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April in New York…The Reservoir Cherries, the Gugg and the Met ….or April in Paris……mmmmm?


A Perfect place to see Spring Anew in NY is the Reservoir and the Guggenheim….


Spring has finally Sprung in New York… Bare Trees are Srpouting their new Green and Cherries are glowing in Pink. Such a Late Spring!…. The Panoramic Reservoir is barely “New Fuzzy Green”


5 pm on Saturday April 26, a lone runner is silhouetted with bare trees at the 96th Street Reservoir Entrance.


You can still see the Guggenheim, not yet Hidden by the New Green Leaves….


But the Reservoir Cherries come first of course.


Lush Pinks set against lush shadows in the late day sun….


A Carpet of Pink Petals


The Cherries find their way to the big Vases of Bouquets gracing the Great Hall of the Met under the Skylighted Dome


It’s a pleasure to get information….about the Carpeaux Show which is amazing!!! The Sculptor’s craft is incredible.


Look UP!


But back to the Daffs at the Reservoir!


They frame the Guggenheim so daftly!


The Lines were back to Madison Avenue to see the Gugg for free on Saturday nights! The Futurism Show is there thill August but I missed the Carrie Mae Weems Photography Show (until May 14)….I was trying to all the art exhibitions I was going to miss in May and June!


I’m just saying Good’Bye to New York and I’ve flown the NY coop to Paris for 2 months to Paint the Gardens of Paris while staying at, an artist residency in Marnay-sur-Seine. I’m in Paris now just remarking at how GREEN everything is… Their Spring is more advanced with trees of “Full Green.”  April in NY???  or April in Paris!???? I will take both! I’m in time in Paris for the 2 last days of April…..Better late than never for “April in Paris!”

A New York Christmas! Empire State Building Lights UP Bryant Park’s Winter Village’s Holiday Shops


On a Rainy Day and Night, the Glistening Eternal Beacon of New York
— the Empire State Building —


Peeks through Buildings and….


Lights the 42nd Street Bryant Park Holiday Shops and Shoppers.


Shops open until January 7 make a cozy setting of Christmas Cheer around the Skating Rink….

and City Skyscrapers….


and Bryant Park Christmas Tree….


Is there a point in noting the “Christmas Tree in the Sky” similarity?
…..That’s the point!


Light Shows are at 7 pm.


Even More Beautiful in the misty rainy cloudy fog…..


A New “Beautiful” Shines on in the Gorgeous Lighting Extravaganzas that Crown
our city in the show called  “A Christmas in New York”  On with the Show!

Dashing Events at Wolffer’s and Marder’s for the Hampton Holidays!


This year Sue Calden, Event Director at Wolffer’s Estates Vineyards, Bridgehampton, asked me to do a Holiday Wreath for the “Fighting Chance” Charity which raises funds to fight cancer at Wolffer’s annual Christmas event “Lighting the Vines” on Dec. 7…. I came up with a “Daisy Chain” Wreath to mirror our “Human Chain” which pulls together to fight for good causes….. The Designers and Artists who contributed their talents made amazing creations and the festive mood “LIT UP” the whole night! Some memorable moments:


The Vineyards are bare in December but gorgeous in the Winter Late Day Rays of Sun !


The magic arrives with flick of a switch to “Light the Vines!”


Everyone examines the Designer Wreaths and Trees and places  Bids…


Creativity abounds….


We created our work in the afternoon at Wolffers… Wine Corks Decorate this tree by Wolffers!


And Small Paintings of the Vineyard are ornaments for this tree! Brilliant! A great Evening Event for “Fighting Chance”!


Party Celebration, Wolffer’s Wines, Creativity, A Great Cause, Lighting the Vines!  Perfect!


Christmas in the Hamptons is Festive everywhere! Here’s Marder’s Nursery and Gift Shop “Barn” in the Late Summer with Dahlias in the plenty!   Transformed….


into a Glittering Christmas Gift Shop…..a Santa Workshop for the Gardener Gift Lover…..


