Designing with Colorado Wildflowers

I decided to treat myself to a little nostalgia while designing with Colorado wildflowers. They are so beautiful and vibrant, so joyous…

“Look how the wild flowers grow: they don’t work or make clothes for themselves. But I tell you that not even King Solomon with all his wealth had clothes as beautiful as one of these flowers.”

Luke 12:27 Good News Translation
Indian paintbrush--Colorado wildflowers

Indian paintbrush–native Colorado wildflowers

The foundation for this artwork began in Colorado…back in 2012.

Really–it probably started back in 1997 when we first moved to Colorado, but–who’s counting?

I’m a bit of a nomad. So far in my lifetime, I have lived in Iowa, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Carolina, Colorado, and now, finally, Nebraska.

Is there anywhere that you’ve lived, that you’ve fallen in love with everything about the place–or just about everything?

Our family really enjoyed so many things about our time in Colorado. We loved going up in the mountains on day trips. We loved taking field trips to different locales around Colorado Springs with our kids for educational purposes. The Paint Mines, the Museum of Mines, the Florissant Fossil Beds and especially the quarry next door to the fossil beds. Aspen, Woodland Park, the Denver Zoo, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Cañon City for fossils from the dirt bike track, and the fossilized animal footprints on the ridge, also the Royal Gorge. So many neat things to do, so many parks and recreation areas, so–little time as it turned out.

I missed the lush green landscape of the tropics and the general green-ness of South Carolina, but I still fell in love with the wildflowers of Colorado: the sunflowers, tiny little daisies, penstemon, columbine, and–in late summer, Indian paintbrush, if we were lucky to find it–

We moved away in 2009.

Penstemon - native Colorado wildflowers

Penstemon – native Colorado wildflowers

Every so often since moving away from Colorado, we’ve returned to see our friends there (whom we miss very much as well) and enjoy being there again.

We made one of those trips during monsoon season in 2012 when moisture was plenty and the high prairie was in full bloom. Our friends took us to a local park with a lake and a walking trail, and I brought my camera.

The day was perfect: a light breeze, some sun, just enough cloud cover moving in to keep the day cooler.

We had so much fun! The kids played together, running ahead, doing their own thing. They had really missed each other. My friend and I walked the trail, talking, laughing, sharing–and every chance I got, I took a photo of another wildflower. There were so many…

This week, I’ve been sorting my photo files again, organizing them. I have so very many now that the images I want tend to get lost in the shuffle. In the middle of sorting my photos, my mentor called and asked me what I had for her that could be put into an ad for Spanish Peaks. And I thought “Colorado…” and then I thought, “wildflowers!” Of course… And I began designing with Colorado wildflowers.

These beautiful flowers never last long, even in the wild. Once monsoon season is over, the moisture that sustains them evaporates, and the landscape rapidly turns brown and dry.

bindweed aka native morning glory--designing with Colorado wildflowers is so easy when they're so lovely

bindweed aka native morning glory–designing with Colorado wildflowers is so easy when they’re so lovely

We don’t pick the wildflowers in Colorado. They wilt too quickly. We leave them in place to set seed for the next summer monsoon season so there will be an abundance of color that comes around once again.

Would you like to hear something funny? Do you know what this flower is (see photo at left)? If I call it a native morning glory, do you know what it really is?

I posted about this flower on Facebook yesterday, and–no one got the joke! Shh–don’t tell them. But this is bindweed!

Oh, such a pretty flower on such an annoying weed if it gets into your garden. But out on the high plains, it’s just another wildflower, and so lovely. This particular variety is pink, but I’ve seen bindweed in various shades of lavender and purple too.

I added the bindweed to a heart to embellish my wildflower designs because Colorado is kind of like that bindweed: it wraps itself around your heart and won’t let go.

Would you like to see some of the designs I’ve made with these beauties?

Designing with Colorado Wildflowers is a joy:

Colorado Wildflowers collection - click here to shop

 

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