Sunday, June 14, 2015

An Interest in Gardening

Purple Clematis
When I was young, I really wasn't that interested nor aware of plants. Plants and trees were a backdrop that created a landscape that I painted. I have always loved nature but I had a preference for zoology over botany. 

I think it started with creating wildlife gardens on a previous backyard, a very large area that allowed me to get rather obsessed with plants and planting. It was a means for exercise, I remember the first time I started turning Texas soil for a garden-the clay is hard, heavy and not easy to work with, a perfect excuse for exercise and getting outside.

My interest in building a garden to support wildlife not only opened my eyes to a whole new world of interest, it also was a haven when my personal life took a traumatic turn, the end of my marriage. I spent hours in the garden with my youngest son. I looked for the hope of buds in the spring and the treats of fruit in the summer, my son and I still talk about the plums we enjoyed right off the tree.

Over the years of raising gardens I have come up with a list of plants that I prefer, not only for their ease of growing but for their beauty and symbolism in my life. The first flower is the Clematis, it grows without watering it once it is established, delivers amazing flowers every year and than keeps itself under control until the next spring.

Another plant is Passionvine-I have collected more than seven species over the year, right now I have  four-the violet Lady Margaret, the purple incense, cerulean blue and the vitifolia giant red flower. The se flowers are both unique in their structure, rich in color and have a symbolism in their origin and name. Go to this link to read more, the text is from that site. Symbolism

* The pointed tips of the leaves were taken to represent the Holy Lance.
* The tendrils represent the whips used in the flagellation of Christ.
* The ten petals and sepals represent the ten faithful apostles 
   (less St. Peter the denier and Judas Iscariot the betrayer).
* The flower’s radial filaments, which can number more than a hundred and vary 
   from flower to flower, represent the crown of thorns.
* The chalice-shaped ovary with its receptacle represents a hammer or the Holy Grail
* The 3 stigmata represent the 3 nails and the 5 anthers below them the 5 wounds 
   (four by the nails and one by the lance).
* The blue and white colours of many species’ flowers represent Heaven and Purity.

Sunflowers are next on my list, again very easy to grow from seed and grow despite the lazy gardener. Zinnias, Candlestick plants, dutchman's pipe and milkweed all support wildlife and are so easy to raise. Cannas give you a tropical feel and get larger and larger over the years with very little attention. My last and final on the list would probably be the morning glory, again lots of different colors, easy to grow and can take over a fence without damaging it.

Just the other day I was at a garden store and mentioned that I photograph and paint my garden and I ended up getting the opportunity to show in their gallery. A gallery I only learned by talking with her so plants and nature seem to offer me options for my art, my photography, writing and perhaps most of a chance to exercise and relax in nature. So go start a garden and share what you find-it's amazing what starting a garden might lead you to.

Would like to hear what you have discovered by enjoying a hobby-what did you learn about you about your goals and how did a simple hobby change the way you live?

I will be showing at their gallery in July so please check back, would love to meet and greet with readers and art enthusiasts.

Looking up to the light

Pink Clematis
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