The text and paintings on The Trowbridge Chronicles are taken from the illustrated journal of Violet Trowbridge, a shrew that once lived in a village deep in the Olympic Rain Forest. Each new post will represent a portion of Mrs. Trowbridge’s journal.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


Mrs. Fernwood lives just down the lane from Mrs. Trowbridge. She grows wild flowers and herbs in her garden, then sells them to the market in Huckleberry Hollow. On her way into the village she often stops by Mrs. T's cottage to give her a bag of Cat's Claw, which helps grandma's arthritis. I decided to post a detail from this journal page so that you could get a better look at her brush work.

The flowers growing in Mrs. Fernwood's garden include Douglas Spirea, Foxglove, and Olympic Rockmat. The Rockmat are the little white flowers growing in the window box to the right of the door. The Olympic Rockmat are endemic to the Olympic Mountains, found nowhere else on earth. I saw my first Rockmat clinging to life on the summit of Mount Townsend.

All of the flowers that you see in Mrs. Fernwood's garden can be found in the Olympic Rain Forest, except for many of the herbs that she grew, some of which were native to other areas. Can you find the Cat's Claw growing in her garden? The answer is on the home page of my web site:

Mrs. Trowbridge would spend several days at a time in the high meadows sketching wild flowers in her journal. This is a closeup that she sketched of the Olympic Rockmat. As you can see, there are not one, but many flowers growing in a dense conical cluster.

I photographed this excellent example of the Olympic Rockmat on Lillian Ridge in the Olympic Mountains. It grows in rocky areas near summits. It's always a thrill to come upon a plant such as this knowing how rare it is.


creative kismet said...

Beautiful detail! I enjoyed checking out Bron Smith Creations as well! Excellent work!

Eric Smith said...

You're crazy. This is great stuff.

gingerpixels said...

Please give my best regards to Mrs. Trowbridge. Her brush work is delicate yet colorfu. And I am so happy that Grandma can relieve a bit of her arthritis with some 'cat's claw'. Thank you for sharing this oh so special character!

cristosova said...

Dear Mrs. Trowbridge, I like your drawing very much. I also want to extend that compliment to Mrs. Fernwood, she sure has her garden in swell order. Her hat is phenomenal. You live in quite a beautiful spot on this earth. I feel I would like to come for a tea-party, but I am not sure my mom would let me considering we live a few countries away. Is the Cat's Claw really against arthritis? That may give my mom a second thought.
Yours Sally from Loontown.

The Tart said...

Mrs. is quite talented artist... love her tools!

Violet & Shamrock kisses,
The Tart

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