The Color Harmony is special, Green, Purples, Reds…. a Creative Christmas color scheme… not the usual “only” greens & reds.


Gorgeous Books !






A Virtual Fireplace…. on a Video Screen!


More Books!


Whirls of Color!


Look Up! Large Green-lit Ornament “Balls”!


A “Hippie” Christmas…. “Peace Signs” 1960s-style is always in style….


Personal Care and Home Gifts…. Pamper someone!


A Trip to Marder’s at Christmas feels like a voyage to a Beautiful timeless place… one residing in  “THE IMAGINATION”





GARDEN GREETINGS for a Merry Christmas 2013 from
Lois and GardenSpirits !!
Have a Beautiful Holiday!!

The Secret of Kiku: Mum’s the word at the NY Botanical Garden’s Chrysanthemum Show and Say Good-bye to Pumpkins and Halloween

NY Botanical Garden Kiku Show

Kiku, the Japanese Chrysanthemum Show at the New York Botanical Garden, which ended Oct. 27 and coincided with their Haunted Halloween Parade Walk Celebrations, lives on in these photos! It’s an amazing show of Chrysanthemum Horticultural Design.

NY Botanical Garden Kiku Show

Spider Mums Line Up!

NY Botantical Garden Kiku Show Art

Spider Mums just in Time for Halloween!

NY Botanical Garden Kiku Show

The Fall Show Signage… Here’s a Tour of the Show!

NY Botanical Garden Kiku Show

Topiary Feats of Horticulture!

NY Botanical Garden Kiku Show

These 200 Chrysanthemum Flowers are all forced into the umbrella design and grow from One Stem!!!!!!!!

Behind are Cascading “Waterfalls” of Chrysanthemums!

NY Botanical Garden Kiku Show

This is amazing!

NY Botanical Garden Kiku Show

Umbrella Domes!

NY Botanical Garden Kiku Show

Dome after Dome after Dome….

NY Botanical Garden Kiku Show

These Cascades are Designed and Trained in the Greenhouse. Some of them have support for the weight and some fall naturally!

NY Botanical Garden Kiku Show

Amazing images of Floral Waterfalls!

NY Botanical Garden Kiku Show

And Topiary Tree-shaped Chrysanthemum Plants previewing Evergreen Xmas Trees!

NY Botanical Garden Kiku Show

And Chrysanthemum Bridges over the reflecting pool under the Conservatory Glass Dome! Thank you Japanese Kiku!

NY Botanical Garden Kiku Show- Arcimboldo

But on top of that, though not much can top KIKU, is an outdoor sculpture display of the 3-D translations of “The Four Sseasons,” the art of the eternally entertaining artist Arcimboldo, a 16th c. Mannerist artist commonly known to grade school art students as “The Fruit Man!,” who created portraits for his patrons using the “Surrealist” quality of juxtaposing 2 different ideas together to create “Befuddlement,” a Human Botanical Man! Perhaps Arcimboldo was the 1st Surrealist but it is due to the 20th c. Surrealists who “rediscovered” him, dusted him off and brought him into his current worldwide recognition….  This display is on through the winter at NYBG.

NY Botanical Garden Kiku Show - Arcimboldo

This is the Fall Season Man, a man made of the Fall Harvest….The “Arcimboldo Effect” is in full mode as Philip Haas creates sculpture and photographers use real fruit to interpret his work… Arcimboldo’s Effect Ripples out everywhere! Everyone loves Arcimboldo

NY Botanical Garden Kiku Show - Arcimboldo

And here come’s Winter Man! See all the Seasons at the NYBG though the winter!

NY Botanical Garden Kiku Show

And the NYBG has been having their Halloween Parade for Kids/Adults for years…. every October Saturday night, costumes parade around the garden!

NY Botanical Garden Kiku Show

Gorgeous Huge Pumpkins to crawl onto and into !

