Happy Mothers Day

  To all the mothers, with love, from Botanical Beauties and Beasties  

Wessie - Mother and Child
Wessie- Mother and Child

Kentucky Derby – Birdelli had to go and show her hat!

Birdelli just could not resist all the glam the fashions, and of course the hats! Some folks just know how to have fun! She has had a grand time watching the horses, looking at all the other hats, and being part of an amazing tradition. She particularly loves that it is true  Beauties Beasties all around, everywhere she looks. Beautiful Humans & Animals all together.

Birdelli in her Kentucky Derby Hat
Birdelli in her Kentucky Derby Hat: Derby photo by Dan Dry click on photo for larger version

“The Founding of Churchill Downs

While traveling in England and France in 1872-1873, 26-year-old Col. M. Lewis Clark, devised the idea of a Louisville Jockey Club for conducting race meets. Clark toured and visited with a number of prominent racing leaders, including England’s Admiral Rous and France’s Vicompte Darn, vice president of the French Jockey Club.

Upon his return from Europe, Clark began development of his racetrack which would serve to showcase the Kentucky breeding industry. The track would eventually become known as “Churchill Downs.” The first reference of the name Churchill Downs came in an 1883 Kentucky Derby article reported by the former Louisville Commercial.

“The crowd in the grand stand sent out a volume of voice, and the crowd in the field took it up and carried it from boundary to boundary of Churchill Downs.”

The track was incorporated as Churchill Downs in 1937.”   http://www.kentuckyderby.com/history/period/1874-1899

Traditionally Speaking…

Over its 136-year history, the Kentucky Derby has amassed dozens of traditions that Churchill Downs’ employees, horsemen and millions of Derby fans worldwide hold dear.

From the iconic Twin Spires that overlook the track’s famous homestretch to the potent mint juleps that infuse Derby Day with “spirit,” traditions are an important part of the Derby experience.

Every year, the Kentucky Derby Nation of fans looks forward to observing these storied rituals leading up to the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports.”  http://www.kentuckyderby.com/experience/traditions

Hello to all our new friends

Booth-Table at Gardens and Green Spaces
Booth/Table at Gardens and Green Spaces

Gardens & Green Spaces – – Want to thank all out new friends we made at the show. It was delightful to meet you all and share our world of Botaniumus. All the Botanical Beauties and Beasties send out a Big Green smile, and warm welcome to one and all.

“In the land of Botaniumus lives a community of whimsy and mostly beautiful creatures. They live a wonderful life of fun and frolic. They spring forth from glorious gardens and fantastic waters. You see they originate in parts of flowers or “organics” – such as moss, a plant stem, a bit of rock surface, or coral, or the like .

The mantra of the land is environmental consciousness, eco edu., and “living green.  The other prevailing wind is kindness to all in its community.”

A special shout outs to Barb Burgess, Polly at http://www.robinhollowfarm.com (check out her flowers and plants they are gorgeous!), my good friend Bernadette, and the wonderful world of serendipity and coincidence!

Next time we are “out”  in the world is our summer jaunts to WholeFoods in Cranston, Rhode Island. We will be there on Tuesday evenings starting in June from about 3 pm until sunset(ish.) Stay tuned for more details in a few weeks.

Millinery and the Mad Hatter?

Birdelli and her Hat
Birdelli and her Hat - ready to go!

No Mad hatters here- but indeed there must be crazed Royals running about. Perhaps reading the Poem of The Jabberwock to calm their nerves?
Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe.
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

I doubt it! Alas, back to topic, or off with someone’s head (as ordered from the Queen of Hearts!)

Speaking of tomorrows Royal Wedding it impossible not to chat about Hats today. UK and Hats = Royal Gala Events. USA and Hats = Couture Kentucky Derby. Many woman of The South love their hats.  Oh, how yummy a hat can be. In the “early days” – umm I mean up to the 40’s-50’s, “ladies” would not leave home with out a hat. Today hats have had a comeback – fun, funky, silly, outrageous, spectacular, sophisticated, extreme fashion, and magnificent. Everyone can find a hat to suit them in todays fashion. It may be a fashion statement, it may be a practicality, or it may be just be for a smile, all are good reasons to don a hat. Not everyone has a chance to wear an amazing hat made special for them from a millinery. Birdelli did! She went all out to find the perfect hat for the big day, and had it “custom made.” Although she was not invited to the Royal Wedding (shocking) , as the wonderful Fashion Designer she is, she feels the need to celebrate and dress for the occasion! 

