20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers

Nana with Rose Petal Tears

2014-04-09 07.42.25

Rose petals, like teardrops,
fall softly to my kitchen counter,
surround the vase where the wilted flowers
droop their heads in reverence to the
stooping, plucking, pruning

of Nana tending to her roses
crouching in her gardening shorts,
as I play in the field behind her house,
searching for rabbits’ nests and pulling out
my dollhouse to set up in the quiet patio shade,

of Nana sweet and fragrant as the roses
that she tended, bare legs exposed, a rebel
of a time when women wore only skirts and hosiery,
bustling about in her slippers and shorts,
cultivating an escape from everyday life

of Nana’s hair, soft between my fingertips,
like rose petals, as she lies in bed, life gradually
slipping through grasping hands, ice chips, greeting
cards, and tear-soaked tissues encircling roses
on the bedside table

of my Nana who never cried, at least not that I
can remember, but if she had, I know her tears would be
rose petals, cascading between dreams and
backyard memories, sweetly-scented and multi-hued,
formed together into one final bloom

©SpiritLed 2014


Supersoil Ad

For this post, I am sharing illustrations I painted for a soil company called Supersoil. Several years ago, Supersoil Inc. merged into Miracle Grow and the packaging with my illustrations were no longer available. There were unique challenges for every painting and I searched through my neighborhood with my camera to find beautiful gardens I could photograph. When I completed this project, I enjoyed seeing my paintings printed on the large bags of soil sold in many home improvement stores.

Flower Pot in Orange

For this first post, I share about four projects I painted. I have included close-ups, sketches, marker comps and even the original layout provided for me.

The first painting was for a potting soil mix and I illustrated a pot filled with flowers.

Line Drawing Potting Soil Flower Pot close up 2 Flower Pot close up 1 Flower Pot CLose up 3

This second illustration was for a product called “Wonderbloom.”

This is my layout provided by the art director.

This is my layout provided by the art director.

This is a preliminary marker sketch.

This is a preliminary marker sketch.

Garden with Flats & ShovelGarden with Flats closeup 2Garden with Flats close up 1

This illustration was for a product called “Palm and Cactus Mix.” I followed the art direction, which had a strange request for a “door going nowhere.” The strange perspective makes me uncomfortable, but my favorite part of my painting is the small lizard in the shadows (I had lizards as pets when I was younger!)

3n‰ 3n‰

The lizard is there!

The lizard is there!

The last assignment for this post was for a product used on sod lawns called “Turf Fit.” This painting includes a dog, and it is one of the few animals I’ve illustrated.

Turf Fit Turf-Fit Tearsheet Turf Fit close up

My photo referene of sod was not very pretty to paint!

My photo reference of sod shows that it was not very pretty to paint!

My technique utilizes watercolors, dyes and colored pencils; these were created before Photoshop existed. I have a blog where I describe my technique and have a lot more information. It is at: 


© 2013 by Judy Unger, http://www.myjourneysinsight.com and 20 Lines A Day. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

1 Comment


I have been attending to 20 Lines quite a bit…which I love doing…but it resulted in my neglecting my own two blogs somewhat. And I lost a follower on Brainstorms. I feel terrible about that, and don’t really know how to think about it. Taking the positive approach, I hope it was someone cleaning out his/her subscriptions who had simply decided that that blog wasn’t as important to their reading anymore.

Lesson learned, however. If I’m going to have two blogs, and write on a third, I need to tend them as I would a garden. Who wants to see a blog where there’s little to no new content? I want to write on all three blogs every single day, and for awhile was doing that. Then, somehow, I got out of that habit.

I will do better. I’ll pull the weeds and hope to soon see blooming gardens on Brainstorms and Chronicles again.


‘Morning Rose’


A Morning Rose….First Light

Early morning in the back yard. Birds chirping. Cat in the window looking out, tail swishing. A bed of roses neglected this Summer. My Mom’s roses transplanted here after her death. Old roses. Sentimental roses. I see one beautiful rose in magnificent repose. The others, past their prime, chastise me. ‘Where have you been?’



An Old Tree Has Seen……………?

This old (160+ years old) Tartarian Black Cherry in the Owen Memorial Rose Garden (Eugene, Oregon) captures the eye. Some believe it was planted by the founder of Eugene, Oregon, Eugene Skinner. The tree immediately, at least for me, makes me pause in wonder at the complex trunk and bark. Truly a beautiful tree in a beautiful garden setting.

Also, given how old this tree is, another thought crosses my mind. Consider how many varied peoples, over 163 years, have stood and gazed upon this tree. It is an obvious observation, but once you think of it, one can imagine the guests, visitors, passersby that represented all walks of life, world wide, yet found this tree hopeful, beautiful, regal, old. It is judged to be the oldest Cherry tree in the state of Oregon. 

I hope this tree continues to survive the elements for many decades to come. Isn’t history grand?


There Once Was A Yard…………

There Once Was A Yard……….

A young woman’s fancy to create a garden utopia so many years ago resulted in a truly beautiful Eden. I recall it as a young boy, the flowers bright against the lush green lawn and hedges. As the years progressed she decorated and embellished with ornamental objects. Then, alone, her mind diminishing, she turned her back upon the beauty.  So the inevitable overgrowth consumed, choked and devoured the garden. This past weekend, as if in an archeological exploration, we uncovered little ornamental treasures hidden in the recesses of long forgotten beauty. Were she now here, she would so love our discoveries.








The clock ticks out the hours around its face,
the repetition without grace.
Yes, I’ve been here before
through nighttime’s door,
a case

of dejà vu I can no longer shake.
The never-ending circlings take
me to the mornings, nights
in all its flights.
The rake

and sweep reorganize off-kilter life,
removing all the fear and strife.
Upon each phase’s stage
I turn the page.
No knife

cuts into well-filled mornings, afternoons
or midnights. Perfect timing croons
its melody, the song
that rights all wrong
and tunes

the orchestra of minutes into hours.
Vast gardens show their blooming bowers
with foliage and tree.
Take time to see
these flowers.


nOrM’s Poetry Blog: Zombie Garden

Not quite a dream but more of a comfortable nightmare if that is possible :-)

Tomatoes and peppers 
     Planted by moonlight
          Next to the driveway.

An awful place really.
Too open, too visible;
     Requiring incantations to ward off
          Rabbits and neighbors and zombies.

I sprinkle soil, with its rotting 
    Wood chip smell on the pavement;
          A feeble talisman against
               Vegetable thieves.

Once I stake the tomatoes,
     Vampires will be easy quarry.
But what I really need are worms.

Worms so that after the battle  of the rutabagas;
              After the crusade of the cucumbers,
When my tomato flesh pieces fall in this,
                          My loamy mound,
I am composted quickly;

Out of the reach of the neighbors
     And rabbits
     And zombies
To feed the next army.

(c) 2012 Norman Dziedzic Jr.

via nOrM’s Poetry Blog: Zombie Garden.


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