Saturday, March 27, 2010

Things that catch the eye

First red tailed bumblebee I've seen in Essex so far

This rather beautiful Japanese goldwork on a dress taken from a whole book on goldwork, absolutely fascinately but all in Japanese!

Taken from William Robinson 'English Garden Flowers, I love these engravings on steel plate.

The pansies exploded into colour this week in the garden, gorgeously shaded with dark cross faces, and the little lemon viola seen above.
Robinson devotes two pages to these flowers, they are of course developed from the wild violet (or heartsease), that should be appearing in the woods soon. These alpine flowers (Robinson calls them this precious race of mountaineers) were once common throughout Britain, but not so now, the hybrid pansies, developed in Belgium in the 19th century are a useful filler in the garden in early spring. There is a great list of the viola, pansies and heartease bred in the 19th century, probably many lost now, though hopefully not sweet violet - V. odorata

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