Book – worms – painting

Yesterday, I was tagged by Cate at Beyond the Fields We Know to participate in a book meme.

Quite a long while ago, I was also tagged for the same meme by Teeni at Vaguetarian Tearoom. It’s a fun and easy meme. Here are the rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

The book sitting on the top of the pile of books next to my chair is How to Draw Plants: The Techniques of Botanical Illustration, by Keith West. Here goes:

The translucent effect is achieved by the method used in adding bluish highlights to the ivy leaf. A gradated wash was applied tailing off in the outer lobes, and allowed to dry before the brighter green of translucence …

If anyone reading this feels like joining in this meme challenge, please do so!

All weekend long, I have waited eagerly for the arrival of my worms. This afternoon, they arrived, buried amid fresh bedding and dirt (see above). It was exciting to see them in action. I have done much reading on vermi-composting and I am looking forward to getting my vermi-composting operation underway.

Despite all my best efforts, I find it difficult, in winter, to keep a path open to my composting bin outdoors. This way, with the worms, I can compost year round in the house.

Worm castings are supposed to be wonderful for the garden and indoor plants. No doubt I’ll be giving periodic updates — my excitement level is too high not to be wanting to talk about my worms.

I’ve always loved earthworms – for a story of my son and his worm families, click here.

This weekend I also attended another watercolour workshop at the Regina Plant Conservatory. The picture (above) of the Primrose is from there. I am currently working on a painting of some purple tulips. Let’s hope it works out. I am hoping to spend more time at the Conservatory this week. Tulips, Hyacinths, Daffodils, Orchids, Kalanchoes and Amaryllis are blooming in abundance. With a blustery, cold day, I don’t think I could find a better place to spend time!

Happy week to everyone! Spring’s nearly here …

69 thoughts on “Book – worms – painting

  1. teeni says:

    Wow – what a beautiful primrose. That plant conservatory seems like such a blessing. I hope we will get to see your finished watercolour. Ooooh – Hyacinths – my favorite. Please do take in a long whiff of one for me if you get the chance this week! I’m also interested in learning more about how your worm composting goes. Keep us posted!

  2. Cabs says:

    Worm farming! Wonderful. I have done this in the past and was just thinking the other day that I want to get on this once again. Look forward to more wormy posts!

  3. Tracy says:

    I will be watching to see how your worms do in the house……it is something I have thought of trying. Lucky you to spend time in the conservatories, a relaxing escape from the snow. Enjoy!!

  4. Amy says:

    I would love to here more about your vermicomposting efforts. I’ve read about it in several different places and like the idea alot – partly because it’s so hard to compost in winter (like you). Our other recent problem has been bears coming into the yard in spring and fall. Last year a bear tore apart my very sturdy plastic bin. We managed to cobble it back together, but I can still see the puncture marks from teeth and claws!!My biggest concern is that I would do something wrong and kill all the worms.

  5. antoniatones says:

    Aunt C,I’m really sorry but I simply do not share your opinion about earthworms. I just hate the creatures. They’re so gross. They really freak me out. Have you got my letter yet? I’m starting a new thread! I’m going to make the name as crazy as I can so you remember to reply to it (hint, hint)!!Love,tones

  6. VP says:

    What exciting times you are having, Kate :)I haven’t got a wormery, but it always makes me smile when I open my compost bins and see loads of them there. I love the way they ‘dig’ the garden for us!Your trips to the Conservatory sound fun – a haven from the winter. I had a look at the CDP for Regina, so now I can imagine your ‘place’ when reading your blog 🙂

  7. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I love the meme Kate. I will try to get one onto my blog soon. I would love to see your watercolor. I have been splashing some color around lately too. A worm farm. ha… sounds like an interesting winter occupaiton. I tried it a few years ago and had too many little gnats develop. I read where you have to get the mix just right etc to prevent this. I am not the most meticulous person so this experiment went by the wayside. I did find that it does work.

  8. Rachel says:

    I have a worm farm, too! In fact, we spent an hour or so yesterday cleaning out the worm bins and replacing the worms in fresh bedding. I was amazed how many little tiny worms they had created.Rachel @ inBloom

  9. Green thumb says:

    Vermi-compost is wonderful for plants; in fact I do not see anything else which is so effective and also organic.Looking forward to how your compost bin fares with all that wriggling help around.

  10. Kerri says:

    I have a primrose that very same color Kate. It’s gorgeous! Your trips to the conservatory sound like heaven to me. I could use a good dose of those beautiful flowers.I’ll be very interested to see how you go with the worms. What fun!

