The First Flower of Spring

Skunk cabbage, aka Symplocarpus foetidus, is sometimes called the first flower of Spring. It’s not surprising that its flowers never fully emerge from their protective hoods (spathes)- because we know how cold and damp it STILL is in New England. Skunk cabbage has always been something I’ve alternately ignored or feared- especially if it’s encroaching on my gardens. It smells awful (exactly like a skunk) and lives in muck. My friend and nutritionist Alison Birks describes its habitat well in her poem: Symplocarpus Flowers in Spring– “A fetid odor wafts over tangled root masses– over dead leafy thick mats– over
Read More

Morning Glory

Photography is an art form I use as a conduit for translating my garden into home décor. As a child I immersed myself in the great outdoors and was continuously absorbed with all kinds of tactile art media like paints, crayons,pastels, clay and paper mache. Technology for art purposes
Read More

Fighting Off Cold Weather Naturally

Frigid outdoor temperatures, indoor heating, crackling fires in the hearth -these hallmarks of winter can take a toll on skin and lead to dry, cracked hands, flaky, itchy bodies and rough red faces.  Enough! You too, can beat winter dryness with a few changes to your daily routine and proper nutrition. Alison Birks is my nutritionist and sometimes I twist her arm to give me health tips. I was whining the other day about my dry hands and feet and here’s what I got…Thanks Alison!
Read More

Springtime is Around the Corner

Today was Ash Wednesday- the first day of Lent. The word “Lent” comes from the Middle English word ‘lenten” meaning Springtime.  These flowers were blooming in my Connecticut garden at the end of last Spring. Do they make you feel warmer? Yes! Like many people in the NE, we’ve been inside a lot. The wood stove’s been acting up so we shut it down until we can get it looked at -which means no more wood gathering. (Not all bad..) The stove guy is busy rescuing people with no other heat source (we have oil back-up) whose pipes have frozen.
Read More

Home Décor Trending 2016

Attending trending seminars for fashion and home décor is a little like preparing for Valentine’s Day. Growing up, we had eleven kids congregating around a dining room table overflowing with piles of valentine cards- all kinds of red,
Read More

Rooibos Winter Spice Tea

People cannot live on Paola Pillows alone- and as the days get shorter and darker, you need to take a break wherever you can get it. I’m a huge believer in the importance of surrounding yourself with multi-sensorial comforts- visual, sound, smell and gustatory pleasures…in combination. Especially during the holidays.
Read More