Saturday, May 30, 2015

Historic gardens.

 "I want to paint the air around the bridge, the house, the boat. The beauty of the air where they are, and it is nothing other than impossible."  Claude Monet

At one time the pink house of Monet at Giverny was surrounded by a walled woodland. He removed all of the trees except for a few pines near the house and proceeded to develop an "unconstrained garden" of flowers with complimentary colors and blooming trees. This garden has become famous because of all of his paintings. He also dug a number of ponds and these were the settings for his famous water lily paintings. We were so lucky to have arrived very early before the crowds and able to get at least a few photos without people! 

Lucky to get this shot with no people crossing!

Above is the riot of colors. There are something like nine gardeners working on this!  You can see the pink house in the background.  Lots of structure and trellises.

There were a few artists/botanists(?) spending time sketching.

"It took me some time to understand my water lilies… I cultivated them with no thought of painting them… One does not fully appreciate a landscape in one day… And then, suddenly, I had a revelation of the magic of my pond. I took my palette. From this moment, I have had almost no other model."  Claude Monet

And above is the famous water garden with the water lilies, unfortunately, not yet in bloom.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

In the Purple

This is the last as I should be back by next week in both mind and spirit!

Tiny royal buds
Bathing in a spring shower
Modesty aside.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Pink Mist

Something soft and romantic and almost surreal.

Soft, pink, virginal
Honeyed perfumed seduction
Spring twirls arabesque.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Number Three

Once again some native columbine that hummingbirds sometimes visit.

A fairy is here
With red wings and yellow spears
Battling in cool winds.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Second

Another flower that reflects the sun.

Yellow warm sunshine
Arms reaching to hug the sun
No fear of sunburn.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The First One

I am off on my trip.   I do not want you to forget me, so I have scheduled some simple flower "paintings"  to go up every few days just for 'remembrance' until I return.  I appreciate your tolerance with my Haiku.

Here is the first one ---white azaleas.

Pale as ghosts in mist
With shimmering angel's wings
The spirit of spring

Monday, May 04, 2015

For Those HP Fans

If you have read the books or seen the series of movies of Harry Potter and his introduction into magic, you may remember the class where they are learning about the magic of plants.  This has stimulated a little lesson plan for when my 10-year-old comes to visit this summer.  I have a volunteer Podophyllum peltatum L. growing at the edge of my woods.  It has common names such as Mayapple, Devil’s Apple, Hog-apple, IndianApple, American Mandrake, American May Apple,Racoonberry, and Wild Lemon.

In the book Harry takes a class on how to transplant the mandrake root, which (in actual folklore) has the reputation of screaming so loudly that it will drive humans permanently mad.  

It is called May Apple because it blooms in May...duh!

It grows in shade areas rich with humus and seems to spread by runners, but I also understand you can grow it from seed (which I may try next year.)  Since my plants grow in a rather innocuous place where an aggressive weed-eater or lawn mower can damage them, I have enclosed the area with a knee-high plant support fence!  I may top dress it with more humus laden stuff this fall.  Other than that, I do nothing for this plant.  It is hardy and is found on woodland walks if you look carefully.

The simple flowers hide beneath those large palmate leaves, so you have to stick your nose down to see them.  Later they form an edible fruit, and I hope to remember to take a photo of that when I return from my trip if the fruit is still handing around.

According to botanical articles the plant is poisonous in some parts, used by herbalists with other, and the fruit itself is edible and was eaten by the American Indian.  Here it probably is eaten by my box turtles!

Check out your yard because it grows in many areas and there is a version on the European continent as well.