I will start with the usual reminder of who we are, for new visitors.
The team consists of Dominique Nancy of 3C Style in Canada, Lisa Lawrence of Lismore Paper in the USA, and myself in the UK. We work closely each month to bring you three intertwined posts with a common theme. We are all three very creative people who met via our WP blogs. We have a shared ethos and a close friendship. Our motto – ‘An ocean apart but we share the same heart’ describes us perfectly. The five hour time difference means I spend my morning commute catching up with their conversations during the night, and waiting for them to wake up so I can join in!
Make sure you visit Dominique and Lisa via the links above, to see the whole of the post.
My promise to return with non WFNC posts was almost broken, but a week off work and an internal ass-kicking prompted me to finally post something yesterday!
However, preparations for this WFNC and some subsequent ones have been continuing apace! And some more drawing got done!
I also want to pay tribute to my two partners, who are a source of constant joy and inspiration. Thank you both from the bottom of my heart for being part of my life.
Related to poppies, believe it or not. Corydalis is a widespread genus in the Northern hemisphere and is concentrated in the far East and the Himalaya, with a few species in Europe and North America. I wrote about them in more detail back in February.
There are a number of blue flowered far Eastern species and their hybrids in cultivation now. The C. elata illustrated is neither common nor easy, but I can thoroughly recommend C ‘Craigton Blue’, a hybrid from C. elata bred by my friends Ian and Maggi Young in Aberdeen and now available at many nurseries in the UK.
The first blue Corydalis to cause a sensation in the gardening world was C. flexuosa, introduced in several forms in the 1980s and still around. If it has a fault, though possibly useful in dry areas, it is that it tends to go dormant during the heat of summer. The hybrids are more inclined to stay evergreen.
All these blue species want a fairly cool, moist and partially shady position in the garden. They benefit greatly from frequent division and replanting – just as Primula do.
Lady Slipper Orchid
The resemblance of the slipper orchids to shoes has inspired my buddies to talk about shoes. As I have said on my blog before – the female love for shoes is one of the mysteries that a mere male like myself has no chance of understanding.
The slipper orchids have a mystery all of their own. The species native to the UK, Cypripedium calceolus, was all but extinct having been reduced to a single known wild plant by the middle of the last century. The solo known wild plant was then (in the 1990s) crossed by Kew with plants in gardens thought to have been taken from the wild decades ago. The resulting seedlings were distributed to selected growers (including myself) for growing on prior to reintroduction to the wild.
The reintroduction was very successful and plants are now thriving on a number of reserves in the North of England.
The Slipper Orchids actually comprise several genera – Cypripedium are the hardy ones from the Northern hemisphere right up to the Arctic. Phragmipedium are tropical plants from South America and Paphiopedilum are their counterparts in tropical Asia. These latter are the ones commonly seen in orchid displays and for sale, though the hardy Cypripedium are now getting commonly available in garden centres, sustainably grown from seed and no longer wild collected. I can grow the hardy ones but don’t ask me how to grow the tropical ones….
The team have a collective dream of a tropical greenhouse attached to a shared studio!
The Owl Butterfly (Caligo). The article on these from the UK Natural History Museum is far more amusing than anything I could produce! The preserved specimen above was photographed by me at the Insectarium in the Montreal Botanic Gardens a year ago. Dominique and I have both photographed live ones since then.
Butterflies have also been on my mind artistically recently, as I produced this drawing of the Painted Lady butterfly:
And with some digital assistance it went to visit last month’s Lavender drawing!
Come back and visit for another edition in October, for which I got caffeinated and went a bit nutty….