“The term “millinery” was not known until the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries when fine felt, fabric and straw hats were made in the Duchy of Milan and were known as ‘Millayne bonnets’. This is where the modern English word ‘Milliner’ comes from, as the London maker of these feminine caps and bonnets was called a ‘millianer’.

The Anglo-Saxon word for hat, Haet or haett appears to have signified the shape resembling the petasus; meaning, with crown, wide brim and easily removed from the head. Until the sixteenth century, any hat other than the ‘hood’ was a ‘cap’ in English, or a ‘bonnet’ in French. Only the Scotsman calls his cap a bonnet today. … The hat of today is really not much different to that of the 1700’s whereby it consists of a brim and/or crown. Some of the materials used today are different to those used in the past, which gives the difference in appearance, however, today’s milliners are prepared to take the craft that much further, and one Milliner, Phillip Treacy, who works out of London, leads the way with his innovative creations. Here is some of his work.” http://www.millinerytechniques.com/history-of-millinery.html

Philip Treacy creation
Philip Treacy creation

The phrase “as mad as a hatter” refers to the 19th century usage of a mercury-based compound in the making of fine hats. Due to long-term exposure, hatters would often develop symptoms of mercury poisoning, such as tremors or mood-swings, that would make them appear “mad” to others.” Luckily I believe todays hat makers have a better time of it all.

Tarrant Hightopp, The Mad Hatter, Hatta, Hatter
Tarrant Hightopp, The Mad Hatter, Hatta, Hatter

Catch Me if You Can

Sat. April 30 8:15-4pm
Looking for Weekend plans? Will you be in S. County R.I?
Join the fun at RI Garden Symposium, “Gardens & Green Spaces” Browse the Gardeners’ Marketplace-Botanicals Beauties and Beasties will be there. 
There will be something for everyone in the Gardeners’ Marketplace!
 Where? At the Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences
University of Rhode Island – Kingston, R.I. (register to go and get a $5.00 off coupon to use in the Marketplace)    More info:
click for website     Visit the show or just visit the marketplace.

On to other types of Marketing….

Birdelli “Vogued” in the window – Catch her if you can!
Birdelli “Vogued” in the window – Catch her if you can!

Birdelli is having a grand time in her “Fashion Week” – she snuck into one of Bergdorfs Windows , they are having a cross PR window. Clever.” Harkening back to an era when travel was more chic than chore, our Fifth Avenue windows invite you to enter the fantastical world of Frank Abagnale Jr. as he flees from the FBI in Broadway’s newest hit musical Catch Me if You Can. “ (http://blog.bergdorfgoodman.com/windows/catch-me-windows )  Well, Birdelli took that to heart; dressed her self up (all from Bergdorf’s of course) and “Vogued” in the window – Catch her if you can!

wonderful  French Market Bag
A wonderful French Market Bag

A shout out to Art by KarenaBlog- to honor her followers and Springtime she is running a FAB contest for a beautiful French Market Bag and Woven Sun Hat! Head on over and check it out, it’s well worth your time.

The Botanicals Meet April friends & the Easter Bunny sneaks in.

The Botanicals Meet April friends & the Easter Bunny sneaks in.

The Gang meets April Friends
The Gang meets April Friends including the Easter Bunny

Yesterday was Earth Day – April 22, 1970, more than 20 million people across the U.S. are estimated to have participated in that first Earth Day.41 years later and  41st Earth Day Exceeds 100 Million Acts! The achievement puts Earth Day Network’s Billion Acts of Green campaign well on the road to success for delivering a billion Acts to world leaders at the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to spur action against climate change. It is a fitting new chapter to Earth Day’s historic legacy of inspiring ordinary people to take action against Earth crises.

This blog, these postings, these creatures, this effort is from my heart and soul – this is my  ”commitment to educate friends and family on global warming and to hopefully buy green products such as energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).” I hope you find your passion for the Eco and Earth as well. http://botanicalbeautiesbeasties.com/main/

Gardening for beginners and the magic of gardening.

If your neighbor’s garden has you green with envy, it’s time to dig in and play dirty by planting your own garden. Celebrate the Earth, after all Earth Day is tomorrow!

“If spring has sprung and you’ve just decided to plant a garden, start with the small ready-to-go plants at the store and look forward to the joy of starting your own seeds for next season.

