Saturday, October 11, 2014

Pretty as a Picture

'I must have flowers, always, and always.'
Claude Monet

The profusion of colour down at the garden at the moment makes me think a Monet painting. Splodges of brightness and darkness and multi-hued greens that fill the eye to brimming. Every view shows a different palette, a slight change in angle reveals an entirely different combination of flowers and colours, every shift in the light is a completely new canvasMy hurried photos don't even begin to do it justice.

Interestingly, the brightest, boldest blocks of colour in the garden at the moment are provided by flowering opportunists - none of them were planted to deliberately create a flowery show - in fact most of them weren't planted at all. The glowing orange calendula are naturalised in the garden, they come up wherever they please and are easily pulled out when not welcome, or, as is often the case, left in as colourful place holders, simultaneously suppressing weeds and putting on a show (also, the petals are edible). The same goes for the misty blue banks of borage, which the bees adore. The pale lemon yellow of broccoli gone to flower are all over the garden at the moment. They could be viewed as a missed crop but I think they're brilliant - well worth leaving in. Besides, they taste lovely in salads. And the delicate, brighter yellow blooms are a wild broccoli ancestor, I call them brassica weed, growing on a neglected plot. Apparently they're also edible but I've only ever picked them for flower arrangements, they add a wonderful subtle splash of gold, they were even in the table decorations at my wedding.

At the risk of sounding wanky, I kind of understand why Monet felt the need to develop an entirely new approach to painting in order to capture the beauty of the natural world; dabbing at the canvas, layering light and shadow, painting the same scene over and over. It's a far cry from the gardens at Giverny but it would take many canvases and millions of brushstrokes to capture the glorious spring display of our Merri Corner floral opportunists. 

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