  11. priya says:

    this is most interesting. kate i wish you could just swoop down here and give me some gardening advice. i just plant my plants, water them and add some fertilizer or Growtabs every now and then, but i really need to know more, so i think i will just look through your blog entries to find what is useful to me.what happened to your amaryllis bud that you posted earlier?

  12. nikkipolani says:

    Hope you have happy worms, Kate! Your weekend sounded terrific and such a treat to be surrounded by growing things in the middle of your white-on-white winter 🙂

  13. Cheryl says:

    Really interested in the worms, hope to see more posts on how they are doing.Beautiful picture of the Primrose.Weather here has changed again with cold winds. Yes it is spring, no it isn’t!!!

  14. albertapostcards says:

    I love that you’re going to the conservatory more and now taking a painting workshop there. For several years I have considered the red wigglers. I do compost in winter but plowing through the snow really is a chore! I don’t have a lot of newsprint but I could remedy that. I look forward to reading how your experience goes with them.Diane

  15. Dirty Knees says:

    Good for you for vermi-composting, Kate! I compost just about everything, since I’m a vegetarian. I’ve practically tunneled my way through the snow to my composters this year, though. Vermi-composting would have been a better idea!

  16. Shady Gardener says:

    I came very close to ordering worms this fall. I’ve always been intrigued by this activity. These red wigglers don’t “winter-over” here, should they ever be put outdoors. So, I’d always be keeping some going indoors. Please post on your experiences!

  17. Jon says:

    Kate, Great idea to know you have “worms working” during that cold winter weather y’all are still having up there. A few years ago I bought a bag of dried, powdered worm castings and fertilized my house plants on the sun porch with it. Fantastic results! In my yard and garden I am blessed with many huge, happy earthworms and realize how beneficial they are to the soil.As always, I loved visiting your lovely, interesting blog…such nice pics and so well-written!Best regards, Jon down in Vicksburg, Miss. at on 3-3-08….looking forward to 8-8-08, aren’t you?

  18. Kathie says:

    Congrats on the worms! I’ve been vermicomposting for about 6 years now and love it. I’m even teaching a class this Wednesday at the local community college on it. I’ll email you the handouts I created, if you’d like.

  19. Sparkling Red says:

    Ooooh, squiggly worms! I wonder if I could fit a worm composter into my little kitchen. I’ll have to look into that.

  20. Layanee says:

    I’ve thought of composing in the house so I will be waiting anxiously to hear of your experiences!

  21. rivergardenstudio says:

    Thank you so much for your lovely comments! I have posted some new winter garden photos and a new watercolor you may like to see on my blog!I have a hard time composting this winter too, the only thing I have been saving are my eggshells and I have two large cartons of them just waiting for the snow to melt! I am so excited for us all to have spring come to our gardens! Roxanne

  22. Mary says:

    A worm farm! How interesting, Kate! I hope I hear more about it. I’m into mealworms for birds but never knew about inside “worming”.I saw that book meme quite a while back. I like it. I wonder what I’ll find on my nightstand…Happy pre-Spring, Kate. Let the melting begin.Mary

  23. Rosehaven Cottage says:

    I’ve just spent the afternoon outside busting up concrete. In the process I’ve been finding so many worms and relocating them to more beneficial locations. Then I come here and find your post about your own worms! So cool!I hope you share your paintings from your watercolor workshop. I’d love to see your work.And I DID get the Tiki Room painted! :DHugs,Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

  24. Karine says:

    I love primroses!!! They are a favorite of mine. I did a whole series of watercolors of primroses once about 7 or 8 years ago. I think I sold them all, but if I find a photo of one, maybe I will post it on my blog. Or not. pet your wormies for me.

  25. Alyssa says:

    Hi Kate – Your composting sounds like a great idea. I’ve always enjoyed watching worms and we’d “rescue” them on the sidewalks after is rained when I was little. They are an interesting (and very important) creature. I can’t think of better company than beautiful flowers to spend a snowy day with. You are lucky to have the Conservatory close by. Just the smell of earth and growing things would be worth the trip!P.S. I tried to get onto that blog you suggested, but it keeps saying the blog doesn’t exist??

  26. Connie says:

    Those primroses are a sight for color starved eyes! Welcome to the world of vermi-composting! I’ve been doing it for many years. It’s a great way to dispose of your kitchen wastes and make great fertilizer at the same time.

  27. GardenAuthor says:

    Kate – Earthworms and primrose – I am truly in a spring frame of mind, now. My compost bin is now emerging from the backyard snow-pack and yours sounds like a practical idea. Vermi-composting has always seemed fascinating… look forward to your updates. And, I enjoyed the worm family saga and case of the missing glove… Deb

  28. A wildlife gardener says:

    Your worm story takes me back to the days when I had alittle wormery in my classroom to let the children see what was happening under the ground. Beaut primrose 🙂

  29. lintys says:

    worms! very cool! my daughter uses them too in her efforts to be an environmentally-responsible condo-dweller. She keeps her ‘worm crock’ on top of her refrigerator. She uses the castings on her houseplants, and in the summer on her back porch plants. She swears by the stuff!

