WIP - Home and Patio Garden

Happy spring! 
This week, my Work in Progress (and it truly IS a work in progress) is my home and patio garden. This is my most favorite time of year! I get to watch all my little plants awaken from their winter slumber and I get to plot and plan my annuals for my patio oasis. I've learned so much over the past 4 years so that each year, it gets bigger and better.

A couple of years ago I picked up a few grape hyacinths and teeny daffodils from Home Depot to plant alongside the front walkway.  I lost a few of the bulbs to critters, but a few did manage to survive and bloom. This year, the grape hyacinths are out of control (in a good way!)

grape hyacinth
grape hyacinth

I have two little daffodils growing!

teeny tiny daffodil
spring daffodil starting to grow

So for this year, mom and I are going to step up our flora game along the front porch and walkway. For some reason I have completely neglected this part of our outdoor space, so we plan to put a nice little fence alongside the walkway, add some dirt, and plant some perennials. We haven't really decided on what we'd like there yet. Any ideas of a perennial that would do well with full on afternoon sun?

I've also started my herb and veggie planting. There will be bell peppers, spinach, green onion, cilantro, and basil. I still need to make a seed trip to pick up oregano, rosemary, dill, various mints, and whatever other fragrant beauties I will need. And of course some more pots to transfer them in when they grow up a little more.

2017 Herb Garden
2017 Herb Garden

So far we're off to a good start!


If you have any advice or suggestions about plants, flowers, herbs, or anything else, please feel free to comment below.

Get out there and plant and take photos and make art and do what you love and try to make the world prettier!



Related posts:

Friday Photo Roundup - March 17

Hello! Happy St. Patrick's Day! I should have saved all of last week's greenery and foliage photos for this week flickr posts and today's roundup! That's okay, even though I posted more orchids this week, there is still plenty of green in these photos!

Orchid Fine Art Photography by April Bern
Couple- Orchid Photography by april bern
Orchid Art Print - april bern photography
Orchid Fine Art Photography - april bern photography
Chicago Botanic Garden 2017 Orchid Show

If you're interested in purchasing an orchid print for your home and/or space, you can find some of my more popular ones here:

Stop by my shop for more orchid goodies too; orchid photo note cards, decorative pillows, canvas art, and reusable tote bags.

If there is another image you've seen on my blog that you'd love to have as a print or gallery wrapped canvas, you can contact me here. I'd love a chance to work with you and create art you'll love.


I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and if you're in the Chicago-land area and haven't seen the Orchid Show at the Chicago Botanic Garden, you should go. Next week is the last week!

WIP - Brand New Garden Videos

Last summer, inbetween photographing all the pretty things, I took a few video clips of flowers and scenery while at the Garden.

april bern photography

I had a little idea in my head of what I wanted to do with these clips, but, you know how it goes with little ideas; they usually get pushed aside by the bigger and flashier ideas that fight for your attention. And then before you know it, those poor little ideas just sit on the back burner. Well, this little idea has been simmering long enough. I'm super exited to share my new teeny video I made with the clips from previous Garden adventures.

Click to view my Garden Video

I was so thrilled with how it turned out that I went back to the Garden last week, shot a bunch of new clips and came home and created this little spring video:

I am absolutely in love with the whole process: finding the perfect moments, capturing them, and editing them all together and creating a little story. I'm just sorry that this little idea sat on the back burner for so long!

I would love it if you check out and subscribe to my budding YouTube channel. You'll find these videos, as well as some "painting in progress" videos I created years ago.  I'm working on a little video featuring the orchids from the Orchid Show that I hope to have ready next week!

Have a great week and remember, an idea is still an idea no matter how small!




Related posts:





2017 Pantone of the Year - Greenery

Hello fellow color lovers! Are you as excited about the 2017 color of the year as I am? This year, the color of the year is Greenery. Isn't this such a gorgeous shade of green? I seriously can't get enough of it. If you're looking for some new photo prints or decorative pillow covers to bring a little of this trendy green into your home, I have a few pretty pieces in my shop!

2017 Color of the Year Greenery
2017 Pantone Color of the Year Greenery
Greenery 2017 Pantone Color of the Year

1. Gingko Leaves Print

2. Fern Decorative Pillow Cover

3. Colorful Agave Print

4. Tropical Green Leaves Print

5. Fern Fine Art Print

6. Ginkgo Tree Print

7. Ginkgo Leaves Print

8. Green Leaf Print

9. Agave Print


What do you think of this years color of the year? Which of these prints would look the best in your home? I'd love to hear what you think!




Related posts:

Friday Photo Roundup - March 10

Happy Friday! I'm super excited today because I took a half day from work and I'm heading to the Garden to check out the Orchid Show one last time. This time, not only will I photograph all of the orchids (and I mean ALL OF THEM) I am going to try to shoot some videos of them, you know, being all pretty and orchid-like.

This week, I decided to take a break from posting orchid photos. I love foliage and greenery and wanted to showcase a few of my recent favorites.

Camoflage Plant - april bern photography
fern unfurling - april bern photography
pattern play - april bern photography
fairy garden - april bern photography
fern - april bern photography

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Related posts:

WIP- Succulent and Vintage Teacup Painting Updates

Hello! I had a super productive painting week. Remember those two new little cuties I started and showed you a few weeks ago? I finally picked up the brush and played with them this weekend. I think they are almost finished. I need to add detail to the cacti, and one more surprise detail that I will not reveal yet (mostly because I'm not 100% positive it will turn out...)

Teacup succulents april bern art & photography

I was on such a roll this weekend that I also started (and nearly completed) the third succulent and vintage teacup painting in this series.

succulent in a vintage teacup original oil painting

I love this teacup!

AND, as if that wasn't enough, I started a fourth succulent and teacup painting. This one is still pretty rough and needs a lot of work, but I'm loving the shape of the cup and cacti already.

succulent and vintage teacup painting in progress

These little paintings, as well as my vintage coffee mug and succulent paintings will be added to my shop soon. In the meantime, I have other original oil paintings that need forever homes. Please stop by and check out the paintings that are ready for adoption.



Related posts:

Friday Photo Roundup - March 3

Hello and welcome to Friday! How was your week?

This week, I'm still feeling the Orchid love. I don't think I will ever tire of seeing and photographing orchids. Their diversity is truly astounding. I think my favorite orchids, however, are the ones that have colorations and designs that make it look like they have wings, big smiling faces, or a tiny body in a dress...

Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show 2017 april bern photography
Orchid - april bern photography
Moth Orchid - april bern photography
vibrant ochids - april bern photography
beautiful orchids - april bern photography


Have a great weekend!


Related posts:

WIP - Experimenting with Gouache

Hello and happy Wednesday! This week, I'm playing with my new set of Holbein gouache. I picked up a small set of 12 colors on amazon earlier this year and I've been dabbling with it. If you've never painted with gouache, it's like a cross between watercolor and acrylic paint. It's water based and blendable like watercolor and acrylic. You can use it like watercolor and create washes and the fun watercolor "bloom" effect. You can also let it dry and layer it like acrylic paint, which is something I need to work on (I still have a love/hate relationship with acrylic paint...)

Experimenting with gouache paints

Here's my latest attempt to use gouache and layer.  My biggest challenge is trying to achieve a balance with the water-to-paint ratio. Too much water and the paint is thin and soupy like watercolors (not necessarily a bad thing, but not the effect I wanted.) Not enough water, and the paint doesn't spread well. Anyone have any tips they can offer me?

Looks like I will need to play and experiment a bit more!


Related posts: