Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Christmas Clivia


Christmas has come! 

On this holiday, Clivia bloomed in the house. This is so unexpected, so I decided that it is quite worthy to be the Christmas flower in my house.

The bright orange-yellow color of its eight buds seems to illuminate my desk where I am writing this post at the computer.

A Merry Christmas!


Wonderful singing 'O Holy night'

Sunday, December 18, 2022

“Winter Time” by Robert Louis Stevenson

Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding-cake.

There is one week left until Christmas. I love this warm holiday in the cold winter.


Poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer.  He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, died in 1894 aged 44, on Vailima, Samoa Islands. This rhyming poetry sounds like a classic winter tale.
Paintings by Nadezda

Thursday, December 8, 2022

St. John's Church, Helsinki, Finland

In October I was in Helsinki, Finland. As I was walking down the street, this monumental building caught my attention. Its high spires were painted green and harmonized beautifully with the yellowing foliage of the park around the church. I liked this beautiful church and was interested in its history, so took pictures to show you.

I found out that St. John's church is the largest stone church in Finland by seating capacity. The church was built between 1888 and 1891, the third Lutheran church in Helsinki, and still the biggest.

The church stands on a hill that for many centuries had been a place for Midsummer bonfires. The church was designed by the Swedish architect Melander in the Gothic Revival style. St John’s Church was built with a central nave and two aisles.



The church was last renovated before its centennial in 1991. At that time the basement of the church was redesigned as a crypt.


The twin towers are 74 meters in height, and the church seats 2,600 people, it has excellent acoustics, and it is therefore used for big concerts and events as well as services.


Next to the main entrance of the church is a statue of John the Baptist, installed in 2003. 

I hope you also liked this architectural structure.


Here is my video: sea foam 


All the best!


Tuesday, November 29, 2022

The New Guinea Impatiens


Cold winds blow through the streets, and the evenings are getting darker and darker. I remember warm, even hot days and I want to tell and show you my bright plant. This is the New Guinean impatiens.



During summer months in a sunny spot in my garden, New Guinea Impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri) bloomed. Like its shade-loving common impatiens, the New Guinea impatiens forms small clusters of foliage with colorful blooming flowers.


I like that the New Guinea impatiens don't require much maintenance. These flowers will continue to show their colors with enough sun and water and minimal care. 


Unfortunately, Impatiens do not tolerate dry air in the house in winter and often die. Therefore, in the spring I sow their seeds to grow in the garden. 

Here is my video about Stockholm gardens:



Stay well, all the best.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Atlas guide to birds for schoolchildren

 Now the work in the garden is over. I clean up the house, including the bookcase. In the summer, there is no time to do cleaning for everyday affairs, and now is the right time.
I love digging into books. Much has been read and much has been successfully forgotten. In the past, books had to be looked for in shops to buy. Often there was a queue in front of the shop door. But those days are over. This month, the renovated House of Books on the central Nevsky Avenue opens in St. Petersburg.

But I digress. So, "Atlas guide to birds for schoolchildren" fell into my hands. When I read  David M. Gascoigne's blog, I'm always amazed at how many varieties of birds there are and how little I know about them.


For example about ducks. It turns out that there is a gray duck (Anas strepera) 44,  pintail (Anas acuta) 46, teal terskun (Anas querquedula) 47, shoveler (Anas clypeata) 48 and other ducks (see photo). All of them inhabit the reservoirs of the tundra, Siberia, taiga, everywhere except the Far North. Duck nests are built on the ground. Beautiful, brightly colored ducks.


Or sparrows. It seemed to me that I knew them all, I see them every day, I feed them with seeds. They are not at all afraid of people. There is a black-breasted sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis) 413, a tree sparrow (Passer montanus) 414, a snow sparrow (Montifringilla nivalis) 415, a house sparrow (Passer domesticus). They inhabit most of the country, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Altai. They differ in the color of the head, a spot on the cheek or on the throat (see photo)


Starlings and jays are regular guests in my garden. They are always busy looking for food: worms, insects, caterpillars, clean the garden from pests. Here is the gray starling (Sturnus cineraceus)418, myna (Acridotheres tristis) 419, oriole (Oriolus oriolus)420, jay ( Garrulus glandarius) 421, kuksha (Perisoreus infaustus) 422, (see photo). These birds are migratory, we live in broad-leaved forests and groves, in the European part to the Kuril Islands. They nest in trees. I must admit that I have never seen and do not know the Oriole and the Kuksha.



