Monday, April 9, 2012

Wildlife habitat is my inspiration

   I had a question a couple of weeks ago about the sign in the photo on my banner  that says  "Certified Wildlife Habitat."   A few years ago there was a big campaign among the gardeners around here to promote natural habitats for wildlife, and since we live within a stone's throw of the recently developed Conestee  Park Preserve, we decided to jump on the bandwagon.  All the required information is available at the National Wildlife Federation .  We just had to draw a site map showing the types of plants, trees, and such that provide a natural habitat for native wildlife.
  We have added about 15 trees, including dogwoods, several maples, 3 varieties of oaks, curly willows, and of course a magnolia.     The one shady area between the shop and garden shed began with  little more than a cobblestone walk and a few hostas.  The sunny side  is filled with herbs,daisies, lilies, and ground covers of all types and features a bird house and bird bath.  Behind the trees in the back, is  the area I call the deer run.....because we see the deer back there all the time.  They often venture up to the beds and nibble the top of the young hostas and the fleshy leaves of the Asiatic  lilies.  I now "plant" any cast off extra plants along the run just so the deer can have a bite to eat.
  We see rabbits around a lot.  I am more careful about planting annuals.....they will pull them right out of the ground....and I tend to stick with a lot of perennials that self sow even if the rabbits get into them.   I planted several varieties of coneflowers....the gold finches love them as well as the honey bees.  In the fall the gold finches will sit on top of the cone and peck out the seeds.  That's why I now have lots of volunteer plants.

   About 2 years ago, we added a pondless waterfall in the back also.  It provides a good water source for a lot of the wildlife.  One hot summer days I often see the birds perched on one of the stones for a drink or bathing in the shallow area.  We have the resident frogs now....and a few garden snakes, which I try to avoid.  Even so, they are part of nature's balance.
   So, exactly how does all this relate to quilting?  I use the inspiration from our garden views in many of my  quilts.  Color combinations come from the flowers,  and textures from patterns I find in the wood and stone outside.   Check  the banner above you will see the "cobblestones"---thanks to Wanda at Exuberantcolor , the waterfalls in the bargello, and the lilies shown in applique.  I featured the garden shed in a watercolor wall hanging, and did  birds in thread painting for quilts, and Evening Serenade featured the falls and the frog.  The blooming 9 patch throw was inspired by the colors of the coneflowers and the stones around the waterfall.  I discover a  garden inspiration in almost every quilt I make.
  Our wildlife habitat fills nature's need and gives me inspiration.  I just look out the window, or walk outside.  It's an endless source to fuel my imagination.   I continually see something I want /need to capture and hold on to.  Where do you look for your inspiration source?   Look around is there.
Happy stitching.


  1. Beautiful yard, lovely flowers, pants, and trees... love your waterfall... no wonder you have wildlife hanging around...

    Happy spring!

  2. beautiful pics,lovely garden.xx

  3. Very pretty garden, Debbie. No wonder you make such lovely watercolor quilts!

  4. Debbie, you and your neighbours are an inspiration! Too often people spend their time battling the local wildlife hoping to rid their surroundings of all traces of wild flora and fauna. It sounds like you are aiming for peaceful coexistence. It warms my heart....and results in some beautiful quilts.

  5. I love the way you have taken nature & wildlife to influence your quilting. We live in an unincorporated area outside any city limits & I love all the wildlife that we have been able to attract to our home. I'll try to look for more inspiration in what we have & thank you for YOUR inspiration.

  6. I love the shots of your yard and it was fascinating to see the inspiration for the blooming nine-patch quilt.

  7. Lovely garden. We too have a certified wildlife habitat. We have an acreage, and we leave part of it unmowed. The deer like to bed down there and it's good for the ground nesting birds. A few years ago, I sowed wildflower seeds out there. Now it is a mass of color when it blooms, and it self-sows. It attracts lots of butterflies.


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