Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. ~Albert Einstein
I’ve been deepening my friendship with the camera this past year and using it to discover the beauty in my garden from new perspectives. As April shifted into May, the daffodils were replaced by Alliums and Camassias, bringing blue and purple hues into the garden. The grape and lemonade bed remained full of blooms until mid-May
but it was the graceful details of the Camassia flowers that drew my attention.
Alliums always remind me of giant lollipops on tall stems and they grow everywhere on the property, ignored by deer and rabbits.
Nature is an infinite sphere of which the center is everywhere and the circumference nowhere. ~Blaise Pascal
On closer inspection, those lollipops are globes of hundreds of small florets, each equipped with stamens full of pollen
beloved by bees.
A few late tulips reigned for weeks in the garden. Double tulip ‘Angelique’ is a favorite – her ruffled petals in shades of pink and white are a prelude to the peonies that follow.
A closer look at ‘Angelique’ in the garden
convinced me to cut a few blooms and photograph them on a light table to reveal the delicate translucence of her petals.
The poetry of the earth is never dead. ~John Keats
Almost black tulip ‘Queen of Night’ is another favorite and is still blooming in the garden. It’s sleek shiny flowers add deep notes to the color scheme
and captured the attention of Miss Pixie, who only sniffed and didn’t decapitate – she’s almost two now and has become a good garden citizen.
Columbines grown from seed pop up throughout the garden and are always welcome – the flower shapes with curving “tails” fascinate me.
Columbine ‘Wiliam Guinness’ was so covered with tiny spider webs and dew that it positively glistened in the morning light.
Iris season has begun, first with the dainty historical iris whose name I have forgotten but who always blooms first at the top of the hill overlooking the garden.
A closer look reveals subtle veining and her delicate yellow “beard” that gives Iris germanica its common name of bearded iris.
Bearded iris ‘Tiger Eyes’ looks as handsome in bud as it does in flower.
When our native ostrich ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris) unfurled their long fronds, I took a closer look through the lens to discover all manner of shapes and patterns.
Ferns are well known as an example of fractals in nature – not only are fractals aesthetically pleasing but also thought to be stress-reducing. Looking into the heart of a fern is endlessly intriguing to me.
If you are as fascinated by plants as I am, you might be interested in the Fascination of Plants Day which was celebrated this past week on May 18. Founded by plant biologists as an annual celebration to raise awareness of the diversity, beauty and usefulness of plants, it has inspired plant-based events across the globe. (Special thanks to Steve Schwartzman of Portraits of Wildflowers for introducing me to FOPD) Whether you are a scientist or an artist or both or anything in between, enjoy and appreciate the wonderful world of plants. I wish you all a May filled to overflowing with the wild and elegant beauty of nature.
What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives? ~E.M. Forster
For more on growth patterns of plants and some musical fun, see my post on the Fibonacci number series in nature and music.
All photographs and text ©2023 by Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved, except where noted.