jude hill spirit cloth

second spring

When we moved here, this hill was hidden by fallen trees, brush and a lack of care.  This is the view from the kitchen area, near the washing machine which we will move to the basement so we can make this a sitting/eating area.  The water connection  will not cost too much, there is already plumbing down there.  The dryer, which is rarely used when it is above freezing, will be moved too but maybe not connected for now.  Some electrical work required. That can wait.

I spent all winter clearing this hill after  fallen trees were cut up and split and small growth was cleared. Some unraked leaf circles remain, I used stone to isolate them and will cover them with grass clippings and mulch during the warm months, plant bulbs before winter.  Right now they are compost piles. Some stuff has begun to regenerate. Myrtle, grasses, some wild garlic and moss.  Planning to add clover and other ground covers native to the area.  The pink dogwood is on the edge of bloom.

This is Grow Being reintroduced to season, a small open air ritual.   But safe from emerging ticks.  I do believe this will be my large cloth project for the warmer months.


Just to catch a thought, I made this quick digital sketch.   In my mind I layered the grow quilt over my recent garden redesign .  Just a soft dream but asking What if(?) the cloth just becomes a recording, in sympathy with how the garden grows.  How the season unfolds.  A little Sympathetic Evolution.  Will the garden then evolve from the cloth making as well?


  1. When I first looked at your pink dogwood photo, I thought your yard was full of wild red columbines! Probably because they are all over my yard at the moment. That tree will be glorious soon. And I love your rocks… I have rock envy. I was just thinking the other day how this yard has no rocks! I was always doing things with rocks in our Colorado yard and there were huge ones you could not move – nor should you. I always felt like part of the mountain there. So I miss my rocks. I brought one with me but have’t found the special spot for it yet. Enjoy your rocks and your hill that blocks the neighbors… I envy that as well !!! Although so far my neighbors are pretty nice.

  2. Valerianna Claff

    Beautiful spot…. a lovely plan for there. I was just thinking yesterday, as I peered out the big window behind the sofa to the mossy hill behind the house and the sweet middle-aged hemlock, that the people who lived here before must not have been focused outward as I am as there was only a high, basement like window behind the sofa. They stacked their wood there, between the house and the most extraordinary mossy hillside. It’s the best view from the house and they never looked at it. Anyway, like you moving the washing machine to be able to see this view. Some of us are focused more towards the land, I guess.

  3. Hilde

    Since you are the creator of both “patches”, cross-overs will be unavoidable and very exciting to follow. Looking forward to watch both grow.

  4. Sally jo

    I’m just pulling weeds here in Vancouver WA. Our weather has been warm and dry and rhododendrons have begun blooming, columbines have shown their beauty and California poppies are covering the hillside behind our house. Your quilt is so inspiring, and I love the idea of rocks! Composting right on the land – I love it. ❤️

  5. Jen NyBlom

    Rocks and Paths and Dogwoods and Quilts! Oh My!!
    I want to wrap Grow around me and follow those pathways up to the top rock and sing~~ “WHEEEEEEEEEeeeeeee!!”

  6. Sharon Koch

    suddenly i want to sing…”the hills are alivvvvve, with the sound of muuuuusic…” there’s joy and expectancy in that view from the kitchen. the synergy between “grow” and your mosaic garden is delightFULL!!! x

  7. Marti

    An ongoing conversation, cloth and land, rocks, trees, moss, blooming, pathways, way finding threadways…one of my most favorite ways to dye cloth was to take an old cotton cloth piece, lightly dyed in walnut, dump some of my homemade compost into the cloth, roll it up, bundle it tight and bury it deep into the earth. I wanted that communion, that contact, that conversation of earth and cloth, decomposing matter, scent of earth, marking the story. It never failed to move me deeply when I would uncover the spot, pull out the cloth, brush away the remnants of compost, earth, rock, smell that truly original earth scent, rinse it off a bit then hang it from a tree branch…the ritual of connection, cloth/land/story…

    Every where we have lived since I started dying cloth, I have marked our home time by this ritual and so it goes and so it went this morning in this new place: a piece of not walnut but acorn dyed cloth, bundled with veggie scraps, gathered leaves, twine tied and dug into a little corner of the backyard, a largely unusable space of gravel but containing a little grape vine that a previous tenant had planted…there is such poetry in finding this grapevine as we had glorious grapevines in our other home…so a connection of home already has begun, a new, yet old, on-going conversation in this ritual of homecoming, cloth, compost and dirt…

    • Marti

      And although this may not be the place for it, I simply could not let today go by without commenting on yesterday: the path toward acknowledgement that we have just begun to be held accountable, that we have just now entered the beginning of the long road to equality, to recognition that we are all each others brothers and sisters, that the trees, the dirt, the moss, the blooming flowers, the rocks, belong to ALL of us…the connection to the land echoes the connection to each other…

  8. how garden and cloth will likely become so entwined that the question “which came first, the garden or the cloth?” will be unanswerable

    and thinking the rock path mosaic is both a thing of beauty and a great source for future what iffing

  9. Such a beautiful view. I agree with Velma that the rocks are wonderful. I always love imagining what is underneath something like that. Your overlay of quilt with garden made me think of mosaic patterns that I saw in churches in Italy. How patterns repeat and are translated or absorbed or….

    • jude

      the view closes in a bit as the trees leaf out, but clearing the hill really helped. Blocks the view of houses and gives a sense of more open space. a garden is a sort of mosaic, I was just thinking that.

  10. Sarita

    Lovely…Enjoyed the journey through your evolving terrain & thoughts!
    Stay warm!
    My garden has snow & freezing temps in western ny. It’s a winter wonderland again.

    • jude

      great! yes the rock here are stunning. couldn’t even really see them when we got here. I think I developed a good method of hill management. Not too invasive, seems it might naturally evolve.

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