Open Windows

I just got back from a wonderful trip to California to visit my family. I'm thankful to have my sisters and mom as best friends. I wish we lived closer, but once I moved from California to Oregon I knew I could never go back; I love to garden and enjoy the outdoors too much! It was 90 degrees in northern California yesterday and, unfortunately, the grass there is already starting to turn brown. Where I grew up, it can easily hit the triple digits in a few short weeks and stay that way until October!
Back home, I was happy to see Glen had put up the hammock while I was gone. This is his little corner of the world some summer afternoons if he gets a break.
One of the many grassy trails on our property
Our spring through autumn is "open window" weather. It's a joy to paint in my perennial garden in the summer while birds serenade me all day instead of hide from the heat. If work takes me indoors, I enjoy tending the garden or walking in our groves of evergreens afterward. For me, there is no other place I'd rather live than here in the northwest hills of Oregon. I never knew spring, summer and autumn could be such beautiful seasons while I was growing up!
Wisteria on our master bedroom patio fence. It has a flush of bloom now,
but continues to bloom sporadically all summer. Our bedroom smells
heavenly each evening with wisteria and jasmine blossoms all summer.
I moved to Oregon over 25 years ago to take a management engineering position on the coast. We took vacations here each year when I was young. When I took a walk this morning I thought how truly blessed I am to live where most people only dream about or take vacation to. People come from around the world to see this area of Oregon in the heart of some of the best wine country in the nation that is only an hour from the ocean on one side, the cascade mountain range on the other (the US ski team practices at Mt. Hood!) and the mighty Columbia River Gorge to the northeast. Our countryside is perennially green with many rivers, rolling hills dotted with wineries, nursery farms (nursery plants are the #1 cash crop of Oregon) and stands of  towering evergreens.

A corner nook in my sunroom with windows open 7 months of the year.
I paint what I love, which is the nature around me. Most every painting is of scenes right outside my house, or sometimes inside, such as this orchid.
Painting of my orchids
 I love that I can have windows open and enjoy nature just outside my door for seven months out of the year (April through October!) I will not live long enough to paint the beauty in the gardens that surround me. 
Our stone-paved private patio off the master bedroom with fountains and a little pond,
weeping lace-leaf Japanese Maples, topiaries and various perrenial flowers.
We went to a gorgeous nursery while visiting my family in Sacramento.(I plan to blog that next) There were a lot of Japanese Maples at the nursery. As my sisters contemplated how they could grow them in their hot and arid environment, I thought to myself how lucky I am to have so many that thrive on our little farmstead here in Oregon. Japanese Maples are grown in huge nursery fields within ten miles of where I live, then dug up and put in containers to be shipped to other nurseries around the country such as the one we visited. I won't take these pretties for granted anymore after I saw the price they wanted down in California. We have many large maples on our property that cost over $1,000 each at that nursery!
Japanese Maples around our large koi pond and waterfall. This is the view
from my art studio.
We have 22 Japanese Maples scattered throughout our land. There are 20 different varieties; some with coral bark, some with variegated leaves, lace leaves and weeping, shades of bright green, purple and some leaves tinged in pink. They are pretty year-round, with nice structure in winter (especially our coral bark maples,) dappled shade in summer and spectacular color in fall.

I find our little farmstead enchanting.
My home is decorated "French Farmstyle" in green and white with
touches of red. I find it relaxing and cheery and it coordinates with
the scenes outside our  many french doors.
 I am never without fresh flowers in the rooms!
I hope that, wherever you call home, it is your place of enchantment, too.


Katie M said...

I visited your area two years ago and it is heaven on earth!

MJM said...

No wonder your art is so pretty. We are having snow today, yuck. Thank you for sharing your wonderful place with us on your blog.

Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing your paintings is beautiful. i would like to see more pictures of your home.

MaryJH said...

yes, more pictures of your decorating, please :-)

Jackie from Chico said...

Wish I was there. I think it's going to be another hot summer here in Chico. I look forwrd to visiting Oregon this summer.

Nancy E. Mink said...

Hi Jackie...I grew up in Oroville! Hope your trip to Oregon is nice.

Nancy E. Mink said...

Thank you all for your nice comments. I will try to blog about the inside of the house some day soon; maybe after gardening season in November when it's cozy inside and frost is on the pumpkin outside.