Monday Musings…….Colours of the countryside
I think there are probably very few artists or writers who are not inspired by their surroundings be it urban or rural. I live in a town centre and am constantly fascinated by the patterns of Victorian tiles in the shop doorways or old walls left standing in front of new buildings as the final hint to what may have stood before. Likewise I am lucky enough to live within some of the most breathtaking countryside here on the Isle of Wight and daily walk my dog on The Downs.
The colours of the seasons never cease to amaze of inspire me and although the same flowers appear each year they are still welcomed with joy and always look different. The Bluebells of May always smell amazing. Traditionally Bluebells beckon the fairies to meet which is why Bluebell woods were often thought of as enchanted places. Picking them meant almost certain doom and I often wonder how many ever risked it for the sake of their heavenly smell and colourful cheer in a dull home! Foxgloves appear in June. We all know their dubious medicinal powers but like the Bluebell they are bound up in fairy legend. Their common name was Fairy Caps, Fairy Gloves and Fairy Herb amongst many but my favourite is Fairy Thimbles! Many of my followers will know my love of Honeysuckle, recently immortalised in one of my latest kits together with the wild rose which also grow amongst the hedges of The Downs. Did you know that Honeysuckle, far from being a sweet smelling shrub in western classification, is a fundamental herb in Chinese herbology? The flowers are, I believe used for inflammation , fever and colds!
More pink follows in July with the Willow Herb (another medicinal plan) and Heather in August which to me always signifies the coming of Autumn. The Heather is particularly lovely. As it begins to bloom and tinge The Downs with pale pink it then blossoms into magenta and then dies off to a dark antique pink before it disappears completely for another year. I think of all the plants this is one of my favourites because is blessed with so many attributes. I think its very nature as a small, hardy plant surviving on wild, romantic moorlands makes it magical in itself. Beloved by the Scots and steeped in folklore it was used in thatch and bedding and seen as a symbol for good luck and protection as well as beauty and admiration for brides. Every year I pick some and put it in my studio.
This brings my colours up to date before we meet Autumn , which in itself as my favourite season deserves a Monday Musing all of it’s own!
My kit ‘Honeysuckle& Roses’ donates 10% to the Hampshire & IOW Wildlife Trust as a small token of appreciation for the flowers that inspired me.