I have always, as long as I can remember had an affinity with plants. I grew up in Michigan searching the ponds and fields with the neighbor boys to see what we could find, snapping turtles, garter snakes, frogs but I always noticed the plants too. My first cultivated garden was a small patch of wild strawberry plants I dug in a field and transplanted. A neighbor man took pity on me and gave me starts from his garden, I had them running everywhere in no time flat as strawberries tend to do. The wild ones are bitter and unpalatable but I thought with a little love maybe I could change that. Our fences were chain link or as we called them there, cyclone so there was no privacy but I soon found they made a nice support for morning glories.
My girlfriend called on Sunday for an impromptu poached egg at our favorite spot in the village that turned into an impromptu day at The Huntington in Pasadena. There is a botanic illustration show in one of the galleries.....
Not JUST botanic illustration but renderings of our California natives, I love these plants more than I can say, they are like longtime friends, it was lovely. The work spanned the ages some dating back to the early 1900's. Some of the watercolors were scientific and some were drop dead gorgeous, showing the plants in different seasons. Look, this artist painted the shade where you will find this ribes growing, in the shade of the towering oaks.
*some of you have my silverwork representing this beautiful gooseberry.
*The name Hollywood came from the mislabeling of this plant which is not in fact a member of the Holly family.
Oh boy I coveted this woodcut, I want it! I'm not really sure why they included this, it does not qualify as a botanic illustration but I am so glad it was there, I had to go back and look at it several times. This artist had to have lived in the desert to get it this right. The desert comes alive at night, the Joshua Trees the stars, that moon, swoonalicious!!
*for you locals...many of these are on loan from R.S.A.B.G.
My girlfriend and I gushed over some of these pretty hard and a kidered lady came up and gushed along with us telling us she was a watercolorist too.
Don't you just love it, the shooting stars! It was painted by someone in the 1900's who loved it as much as I do. Some of these artists were involved in the Arts and Crafts movement, you could easily see this on a piece of Rookwood or on a copper desk set.
Sometimes the beauty is found in overlaying shades of green and the way the light plays with the leaves.
The conversation turned from plants we love to plants we despise, the list went something like this and I had no idea she frowned on the same ones I did...
Bird of paradise
Canna and Calla Lily
we could not agree on Lily of the Nile,,,,thumbs down for me
We tried to examine just why we reacted to these plants the way we do and decided they were popular during the trying, teen times of our lives, now known as "The Nandina Years" :)
Taking a rest whilst sipping, new header series, hummingbird on the blooming aloe. (that one's on my list too btw)
The ties that bind, there is nothing like friendship.
So what I want to know is, what plants do you despise since you might be planning your garden. Which ones will I never find you growing? I'm thinking this could be fun since you all live here and there.
*ps, the bracelet design above is officially closed, let's see what else I can make.