American Pokeweed is a herbaceous perennial plant in the pokeweed family growing up to 8 feet in height. It is native to the eastern United States and has significant toxicity. It has simple leaves on green to red or purplish stems and a large white taproot. The flowers are green to white, followed by purple to almost black berries which are a food source for songbirds as well as other birds and some small animals. This Pokeweed is in front of our house in the perennial garden. I grows wild in New England and this started growing and comes back every year. It is a nice looking plant that takes over the bed late in the season. This year the Tropical Storm bent it down and it took other perennials with it. This may be the last year in our garden for it in that is so large and I have to cut the staining berries off of it. Pilot Falcon fountain pen with Noodler’s Bulletproof black ink and Holbein watercolors in a Stillman and Birn sketchbook.


Rose Hips

A sure sign that summer is fading into fall. Rose Hips, are the fruit of the rose plant, that typically is red-to-orange, but ranges from dark purple to black in some species. Rose hips begin to form after successful pollination of flowers in spring or early summer, and ripen in late summer through autumn. These are from Sea Roses in Chatham, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. Rose hips are used for herbal teas, jams, syrup, beverages and some herbal medicines. They can also be eaten raw, like a berry, if care is used to avoid the hairs inside the fruit. Holbein watercolors in a Stillman and Birn Beta sketchbook.

2016-09-02 Rose Hips

Hardy Hibiscus

A watercolor sketch of the Hardy Hibiscus that is now blooming in our yard. The giant 8″  flowers usually burst out overnight and only last for a few days. They are gorgeous while they last over a couple of weeks. The Hardy Hibiscus is hybridized from wildflowers that have the largest flowers of them all, these are yard shrubs that are winter-hardy as far north as New England. The hybridized flowers originated from  the solid red species called Scarlet Rose Mallow, Texas Star, and other common names and the most famous wild species that grows wild in wetland swamps from Massachusetts to Florida. Holbein watercolors on the last page of my current Stillman and Birn sketchbook.

2016-08-28 Hibiscus


Phlox is Greek for the work “flame” and is a genus of 67 species of perennial or annual flowering plants in the family. They are found mostly in North America in diverse habitats from alpine tundra to open woodland and prairie. Some flower in spring, others in summer and fall. Flowers may be pale blue, violet, pink, bright red, or white. We have both the ground cover variety that bloom in early Spring and the tall vertical type that is blooming now as shown in the sketch. Direct to paper without lines with Holbein watercolors in a Stillman and Birn sketchbook.

2016-08-01 Flox

Lily Field

Driving along the coast from Woods Hole to Falmouth, Massachusetts, we can across an amazing field with 1,000’s of yellow and orange lilies. It was absolutely breath taking. Pilot Falcon fountain pen with Noodler’s Bulletproof black in and Holbein watercolors in a Stillman and Birn sketchbook.

2016-07-18 Lily Field