Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hi! Ho! The Merry-O! A Bot'nizing We Will Go!

"Poppy, there's a water snake!" sketching at the FWBG (pen & ink over graphite on Stillman & Birn Epsilon paper)

This weekend my daughter asked me if we could go to the Botanical Gardens to do some sketching. (My little sweetheart! She knew that I was feeling stressed out, and knew exactly what would lift my spirits.) So, bright and early, off we went; sketch kits in hands and smiles on our faces.

Bidwill's Coral Tree -- my mystery plant (watercolor and pen & ink on Stillman & Birn)

We arrived around 7:30 a.m. and found most of the gardens still in shade, a refreshing cool breeze blowing gently throughout... and not a single other visitor in sight. With several gardens to choose from I left the decision to the lass that brought me. (She chose her favorite: the lilly pond garden.) And the next two hours were sublime -- sketching plants that were a complete (and colorful) mystery to me, and my daughter sketching the flora and fauna of the lily pond.

Oh, just before going to press some very knowledgeable friends in the Botanical Artists Group on Facebook helped me to identify "my" plant as a hybrid cross between Erythrina herbacea and Erythrina crista-galli, first obtained in New South Wales by William Macarthur and named in honor of John Bidwill. (Thanks Shevaun, Maria, and Giovanni!)

Life is beautiful.


  1. Your sketches make me so jealous because you're so talented! Glad you had a lovely day :)

    1. Thanks Millie. I'm not so sure about the talent. (My personal belief is that every two-year-old is hardwired to express themselves visually.) I think I was just too stubborn to stop drawing when my elders told me (somewhere around middle school/junior high, as I recall) it was time to give up art and recess and start focusing on all that grownup stuff. (And, like anything technical, if you do it long enough you're bound to get better at it. :-D)