One of the biggest decisions you’ll make is where to plant your garden. Choose a spot with sun and shade, and away from tree roots and large bushes. Once the area is defined and the soil is fertilized and loose, you can draw lines to mark off where each item will be planted. Use the stick and string method to help you keep straight lines and an organized well-kept garden. Root vegetables grow nicely in rows; other veggies, fruits and herbs can be contained in square spaces.” mother nature network – check her out- tons of great stuff!  The above is from

We here at The Botanical Beauties and Beasties garden are focusing on Herbs this year. We love containers for what we have is a deck, a bit of soil area, and some windows. No big yard here to grown on/in/from.

Today myself, and the Beauties, decided we would talk about the magic of gardening. Besides the little elfin like Beautie who has shown up each day this week, there is much more magic in gardens to be discovered. Being in the Boston region, I have decided to use a quote form John Quincy Adams. “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.”

I doubt he wrote this about gardens but it does epitomize the magic! When you garden, you get to use all parts of your body, brain and soul. That alone is like magic.  The body part: Obviously  it can be hard work and you may indeed you may have tried and soar muscles from the prep and the planting. The brain part: What fun to sit and dream in the winter what your garden will be, the cliché of looking at garden catalogues and seed packages! The brain makes up the plan, the brain makes up the dream of all the good things to come from your garden no matter how big or small it may be.  The soul:  Beauty of a flower, the satisfactions of your crops, the sheer simple joy of a single bloom – that’s soul food!   Need I point pout that a garden takes enormous patience and perseverance? I think not!  The piece you may be missing out on is: A garden, all the planning, the work, the caring and watching over, all that indeed can take over your mind and not only can the gardens difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish, but some of life’s other ones may too due to your new focus and creation.  Now, that’s Soul food X10!

Elf peeking out from the Herb of Rosemary

Earth Week and our theme of “Growing” continues

I was thinking what would be good Earth Week postings – and it came to me that it ought to be about being good to oneself and to the earth. As I thought I was somewhat astonished how much those two overlapped.  Eat Organic (when possible) and that is certainly kinder to the earth. Grown without pesticides– better for earth and all it’s inhabitants. Spring Clean chemical free – much better for the cleaner her/himself – and again, easier on the mother earth. You get the idea and point I am sure….  Those are kind of the middle things, the big things are more like Oil and Gas, the little things are more like turn off the lights when you are done. It ALL adds up to matter.  So why not just be good to both. Do what you can this week, and every week, to be kind to yourself and you may indeed be taking care of the Earth as well.

Well, in the thoughts of being good to myself … I could not resist: sunny days and  warmer temps means spring flowers and gardens to me.  As many gardeners will attest to – I just had to have some PANSIES so I could start looking at flowers! I planted them up in containers, although I must admit not in that cool idea of a wine crate from last week.  I reused planter boxes that I have, and will have for decades, for they are plastic. I would not buy them again, but since I have them – it is more wasteful not to use them, verses needlessly purchasing new ones and using more resources of any type. Funny thing – when I was all done – there was a little elf like/Jolie like Beautie standing on the Pots edge!  (Image  below)  I guess that means Jolie is our spokeswoman of the week.  In case you don’t remember- Jolie  lives in the meadow, and  is passionate about exploring and promoting herbals and their uses for medicinal means and for beauty. She runs a shop in Meadowville to serve both purposes. (Columbine (Aquilegia) http://botanicalbeautiesbeasties.com/individual-stories/

Don’t forget- the SEED CONTEST is still going! Guess the type, date it sprouts out of the peat pot, and day it is ready to go into the grown and you could win FREE GREETING CARDS from the Botanical Beauties and Beasties.  http://botanicalbeautiesbeasties.com/product-samples/   (BTW YES – The seeds were planted this weekend!) 

Pansies and Elf
Pansies and a little magic


Imagination and food – now that is always fun!

New great Restaurant in NYC  called LAUT, located in the Union Square area. The Blossoms went, well actually just Tanka went, Sakura was shopping as they were visiting NYC.  How could a girl resist!  However, Tankas meal was so good they are going back (together) soon. The reviews are amazing.  NYT states “Lurking in all the fusion in this restaurant near Union Square is some of the best Malaysian food in Manhattan.”  Address: 15 E. 17th St. (bet. B’way & 5th Ave.) Manhattan, NY 10003 (and for the local New Yorker, yes they do delivery!) (Food Photo from LAUT) Laut Website

Question? Food Porn? What?!?
Is the body  you want just a figment of your imagination? Here’s the site for you! http://www.tastespotting.com/ “Sarah Gim certainly didn’t invent food porn. But she’s perfected it.

