Kaaren Poole artist and dog Fiona

I live on ten beautiful acres in the northern California foothills with my sister who is also my best friend.  The beauty, peace, and occasional drama of nature and wildlife surround us.  We also enjoy our numerous animal family members – two rats, two guinea pigs, four ducks, six cats, two dogs, and a horse.  They are a constant source of love and learning, and often amusement.

When I'm not working on my art or writing, I'm in the garden. It's a large one with raised beds and it’s fenced from the deer.  The ducks have their own house in the garden.  Roses occupy most of the space, but in the past few years I've also grown a variety of perennials and a few annuals for a cutting garden. One bed is devoted to tomatoes. About five years ago we had a large arbor installed and two rambling kiwi vines grow over it creating a shady oasis.  With that addition, the garden became a destination for conversation and relaxation, and not just a place to work.

Last summer the art journaling bug bit me. Although I devote my weekday art time to my writing and illustrating, I've been squeezing art journaling into the weekends. This spread is my favorite so far. It's a combination of collage, drawing, several painting techniques, and text.

To see more of my art journaling, go to the MY ART page then select art journaling

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What's happening in the

garden -

It's spring, and all the work I put into the garden over the winter is paying off with the warming and lengthening days. 


Fiona loves to be outside with me while I'm working in the garden. Her favorite task is to lay on the driveway and keep a careful eye on the many turkeys who spend much of the day in the yard.

Last autumn I planting a whole raised bed full of daffodils. I chose 5 different kinds and planted 25 of each. They made such a beautiful display that I could see and enjoy from my kitchen window. Of the five, these are my favorites. I don't remember their name, though.

The brightest spot in the little fairy garden in a galvanized tub on my deck is this pretty pink bedding snapdragon. It's come back many years now and has developed a pretty, trailing habit. I see there are about five or six volunteer seedlings which I'll probably move somewhere else, as there really isn't room for them here.

The year's last daffodils and the year's first sweet peas are enjoying each other's company in this pretty little ceramic pot. They're sitting on an etched mirror, so I get to enjoy them twice!

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Happy Spring, everyone! I hope you have a garden to enjoy!

The lilacs have been spectacular this year. After more than twenty years they've formed a veritable lilac forest and one can smell their enchanting fragrance from 100 feet away. Their season is too short, and it always makes me sad when they fade. Then I remind myself that the progression of different flowers as the seasons unfold are one of the garden's charms.