These delicate spring blooms are the only Columbine native to Illinois: Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis). These blooms were prolific today in Lincoln Park’s best kept secret, Alfred Caldwell Lily Pond.
For some this seems very hoaky I’m sure. But yesterday I spent six and a half hours at the Bonnet House’s lovely enclosed courtyard working on my second painting. I chose, as my subject, a photograph I took a few years back of one of my garden Japanese Anemones. I can easily say I was exhausted when I got home; my brain was worn out.
I literally spent the day thinking, studying this tiny flower. Every petal, every shadow, every curve and curl was studied and mentally dissected for detail. The leaves in the background were studied just as intently for color and light/shadow. My teacher showed me how to make the other buds and blooms fade out of focus. Hours were spent on each petals. The flower showed pollen spilling onto the pedals; it would soon be time for it to enter it’s next stage of life as a seedhead.
As I spent this time I appreciated the beauty, the gracefulness of this creation. It is one of the last of season’s blooms in Chicago along with the Asters. The Japanese Anemone is an agressive plant requiring me to tame it’s appearance in my garden to places of my design. Over the years I removed many “volunteers” that tried entering other areas of the garden. But the quiet beauty, the graceful elegance of the flowers always overcame any bad aspects of the plants.
I no longer have a private garden; we downsized to a lovely condominium. Fortunately Chicago’s Lincoln Park includes Japanese Anemone in it’s mix of perennials.
While I sit here in Florida gazing at this Japanese Anemone I still a drawn to it’s subtle, simple, design. Evidence of one more miracle. The painting has elements of being done by a beginner. For me the joy was the process of creation, trying to capture it’s natural beauty and specialness.
A blessed Passover and Easter to all.
Looking back to the more colorful days of late summer, early autumn.
The rest of Chicago is reacting “properly” to the arriving chills of freezing temperatures while parts of this tree is confused. Most of the SPRING flowering tree is dormant, as is proper for November. But confused by our unusually long, warm days of autumn this year some of it’s branches believe springtime is on the horizon. It is not unusual for perennial plants to have a second, cool season bloom period; but this is the first time I’ve witnessed a second season bloom of a tree.
The color and the scent attracts Bees: Bee Balm is a chosen nectar. People find Wild Bergamot tea soothing as well. By any name they are an American favorite. This native perennial has been used by insects, Native Americans and European settlers for centuries. I enjoy it’s unique flower design.