Gim runs TasteSpotting, a virtual buffet showcasing some of the most arresting food images available online with a collection that tops 140,000 stunning photos. The majority of the 5 million clicks logged each month come from visitors who graze with their eyes and gobble up kitchen inspiration and recipes. They drool. They lose themselves in the aspiration of it all. A red beet salad adorned with chives that were sprinkled just so. A snowflake cookie with impossibly perfect pink icing. And a plump fig, torn open and lovingly captured in a photo that is so simple, so transporting that it borders on heartbreaking.” Article from the LA Times

I just picked the first image ( easter is coming up and ….) for it’s fun factor – but the site is full of  fun, funky, serious foodie images and links!  This one is from aspicyperspective.com. Recipes included!

Day 3-Whimsy Windy Wednesday and Wind Power

“Large-scale wind farms are connected to the electric power transmission network; smaller facilities are used to provide electricity to isolated locations. Utility companies increasingly buy back surplus electricity produced by small domestic turbines. Wind energy, as an alternative to fossil fuels, is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, and produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation. However, the construction of wind farms is not universally welcomed because of their visual impact but any effects on the environment are generally among the least problematic of any power source.” Definition from wikipedia

Portsmouth Company Blows Away its Electricity Bill

By FRANK CARINI/ecoRI staff — “PORTSMOUTH — With an electric bill fast approaching $100,000 a year, the U.S. Department of Energy predicting that fossil-fuel energy costs will increase 5.3 percent annually for the rest of time and federal stimulus money available for renewable-energy projects, Rick Hodges did the math. It added up to a 225-kilowatt Vestas wind turbine.

With the installation of the nearly 100-foot-high turbine expected before the end of the year, the president of the Hodges Badge Co. anticipates Rhode Island wind soon will produce nearly all of the 45,000-square-foot facility’s electricity.

Last year, the family-owned and operated business used 451,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity. Hodges said he expects the soon-to-be-installed wind turbine to produce 450,000 kilowatt-hours of power a year.” … whole article  http://eco-ri.squarespace.com/green-business/

More in New England –

Mass Megawatts Wind Power, Inc. (OTCBB: MMMW) is a leader in the development of a revolutionary wind power technology, bringing a product to the renewable energy marketplace capable of producing electricity at a cost 30% lower than other wind power equipment. Designed on a paradigm that ‘lower height, lower wind speeds and lower costs equal higher profits’, this technology puts MAT electricity generation on a competitive footing with fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas.” http://www.massmegawatts.com/

and… from points further away …
As Japan’s nuclear crisis unfolds, Europe takes a fresh look at wind

“In the search for ways of changing how the French obtain their electricity, Mr Sarkozy has turned to a source of energy that is free and in plentiful supply: wind.

Soon after being elected president in 2007, he set himself the target of changing the balance of supply so that renewable energy would provide for 23 per cent of France’s needs by 2020, with 8 per cent coming from wind turbines on land and at sea.” The whole article

Help for Japan:
Donate to the Red Cross http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ntld_main

Donate to Doctors without Boarders: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/donate/overview.cfm

Orchid Anatomy- for the flower/for the Botanical Beauties i.e. head parts!

The Love Birds just found out about an Orchid Show – Orchid Mania 2011: Purple Reign, it’s in Cleveland (a long way for them to travel) but they are excited anyways. When your head is an Orchid this is big news!  http://bit.ly/hsTrB9

They thought you might like to know a tad more about Orchids. First the flower definition, then the Botanicals definition.

“Throat – the inner portion of a tubular orchid lip, often quite colorful. Lip – the part of the flower that is almost completely divided from the rest of the flower, however, it is connected by the column. The lip is specialized to aid in pollination.”  Definitions and image from: http://bit.ly/hEjuq2

Love-Bird-AnatomyThroat – the long portion in a tubular shape, connected to the beak, often quite colorful.
Lip – the part of the  Botanical Beauties that is on the outside of the beak or mouth. The lip is specialized to form words.

(It’s Whimsy Wednesday, and so an illustration of some type appears today.)