NY Botanical Garden Kiku Show

A Pumpkin Door or window so you can crawl in!

NY Botanical Garden Kiku Show

A Welcome from the NYBG Garden Ghouls and Sprites! Do they come from a Pumpkin Patch ???!


Here’s a real Pumpkin Patch I found in Southampton!


No 2000 lb. pumpkins here but what a field day of pumpkin gathering in October was had!


Say Goodbye to Halloween and fields of Orange!

NY Botanical Garden Kiku Show

and Goodbye to NYBG’s late October Garden, beautiful still before the first frost…. Saying goodbye is sad, but don’t cry because NYBG awaits the excitement of the Holiday Train Show that comes to the Conservatory Nov 15 – mid-January 2014….. All Aboard!!!!

Chrysanthemums by Lois Bender

Some Fall Chrysanthemums as a Momento until next year!

“Picturing Central Park”: Amazing Debut Show of Artist Janet Ruttenberg at the Museum of the City of NY

Detail of Janet Ruttenberg's Painting

Janet Ruttenberg has a special vision of New York’s Central Park that is on view at the Museum of the City of New York at Fifth Ave and 101rd St. Does anyone see “L’Dejeuner sur L’herbe” by Manet here!? or “”Le Grande Jatte” by Seurat ? But it is pure contemporary Janet Ruttenberg….giving us her gift of these amazing creations of New York’s Central Park…. This is a must-see show for garden and art lovers… in fact, for everyone who loves parks and public spaces, and I hope that means everyone!

Janet Ruttenberg's Picturing Central Park

Her Fans, among them, George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company, helped this show become a reality…. Janet Ruttenberg, being dedicated to her work and process, did not seek to show her work throughout her lifetime. The art lovers of NYC made this happen. Her work is monumental in scale. Did I mention that she is 82 years old? Truly a tribute to her lifelong devotion to her creative pursuits. Hinting at Art History’s great iconic images of people in parks and gardens, her gatherings of humans and nature give art references that are submerged and re-emerge to the viewer’s delight….. “Gatherings” is a monograph book about her work and the exhibit by Pointed Leaf Press. Her rich color sensibility and draftsmanship and grand conceptualizations let you “Walk” into her reality of our Central Park’s great expanse of Sheep’s Meadow…..

Janet Ruttenberg's Sheep's Meadow I

This is where I met Janet Ruttenberg a year ago working on a large watercolor she rolled out by a large tree… She, being at one with her subject,
gazed out and observed the glowing light on Sheep Meadow!

Janet Ruttenberg's Sheep's Meadow

And when you see her work, you will see this green expanse filled to the rim with masses of the people of NYC planted into this  great lawn in a vision of humanity in harmony …. her unique vision of NY’s humanity in its paradise of Central Park…. and the paradise of art!

Terrain’s Autumn Bounty Festival and Watercolor Workshop in Westport, Oct. 5… Let’s Take a Preview Tour!


A Vertical Garden Welcomes you at this Garden Emporium and Nursery.


It’s a Garden House of extraordinary home and garden decor products that seduces you as soon as you walk through the door.


Come to the Autumn Bounty Festival on Oct. 5 next Saturday!



See the Fall Decor products…


In my Fall Watercolor Workshop at 10:30 Am – 1:30 pm at Terrain,  Paint Fall Flowers, Leaves, Gourds….


I recently visited Terrain and love their amazing and wide array of fabulous classes for their Home Decor,  Garden and Food Lover customers!


Mini Container Pot Designs of Fall Foliage!


Their Barn-like Interior “Glass Wall” Presentation is Extraordinary, placing art, furniture and garden plants side by side!


I want one!


“Garden Rooms” of Exquisite Ideas and Products!


Areas to learn the craft of Terrariums, or learning the ABCs of Horticulture and Gardening….


If Terrain has selected a product, it is always beautiful!


A Cafe… indoor and outdoor….. provides healthy fabulous gourmet menus!


Come to the Nursery!