The author of the book is Vladimir Khrabriy, the book was released in 1988. Beautiful color illustrations are made by a group of artists. Although this atlas is intended for schoolchildren, I think many older people like me can learn a lot from it. All the best.

Video of the birds I painted, with birds sounds.



Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Preparation For Storing Plants

 The summer season ends and preparations for storing plants for winter begin. In the north, many plants cannot survive the winter if they were left in the soil or even just in a greenhouse. For example, Dahlias, Callas and Cannes.

I have a bad experience with storing canna roots. I left them in the greenhouse, wrapped in a special cloth. Despite this, when it was -20 C, they froze and in the spring I threw them away. Cannes were beautiful, with bright red flowers and striped leaves.
Since then, I do not want to risk losing the plants. This summer, the dahlias bloomed beautifully and the bushes grew strongly. When I dug up dahlia bushes, I saw that large thick roots appeared. Of course, I want to keep them during the winter period.


There are many ways to store roots. For example, put them in the basement, cover the roots with wax, put them in a cool place in sphagnum moss.
This last one works for me. I have a lot of sphagnum moss and have a cool place. Therefore, in October, I decided to dry the roots well, clean them from the ground and put them in a box with moss in a cool place. Of course, I need to check the condition of the roots from time to time and moisten the moss so that the roots do not dry out.

Do you store plants during the winter? What methods do you use?


My videos: my watercolors




Monday, October 31, 2022

Water And Clouds


I always like to look at the clouds passing overhead. How do they form and where do they go? I used to think (I remembered from a school textbook on natural science) that clouds consist only of water vapor (gas). So I decided to find out what meteorologists say about clouds.


“Clouds form when there is too much water vapor in the air. The water vapor (gas) then condenses into water and the droplets are so small that they remain suspended in the air.


It is this group of small water droplets suspended in the air that becomes visible as the cloud we see.


A cloud consists of a large number of drops. If it passed over the lake, then there is more water vapor in the air, and it forms a large cloud".

Do you like to watch passing clouds? What thoughts do you have when looking at them?
These photos helped me learn more about the nature of clouds.


Sunday, October 23, 2022

October In Red And Yellow


by Elsie N. Brady

How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,



Beneath the trees without a care,
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun.

At other times, they wildly fly
Until they nearly reach the sky.
Twisting, turning through the air


Till all the trees stand stark and bare.
Exhausted, drop to earth below
To wait, like children, for the snow.



Elsie N Brady was born on July 19, 1904. She died on September 15, 1990 at 86 years of age.  Elsie N Brady had been residing in Hackensack, Bergen County, New Jersey.

Hope you like this poem. 

Stay well and safety.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Warm Autumn

It is believed that in our Northern latitudes summer ends when the school year begins, on September 1st. And according to the astronomical calendar, the day of the autumnal equinox is considered the beginning of autumn, that is September 23rd. 
It seems that autumn here began to adhere to the astronomical calendar. I can imagine how students want the start of the school year to be later than now.

What is growing, ripening and blooming in my garden these warm fall days? Here they are.
The autumn look give special flowers such as Sedum, Ligularia, Erodion, Nasturtium.

Viburnum red berries are ripening. Green apples are still hanging on the  tree. They are hard and still sour because it is a late autumn variety 'Antonovka'.

Gooseberry berries hang down to the ground. They are ripe for a long time, I do not like to collect them - the bushes are prickly. 
Blue plums are delicious, I usually freeze them for the winter and make jam.

No one collects Actinidia berries (small kiwi), although they are very soft and juicy. Birds love them.

The last peppers and tomatoes ripen in the greenhouse.
I made 'lecho' from peppers and ketchup from tomatoes and froze some for the winter.


This summer, the plums on the tree near the house ripen late, many bad berries fall into the grass. It's a pity, because I like these plums very much. 
The lettuce is still pleasing, it is juicy and crispy.

I finish my story with a photo of Austin rose, which decided to extend the summer and opens new buds.

I wish you warm autumn and delicious fruits.