Sunday, June 21, 2015

Botanica 2015 Reception and Awards

Certificate recipients at Brookside Gardens.

Last Sunday was the opening reception for Brookside Garden's "Botanica 2015: Art Art and Science of Plants" exhibition, and five of us students at BGSBAI were awarded our certificates after completing our final project.

For me this has been a wonderful experience, starting out back in 2011 with the core classes. After completeing the required classes and electives, we began working on our certificate projects about two years ago. After many sessions with our instructor advisor, Diane Berndt (second from the right) and many revisions to our drawings and compositions, here we are, finally ready to go out into the world of botanical art as trained artists. Diane, by the way was also working on her certificate, in addition to teaching other classes and meeting with us to advice and direct our work, so she had to work twice as hard.

Today I'm off to hike with my VNPS chapter to look for more beautiful plants to illustrate (perhaps some yellow fringed orchids). It will be interesting to see what plants we come across--I always learn so much on these walks!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Glorious Roses

Rose 'New Dawn' with Clematis 'Etoile Violette.'

In late May my garden explodes with bloom, and roses, my mother's favorite flower, are the main feature. I love this particular combination of the climbing rose 'New Dawn' with the Clematis 'Etoile Violette' that is starting to spread over the porch.

Rose 'Double Knockout'

The rose 'Double Knockout' planted three years ago is really living up to its name, and the pink 'Petal Pushers', now two years old is making a nice show, along with a red 'Simplicity' behind. The two hybrid tea roses planted last fall, 'Peace' and Veteran's Honor' are still struggling to become established in my rocky shale, though I did get one lovely flower from 'Peace.'

Rose bed

Hybrid tea rose 'Peace'

The Flame azalea planted two springs ago is also developing nicely, and will probably become the subject of a painting as soon as I can find some time. I wish my trees would grow faster and provide more shade so I could plant more rhododendrons and azaleas--the mainstay of spring gardens in this area. But a gardener must be patient... sometimes it seems the more desirable a plant, the more delicate and slower it grows.

Flame azalea
Red Alchemilla with white salvia, lavender and peonies.

In the meantime, herbaceous perennials in other colors brighten the surrounding flower beds. As a painter, I love a riot of color in flowers and foliage. As a gardener, my greatest fault is that I tend to change my mind about where a plant looks best, so I end up moving bedding plants and even trees after I've planted them when I see a better spot, or realize the plant is not prospering where I've put it. I believe that like in art, changing the position of an element or two can improve the overall composition.