  30. Miss Canthus says:

    Kate, its funny that your post is about worms and I am finally getting back to you regarding a comment you left in regard to my post on Worm Poop. It sad that the guy would have been sued for using similar colours to Miracle Grow. Mental note to self: buy no more Miracle Grow.Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. I have been away in Morocco and am now blogging about plants I saw there.

  31. Abby Creek Art says:

    Hello sweet Lytton’s mom! That book meme sounds fun…I might have to join in.Spring can’t come fast enough for me…sunshine and fresh air…aaahhhh.:)

  32. Entangled says:

    Worm composting seems like such a good idea, but…..I just can’t bring myself to do it.Can’t wait to see your flower paintings – you are going to post them, right?

  33. Annie in Austin says:

    The ground doesn’t freeze here so I find worms even in winter, but the vermicomposting could have been a great thing to do in an Illinois basement about 3 houses ago. Was anyone doing this 20 years ago? Kate, that paragraph from your book almost makes me want to pick up a brush and try it, and it also calls to mind your vine covered wall and how hard you worked on it last year. Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  34. No Rain says:

    Hi Kate,Interesting meme. I saw it on Cate’s site, and hoped I ran into a continuation somewhere. I usually avoid the memes–mostly because I don’t like tagging people–so your approach is great! I’m off to read the story about your son and the worm families.Aiyana

  35. Lowa says:

    I may copy your meme:)I used to be a prairie girl, but am now in the NW States. I love it here, but miss my Sask:) I attended U of R for a while. Worked at the Burger King on Albert Street. I think that was the name of the street. Been about 20 years now and I am a S’toon girl, really. I have a friend who composts year round and has been sharing her worms with people. I really must get my act together and start as well!I love your blog and will most certainly be back. Must have found you through Claire!

  36. ladyluz says:

    Ooo, Kate, how lovely to get your vermi composting on the go. I saw this first on “It’s not Easy being Green”, a BBC programme, so was pleased when we first dug this wasteland to see lots of worms. Wishing yours every success. Great book meme for book worms (that’s me) and I’ll put something on my blog about the Victorian Flower Book.

  37. Dee/reddirtramblings says:

    Loved your meme. I like earthworms too, but I didn’t succeed at vermiculture. I think I tried to fee them too much, and they got these fruit knats. Mine were in the warm garage. I know you’ll be more successful.~~Dee

  38. Marie says:

    I can’t figure out how I am going to do the picking? If you want to pick others than the ones on the one page?I am not that clever in english…I hope you understand what I am talking about :(Hug from Marie

  39. Enchanted Yarn & Fiber says:

    It is my honor to inform you that you have received the “You’re Enchanting” award! You can read about it at my blog and pick up a button for yours! 🙂

  40. Wurzerl says:

    I love this primrose. I hope my Tulips and Daffodils will bloom in April! Earthworms are a great thing for plants, congrats, good idea!Have a wonderful dayWurzerl

  41. San says:

    Kate, you’ve heightened my worm appreciation quotient. Great photo of the Earthworm Village. And the primrose is staggeringly beautiful. The book meme–been tagged, done that. It’s kinda fun.

  42. Selma says:

    My grandmother was a fond gardener in the UK and always raved about her worms. One of my fondest memories is of plunging my hands into her freshly dug flower beds that had a sweet richness to them and pulling out handfuls of wiggling worms. The earth was truly alive. She used to chide me for disturbing them saying they had important work to do!

  43. Shady Gardener says:

    Kate,I really am so interested in how your worm composting goes! I’d love to hear about it. Perhaps I can start next Fall.Thanks for visiting my site. 🙂

  44. Mad Man Bamboo says:

    Kate,We are trying a vermi-composter at work for a class we are putting on (Composting 101). The company I ordered from sent the worms first and am waiting for the composter. Doh! They are hanging out in their box of moist dirt. I think they will be fine. Our composter has a tap at the bottom for “compost tea.” I’m going to buy a kit for home as well as soon as I get the composter for work going.Please share how it goes.Sean

  45. chigiy at Gardeners Anonymous says:

    Hi Kate,I like the picture of your worms. They look so clean and happy. I do vermi-composting. I do it all wrong. My worms seem to thrive but they’re more like ghetto worms. They live outside in a composter I’ve had for six years. They are overcrowded, overfed, underfed. There are other creatures sharing their composter. It’s kind of like the projects.I don’t think I’ve ever put bedding in their composter.I started a post about a year ago about worm abuse. I should probably finish it.Enjoy.

