June 27th - Flower Carpet Amber bloomed. Just one.
June 26th - The day before.
Amber joined the plot in 2011. In the plotted garden I value survival, tenacity, beauty and color. Especially the roses. Amber has survived me first of all. A novice rose lover. It survived the 2012-2013 harsh, but normal, Zone 5 winter. No pest issues or disease hamper this bloom. It was pruned back and sent new shoots this year. The only issue is that the rose bed receives less than 6 full hours of sunlight. The trade off - less blooms. But, I'm learning as I grow roses. I'm going to add one more Amber to the rose border this year so it won't be so lonely. The colors of this bloom from dark orange to faded orange and golden yellow are amazing. As the bloom begins to fade it turns a pale pink, while it's original colors are fading.
Flower carpet Amber open bloom and a visitor
I just received an issue of Victoria magazine with a spread on Monet's Garden. As a gardener the magazine always inspired me beginning with it's very first issues back in the 1980's. Long before I thought to become a photographer. Before computers and the digital era took hold, Toshi Otsuki was blowing me away in every issue of the original magazine. His style, his eye for photographing gardens and other genre was stunning even though at the time I was doing pen illustration and some other things.
I think the best inspiration is when you don't yet know you're being inspired.
My garden will never be Monet's Giverny. I will never be Toshi Otsuki. But that is not the objective anyway. I created the Plotted Garden to photograph, as Monet created the Giverny garden to paint it. It took him nearly two decades to complete. Toshi Otsuki left me with a beautiful, dramatic concept of combining a love for flower gardening with photography.
But the roses? It was Anne Spencer, a noted African American poet and flower gardener during the Renaissance period. Found while looking for rose gardens online some years ago. I'm sure my Father in Heaven led my typing fingers to the rose site created by a photographer who was a Rosarian. He had photographed Anne Spencer's garden in Lynchburg Virginia. I was hooked.
She enjoyed growing flowers. This made her unusual. Documentation of African American (as we're called) flower gardeners from the slave era through the 20th Century are rare to be found. Preservation of those gardens -- Anne Spencer appears to be the very first and the only one in this country. It was her noted work as a poet and activist that brought attention to her garden.
When Elohim gave man the herbs for his food that definition included the fruit, vegetables and full flowering blooms such as the very large family of Rosaceae (Roses). This family includes foods accompanied by glorious blooms and scents such as apple, apricots, cherries, peaches, strawberries and almonds.
Food therefore was indeed given for man's medicine to nourish his body. But flowers and their beauty are also the medicine that feed his soul through the senses. Though I can't advocate eating it, this first bloom of the season in the Plotted Garden has done just that for me. No other bloom seems to whisper patience to me. Only roses.