking into a primrose.bee in a primrose flowerThere was also some sort of solitary bee covered in pollen on the white flowering shrubs.bee on white flower

A male hairy footed flower bee on the flowering currant.bee on pink flowers

The bee-flies have made a welcome return.bee-fly on lawn

A beautiful peacock butterfly also appeared.peacock butterfly

The lesser celandine are blooming on the lawn like a carpet of stars.yellow flower

This will be the last of the cherry plum blossom now that the copper coloured leaves are appearing.pink blossom with brown leaves

Green leaves are also bringing the trees back to life.green leaf shoots on tree

And who doesn’t love a cheerful daisy?daisy flower

The grape hyacinths are a firm favourite with the bee-flies.bee fly on blue flower

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Paisley Rats Fabrics

The best!

Paisley Power

If you like printed textiles with animal shapes incorporated in the designs, then the Paisley Rats designs could be ideal for you. The rat shapes are surrounded by an intricate paisley pattern. The color of the rats and paisley pattern is usually in high contrast to the background color. On April 1st, a customer bought a yard of the pink and white version of the rat-patterned paisley design.

pink and white version of the rat-patterned paisley design.
pink and white version of the rat-patterned paisley design.

1 yard of black and white Paisley Rats fabric has been bought by a customer on April 1st, 2021. Designer Patrick Moriarty donates a third of his profits from sales of the Paisley Rats fabrics to Apopo, a charity that trains rats to detect landmines in former warzones.

small-white-black-paisley-rats-patterned-fabric
small-white-black-paisley-rats-patterned-fabric

Here is another photo of the black and white Paisley Rats fabric. The design has white rat silhouettes and a white paisley…

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January 2021 Week 4 (and a bit)

rambling ratz

So we have made it to the end of the first month of 2021. The snowdrops are still in bud, folded up ready to droop elegantly when the time is right.snowdrop budsWe have had more rain than snow and the crocuses look as though they might overtake the snowdrops.crocus buds with water dropletsAlthough we did have a brief flurry of snow to prettify the garden.snowy garden

There was barely any left by the next day, but enough to see that the pigeons had left their mark.bird print in snowThe holly leaved hellbore is now flowering, beating both the snowdrops and the crocuses.

It was interesting to see the black cap featured on BBC Winterwatch drinking nectar from the mahonia flowers. There is a male black cap that does the same thing in our garden. However, as soon as he sees me with the camera he hides in the nearby cherry tree.small bird in treeThe moon was being its…

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Diary of a Designer – Part 109 – by Patrick Moriarty

Paisley Power

Today I started to keep a record of all the samples of my new Paisley Positivity design. I photographed the 2 yards of fabric that had all the samples printed together on both sheets of fabric. Here is a photo of me (textile designer Patrick Moriarty) with a yard of cotton that has been printed with squares of all the different color versions of the Paisley Positivity design. In the photo you can see the olive version, the pink version, the blue tones version, the black and grey version, the turquoise version, the purple version, the red version and many more.

textile designer Patrick Moriarty holding the fabric sample sheet of-his Paisley Positivity design.
textile designer Patrick Moriarty holding the fabric sample sheet of-his Paisley Positivity design.

Here is a photo of one of the printed yards of cotton. This yard has the large versions of the design printed on it. I’m sure you’ll agree that there is a wide…

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Diary of a Designer – Part 54 – by Patrick Moriarty

Paisley Power

I’m excited to be sending a Paisley Prince Songbook t-shirt to a drummer in Essex tomorrow (July 3rd). Steve, who lives in Maldon, plays in several different bands in different countries in Europe. He wrote online: « I’ll be wearing it in Switzerland. I’ve got so many nice friends in Switzerland they would go mad for Paisley Power ». Here is a photo of designer Patrick moriarty wearing a Paisley Prince Songbook t-shirt and matching face mask. Steve has bought the same t-shirt as the one worn by Patrick in the photo, to wear on stage when his is drumming with his bands.

designer Patrick moriarty wearing a Paisley Prince Songbook t-shirt and matching face mask
designer Patrick moriarty wearing a Paisley Prince Songbook t-shirt and matching face mask

On July 2nd a variety of different fabrics have been bought online, printed with Patrick’s unique designs. E.C. McCarthy bought a yard of the green version of the « Fern Floral Botanical » fabric. E.C. McCarthy chose…

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Wild Food Profile – Eastern Hemlock Buds: Fresh Eating, Tea, and Eastern Hemlock Bud Dressing

The Druid's Garden

Eastern Hemlock is one of my very favorite trees.  The tall, regal personal, the needles and branches that offer a bluish light beneath them as the sun shines, the cathedral-like quality of the ancient ones. This time of year, you can see the bright green buds on the Eastern Hemlock that represent the growth of the tree for this season.  As the buds grow older, they darken to the beautiful viridian green that is characteristic of the Eastern Hemlock tree. But, for the short window of time when the trees are budding–right now–Eastern Hemlock buds are a delicious treat.

Harvesting Eastern Hemlock buds

We happen to have many of these trees on our property, and some of the branches are starting to grow into our paths and have to be trimmed back. There are thousands of beautiful tiny green buds on each of the branches to be trimmed, which…

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Wild Food Profile: Purple / Sweet Violets (viola odorata)

The Druid's Garden

Beautiful spring violets! Beautiful spring violets!

Early in the spring season (as in, right now), the small, wild purple violets begin popping up everywhere.  Where I live, this is usually late April to Mid may.  I actually found the first violets here in South East Michigan just last week, so its time to blog about violets! I am always delighted to see the violets, because they are sure sign that spring is here, the warmth has returned, and the landscape is painted in a variety of amazing colors once more.

Violet Harvest

Springtime is the best time to harvest violets–you can harvest them typically for several weeks.  I like to hit the same patch every 3 days, and each time harvest up to 30% of the violets there.  If they are particularly abundant (as in the photo below) I might harvest some more.

Here are some photos from a very prolific violet harvest…

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