 Pumpkins, Gourds, Fall Rainbow Colors!


Orange everywhere you turn!


Pumpkin Patches!




Purple Cabbages and Mums!


 Wood Stacks ready for your Fireplace!


Rows and Rows of Potted Plants ready for your garden!


Peppers and Mums…..!


A Tower of Pumpkins and Squashes Welcome You!

Terrain Shop

Come and Paint “FALL” at Terrain this coming Sat. Oct. 5…. Registration is at Terrain’s Website!

GardenSpiritsNY Loves Terrain!  Come and experience Terrain!

Terrain’s “Autumn Bounty” Festival: a “Must” for Garden Lovers and Shoppers! An Inspirational Heaven! Watercolor Workshop at Terrain, Westport, Sat., Oct. 5, 10:30 AM-1:30 PM

Dahlias and Chrysanthemum Bouquet by Loid Bender

Come and Paint Chrysanthemums in Watercolor at Terrain with us !!

Terrain Shop & Garden Emporium


Join Terrain for the harvest at their Autumn Bounty Festival
featuring terrain collective!

We’re celebrating the arrival of fall with seasonal crafts, freshly-made treats, and a new collection of vintage terrain finds.

Sprout’s Workshops  Birdhouses  (10-11 AM), Backyard Bird Seed  (11:30 AM-12:30 PM)

Fall Watercolor Painting with artist Lois Bender (10:30 AM-1:30 PM)

Autumn Artifact Plantings featuring our favorite heirlooms (11 AM-1 PM)

Curated Style at Home with tips from our experts (12-2PM)

It Takes A Village* interactive art installation with Denise Bennett Minnerly (12-2PM)

Planted Pumpkins filled with fall flowers  (1-2PM)

Bluegrass Tunes in the garden all afternoon  (1-4 PM)

Fall Foliage Sun Prints*  with our leaves or yours  (12-1:30 PM)

Wall Art Inspiration for your favorite art and artifacts  (2-3 PM)

Pumpkin Carving* for kids of all ages  (2-3 PM)

Pumpkin Recipes + Marshmallow Roasting with sweet, seasonal samples  (3:30-4:30 PM)

Please register online in the Terrain Website After OCT 1 
For more details or to register for a workshop, visit

terrain in Westport  561 Post Road East  Westport, CT 06880

Fall Bouquet Mini-Sketch by Lois Bender

Come and Paint Bouquets in Watercolor at Terrain with us !!

Sandy's House and Tree in Litchfield County by Lois Bender

And Get Ready for Painting Gorgeous Autumn Leaves!

Sunflowers, Coral Roses, Anemones floral arrangment

And Sunflower Autumn Bouquets!

"Sunflower, Roses, Thistle and Anemone II"

“Sunflower, Roses, Thistles and Anemones II” 17″ x 22″ Watercolor

GardenSpiritsNY Thanks Terrain and Invites You to
their Autumn Bounty Festival wonderful All-Day Event!

Sunflower Bouquet

Fall’s here! Summer’s over too soon! Good-Byes to Summer Watercolors, Hamptons Gardens & Afternoon Teas at Bridge Gardens in Bridgehampton and Guild Hall and The Hedges Inn in East Hampton, etc.

Emily Thompson Rustic Floral...Watercolor Sketch by Lois Bender

Before we Greet September and Fall….. It’s here already!!!! We must say our good-byes to summer!!!  Greeting Fall is a Sketch of a Beautiful Rustic Bouquet by Emily Thompson and her Floral Boutique in Brooklyn of Caster Pods, Magnolia Leaves (Love the rust undersides) , Raspberries and Roses in an Early Fall Color Palette…. BUT, GOOD-BYES to a Great Summer of Painting……

Bridge Gardens' Formal Gardens

At the beautiful Bridge Gardens at 36 Mitchell Lane in Bridgehampton, educational horticultural gardens owned and managed by the Peconic Land Trust, who conserve and preserve land on the Eastern Long Island Region.  Groundskeeper Rick Bogusch is a master of gardening as we watched the gardens blossom from their slumbers in March to their glorious peaks in August and September,….. My watercolor classes blossomed too as we painted under the Pergola or in the Garden House….

