I know, I know. If you’ve been following along with the Daily Botanical this spring and summer, you’ll find that it is fast becoming The Year of the Clematis around here.
Blame Barry, a neighbour and new friend who has more clematis (clemati? clematises?) growing in his backyard than your average botanical garden. And Barry’s choices are anything but average. He has rather good taste, don’t you think?
I am yet to actually grow a clematis, but I am definitely getting a good education in them should I acquire more growing space someday.
According the Barry, both ‘Cassis’ and ‘Vienetta’ were bred for the potted plant market. His are currently growing together in a large container and one or both were rescued gift plants that someone had thrown out. And here I was stigmatizing clematis as rather bougie (bourgeoisie) plants when it turns out you can just pick them up off the curb if you keep your eyes peeled on garbage day!
I’ve sung the praises of white valerian (Valeriana officinalis) in the garden many times on this site and in public presentations. It’s one of the most impressive perennials I grow in my community garden plot. Although it isn’t directly useful as an edible like most of the other perennials I’ve put in, it does good things for the garden. We are continuously impressed by it’s beauty, size, smell, and ability to attract beneficial insects.
Last night, at a party, artist Prashant Miranda painted my tattoo with watercolours. Please go have a look at his journal pages. Prepare to be blown away.
Since getting the tattoo last year (drawn by Davin Risk), loads of people have asked me if I am going to get it coloured in. I’m still debating getting some light grey shading, and MAYBE having the tomatoes done in red, but my plan was always for a monotone tattoo. The only part that has felt unfinished are the tomatoes because the lines are thinner and there is a lot of open, flat space inside of them.
But it was fun to see it done up colourfully. I really like the out-of-the-lines, messy softness of Prashant’s painting. Oh, and how painless and quick the whole procedure was. This took about 10 minutes while painting with an actual needle… let’s not think about it.
In all honesty this could be any Rudbeckia. There are just so many that look alike and this was in a public garden. Who can know?
They do photograph well.
One of my tips when doing the magnifying glass/box camera trick is to seek out shapes that are large, simple and repetitive. It’s especially helpful if there are lots in a cluster like in this shot and the last because then it doesn’t matter if your focus is exactly where you planned for it to be. If you’re striving to photograph a single subject, chances are good that it won’t be in focus. I carry a retractable measuring tape to check the distance but it’s still mostly a guess.