Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens


Doesn’t this look like an entrance into the “Secret Garden?” I was walking down this path for the third time yesterday afternoon and was suddenly hit with the urge to show Megan this place. She would love it.

This botanical garden houses over seventeen separate gardens, all pertaining to a specific region or theme. Some of my favorites are the Spice and Tropical Fruits garden, the Fern garden (the moment I stepped into this area, I smelled a wonderful earthy scent, like that of a damp forest), the Desert room (succulents are, of course, my favorite), and the Butterfly garden. The Butterfly photographed in this post. Although I didn’t actually capture any butterflies or moths in any of these photos, I assure you, they were fluttering in every direction.

I can imagine Megan watching the various, brightly colored creatures dance around in this glass room. It is seriously magical.


The project that we are currently working on in Drawing class (the reason I have returned so frequently to Phipps), is essentially a plant adoption. We are to choose our favorite plant and find out everything we can about it: photograph, draw, and research. We are supposed to know this plant from the inside out. I chose the “Philodendron” from Brazil (tree pictured below). I love the texture and pattern of its trunk, and the branches are  intertwined creating a very interesting structure.


The drawing below is a synopsis of five different gardens within Phipps. We were to pick one plant from each garden and use it to represent the whole. I learned so much about simplifying my work throughout this process. Every assignment that we’ve completed so far has brought me great leaps farther in my knowledge of “design drawing.” It is such a privilege to study here, under such brilliant professors. 




I admit that this process is often extremely aggravating. Drawing isn’t a personal hobby or “enjoyable activity” for me (as you know). However, I’m thankful that I have this unique opportunity to improve and learn. Tell me what you’ve been working on recently!

Miss you guys xo!

From the Studio: Analysing Yau Tong

Our first project of the semester involved analysing the peripheral site, Yau Tong.




I loved getting around the site and exploring the area. We produced this drawing throughout the first few weeks- looking at how specific areas of the site effect each other and how we can draw conclusions from those findings.. (click the image for a closer look)



As of Late

As of late, we have all been caught up in the whirl-wind activity of a new school year! Personally, I feel like I have jumped on a boat that I am trying in vain to steer through churning waters, (Anyone else?).  So what’s been so crazy about the beginning of this school year? – the real question is what hasn’t been crazy about the beginning of this school year?

For starters, my dad, Maddie, and I had our annual Fall Camp, a high school retreat, last week!  Maddie is discovering the “joys”of a high school homework load, and I am discovering the “joys” of three AP classes.

Over in Hong Kong, Michael just returned from a church retreat which was very encouraging for him as he begins his sophomore year at Hong Kong University!

Rachel has been busy as a bee at home. She’s our “sweet little fairy,” baking delicious desserts, working in the blog room on her goals, and supporting us in school. Rachel too has been unusually busy this week; it seems that the news of her baking skills are getting around.  This week she has baked 2 layer cakes, pavlovas (tonight to satisfy me and Maddie’s meringue craving :), and biscotti. Sadly, the only above dessert we get to try is the white fluffy cookies in the oven now. The birthday cakes were made for a friend and a client!

On top of ALL of that, add the usual homework load, dentist appointments, student council work, and time spent with friends then you’ve about nailed down our lives as of late!

Me and my Fall Camp team during the stew competition! ~Smokey~

Maddie posing with her team after the Fall Camp Skits!

The 3-layer Lego cake that Rachel baked for a boy in our community turning ten. It is a vanilla cake with multi-colored layers (red, blue and green), meringue buttercream filling, and marshmallow icing on top!

Michael’s Church retreat – seems like he had fun!