Bridge Gardens

August Sunlight at the end of the day baths the garden is luminous lighting…..

Hydrangea Flower Beds

Hydrangea Floral Beds luxuriate in the Shade

Table Centerpiece of Garden Blooms

Under the Pergola, a Table Centerpiece of Garden Blooms cut from the garden….

Table Centerpiece of Garden Blooms

We painted Floral Arrangements thoughout the Spring and Summer…..

Blooms from Bridge Gardens' flower beds

Each week provided new flower centerpieces at our Friday Workshop classes…. also ready for Friday Music Nights at Bridge Gardens!

Another Angle: Blooms from Bridge Gardens' flower beds

Another Angle: Blooms from Bridge Gardens’ flower beds in a wonderful glass jar!

The Wisteria Pergola framed by the Alliums

The Wisteria Pergola framed by Red-Violet Allium beds in the beautiful Bridge Gardens!

and Then, Welcome to The Hedges Inn’s Patio and surrounding Gardens, sponsored by Guild Hall,

Watercolor Workshop GH info.

for a wonderful series of Watercolor Painting Workshops and Afternoon Tea!!!!!  I had asked Laura Perrotti, head of the “Garden as Art” Garden Tour Annual Event  by Guild Hall of East Hampton and Michelle Klein, Asso. Curator, if they would like an event of Painting in beautiful gardens with an accompanying Afternoon Tea and I was so pleased that Guild Hall and the beautiful Hedges Inn wanted to have the event, culminating in an enormous amount of success with  filled workshops!  Art and Food!….A winning combination!

Painting Lessons and Bouquets

The Bouquets, and Lessons for learning different floral types, for class sizes of up to 16 people per workshop!

Ready for Afternoon Tea on the Hedges Inn's Porch

A Perfect Setting for an Afternoon Tea and Relaxing and Focusing on your Painting…..

The Hedges Inn Tented Porch

The Tented Porch overlooks their beautiful lawn and garden, protecting us from heat, sun and rain….Perfect!

The Tented Patio at Hedges Inn

A Beautiful Porch and setting to Relax, Meditate and Paint!

The Hedges Inn Garden

The Garden of Dahlias, etc.

The Hedges Inn Garden Watercolro by Lois Bender

Watercolor Gardens!

Luscious Dalhias

A Luscious Dahlia Bouquet!

A Captivated painter at Hedges Inn

A Captivated painter at Hedges Inn!

More Bouquets and Painters

More Bouquets and Painters!

A long wonderful day' end

A Wonderful Afternoon must come to an end….

Painting Flowers at the Hedges Inn

with a rewarding collection of wonderful paintings and experiences!

The Hedges Summer Garden 1

The Hedges Summer Garden

and wonderful memories awaiting next summer….. When we hope GardenspiritsNY, Guild Hall and The Hedges Inn will collaborate again…. for more Afternoon Teas, Gardens and Watercolor Workshops!  GardenSpiritsNY Workshops in Beautiful settings will continue into the Winter….and News will come soon!

Emily Thompson Rustic Floral...Watercolor by Lois Bender

BUT, now, Let’s say Hello to September!   I’m not ready yet and I linger over the riches of Summer Memories and Photos for winter painting……Thank Heavens we have September Roses and “Rust” Magnolia Leaves— so Early Fall-ish and Beautifully Autumnal— for transitioning!!!!!!!  I want to stay in August but the train is leaving for September! Stay a little longer, Summer!



A Tribute to Jacqui Morgan, Master of Watercolor

A Tribute to Jacqui Morgan

(1939 – July 3, 2013)

Master Watercolorist and Teacher

Sadly, Jacqui passed away a month ago and as a grateful student,
I want to pay tribute to her art, her breakthrough career and friendship:


Jacqui-Morgan-Joy Of Seeing

Jacqui’s amazing talent was so grounded in her love of “seeing.”

