As Thyme Goes By


Lost in the limbo land between buying and selling a home. It seems as if all we’ve done this spring and summer is work on one or the other house or garden and move objects between them. Cats are confused. I am exhausted. The blog has been neglected. I’ve been painting walls and longing to paint again from a palette rather than a can. I am excited to move into my new home though and I love it madly even though it’s stolen all of my time. The most challenging and emotional part of all this has been moving the gardens, deciding which plants to keep and which to leave and where they go and all that jazz. These photos were taken last week at the beach house garden. Everything has changed dramatically again. Faded irises have given way to an explosion of daisies, coreopsis, and foxglove. So much inspiration. So little time.

Deep Purple

Pink Poppy

Pale Purple

Crossing the Road

For Meate or Medicine

The Fourth Book of Distillations containing many singular and secret recipes.

While sorting through the old books at the Horticultural Center, I picked up a musty old tome which I thought was a history of gardening. It turned out to be a book about alchemy and the construction of various types of stills. Most chapters focus on use of plants by the Puritans of New England for herbal medicines and tonics. However, it does occasionally veer off into herbal lore and “the chemical art” of the early alchemists. The book was in rough shape, water damaged and falling apart so the scans are not so nice. Of course, I had to offer up a few bits of it, since this blog threads together the subjects of my fascination – art, old books, gardening, and alchemy. Included among these tattered pages, is a hand drawn map from the 1600s of the area where I now live and work. Sadly, it was too faded and ink smeared to scan well.

Three Bees

“The fifth chapter deals with the sum total of background knowledge applied by the settlers to their task of growing, distilling, and preserving all they would need for both meate and medicine. The sixth deals with ‘the meate’ and the seventh with ‘the medicine’ for which they felt sure so many plants were intended”. – Anne Leighton

The embattled Alchymia among her limbecks and furnaces.
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Fare Thee Well and Fading

Never say never. I proclaimed the last rose of autumn and suddenly my garden exploded with new flowers late into the season surviving two nor’easters. They did not, however, all survive the rabbits who indulged in a rose petal feast early this morning. I can’t complain. The garden is beautiful even as it fades and ah…comes back and then fades again.


Sometimes we have to say goodbye though. I said farewell and all that to one of my favorite works titled Rabbit, pictured in a new frame chosen to match a lovely new home. This has been a running theme for the past few weeks. I wonder if the “rabbits” are trying to tell me something.

"Rabbit" in a new frame.