  46. John-Michael says:

    How Dad did enjoy his worm-beds. Much happy fishing and thriving plants all ’round.I am so pleased that I saw you on Cicero Sings … this is also a lovely respite for my spirit.

  47. Yolanda Elizabet says:

    Excellent idea to spend more time in the conservatory, you could do with a bit of spring. I love working in my greenhouse this time of year because when the sun is out it feels like a summer’s day in there (38 C).Cute little Primrose!Keep us posted about your earthworms, I – for one – am very interested to read how you fare.Have a lovely weekend!

  48. Ki says:

    I’m surprised your worms didn’t freeze in transit. Are these special worms or can you just dig them up from the ground? When it rains heavily here, there are tons of earthworms littering the sidewalk and driveway. I’m always trying to pick them up and toss them back into the grass and planting beds but it’s an act in futility as there are thousands more all over the neighborhood. Makes it tough to walk w/o squishing them. It would be great to collect them for an indoor compost bin.

  49. Curtis says:

    Worm composting. I would also like to hear more about it and how it goes. You are a very skillful artist and Gardener Kate!

  50. Ookami Snow says:

    you should try selective breeding to maximize some characteristic… like trying to make the fattest one possible.

  51. aria says:

    hi kate! ooh spring must be so pretty there, i cant wait to see all the little buds sprouting fro your gardens.

  52. Pam says:

    Those worms look quite fun – and reminded me of a huge ‘vat ‘o worms’ that a friend who moved to me and I accidentally (truly) fried on a hot day. I felt terribly. Fortunately, my garden is filled with earthworms – lots and lots of them – although I’ve thought it would be nice to do some similarly. Our problem really is the heat – you’ve got to keep them in a cool place.

  53. lettuce says:

    lovely lovely flowers – i’m so enjoying the beginnings of spring here in london.i’ll be interested to hear about the worms, i’ve thought of getting some myself….

  54. byrningbunny says:

    I’ll be very interested in your worm venture. We tried to keep the compost going this year, but it was generously plowed over! We keep trying.

  55. Cicero Sings says:

    How are the wriggly worms doing? I’ve thought of doing this but thought, oh, too messy. During the winter, we pop our compost into black garbage pails that have holes drilled in them. One full garbage pail since freeze up.I’ve tagged you in a meme … to come up with a 6 word memoir.

  56. VP says:

    Hi Kate – hope you had a great weekend!I spotted there’s another Regina Garden Blogger on Blotanical today. You may get a blogging buddy after all…

  57. ferne says:

    We have added your wonderful site to our blog roll so that we can visit you often. We also keep a worm bin on our deck only we occasionally use the worms for fishing.Happy Spring!

  58. byrningbunny says:

    Hi again. We’re you surprised because you weren’t more liberal? I was a little surprised that I only garnered 60%! I think my wubby must be rubbing off on me.I’m glad you enjoyed the story of the tenacious tomato! Happy Monday!

  59. Gardengirl says:

    We began composting last summer. I don’t know why we waited so long since we moved into this house 5 years ago. I’m not sure though that I know what vermi-composting is. Is it the use of the worms? I will watch your blog for updates on this topic.I just started to take watercolor classes. So far most of what I have painted is a disaster but I am determined to learn the proper techniques. I find it very relaxing and I notice more detail in everything around me. Loved this post!!!

  60. Di DeCaire says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and adding me to your list. Hope your tulip painting turns out well and that you post a photo of it.

  61. Christina says:

    I have been tempted to try composting with worms, and this post provides even more impetus. Your class at the conservatory sounds wonderful–I’m envious!

  62. Megan P says:

    Wow Kate – I’ve not visited for way too long, so much snow still, it looks magical. I would love to bury my hands in it. As always I love to read about your world. I hope all is well in it.Meganxo

  63. Gotta Garden says:

    Oh Kate, look at all the blog friends you have! Wow! I can’t wait to hear more about this worm business stuff! It’s interesting to me but I confess a bit of…fear?…something… regarding them, so you’ll have to keep us posted. Glad you’re spending time at the Plant Conservatory…it must be a wonderful thing while things are cold out. Take care now.

  64. Robin's Nesting Place says:

    Kate, I hope things are well with you. I noticed that you left Blotanical and haven’t recently posted. I just wanted you to know that you are missed.

  65. VP says:

    Hi Kate,I see you’re not on Blotanical anymore and haven’t posted for a while. I hope everything’s OK? You’re missed around here…

  66. Magic Cochin says:

    Hi there Kate – what a varied post … literature, worms and watercolours … that made me smile!All the bestCelia

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