The first time I was aware of her work was “The Joy of Seeing” poster

which was a “shoutout” for color, graphic form and invention. It spoke to me….

I started taking her classes almost 30 years ago during her Illustrator years.

Holding her own as one of the first woman illustrators gaining a reputation in the

60s and 70s was impressive…..Excelling in waterccolor techniques in the 80s and 90s,

she drew “Light” so solidly with Color, that I thought her

forms as solid as sculpture….


Jacqui Morgan Avocado Patio

Her success lies in choosing her Light -bathed forms.
They leap off the page.


Her love of texture and detail in difficult projects
gave her work heroic scale….

Jacqui Morgan Paintings from life 2000-2008

And her true love was the Nude, the human form

in its organic intertwined complexity designed against

water-flooded backgrounds of watercolor blooms….

Her technique was dramatic, loose and controlled all at once,

a product of her commitment to knowing what watercolor can do…

Looking for mastery to surprise us at the dangerous edge,

at the border of an intuitively genius success or a ruined

overworked watercolor (which she never did!).



And her teaching (at Pratt and F I T) … She wanted others to share her gifts of skill,

expression and exceptional vision through this medium she loved……….

And tributes should and will go to her for her life of commitment

and her beautiful body of work.

All of us who learned from her must feel a deep gratitude

from knowing her work and example….

seeing in her what we imagined for ourselves —

a fierce dedication to an artistic life well-lived…..

Jacqui, Thank you.  From Lois

Jacqui Morgan’s FIT Memorial Service is scheduled for

Thursday, September 19th from 5:15–6:30 pm at the Katie Murphy Amphitheatre

in the Pomerantz Center (D-Building, 27th Street at Seventh Avenue).

Floral Arrangement Drawing and Painting with Lois Bender

Heart Bouquet by Lois Bender

Watercolors at White Flower Farm, Painting in a Summer Class Paradise!

White Flower Farm Nursery, Litchfield, CT

Gardeners and Painters Love White Flower Farm’s beautiful plants, landscaping and grounds!
I wanted to paint and teach watercolor at White Flower Farm in July (6, 20, 27), combining landscapes and floral arrangements. Here’s a tour of their amazing grounds and some watercolors.

White Flower Farm Nursery

In HOT July the shade of the gorgeous beech trees looked so inviting…..


Hot, Hot, Hot! Shade, Shade, Shade!


Wonderful angles looking up at the high horizon line under the tree

White Flower Farm Nursery, Litchfield, Ct

Have a seat!

White Flower Farm Nursery, Litchfield, Ct

Garden Statuary to contemplate as you stroll by.

White Flower Farm Nursery, Litchfield, Ct

The Gift Shop and Entrance to WFF

White Flower Farm Nursery

The Floral Arrangements by Jiyl or others on staff greet you in the Gift Shop!


Small Quick sketches are  great ways to learn color blocking!


Painting Floral Arrangements…


Student Cheryl Cook’s wonderful Hydrangea watercolor!


The Famed Flower Beds!



Roses frame the landscapes along the parking areas.


The enormous and gorgeous Hostas Borders line the drives and paths.



Hot Houses are brimming with plants.



 Take your pick!



The Tuberous Begonias on Display in their Hot Houses are unbelievable.



Sheds to meander under….


When buying plants, you will spend many hours communing with the wide selection!


The ladies are deciding!


Rustic Stone Paths… The landscaping design gives this nursery a special uniqueness.


Painting Class in session

!White Flower Farm Nursery, Litchfield, Ct

Another unusual angle to paint the upward rolling lawn and the bright colors in shade. The White Flower Farm in Litchfield County is a wonderful place to paint.  In a lazy summer afternoon, take your paints and have a great time!  And buy flowers for your garden!

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