Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Stop and view the flowers!

Over a period of 30 years, gentleman gardener and naturalist Alexander Marshal (c.1620–1682) created a ‘florilegium’ of watercolors recording plants—both native and exotic newcomers—growing in English gardens. The only English flower book to survive from this period, it contains some of the most beautiful plant studies in botanical art. The project was not intended for publication or sale, but to be studied and enjoyed by his friends and fellow horticulturalists. The book was presented to George IV and now resides in the collection at Buckingham Palace. We are carrying a reproduction of this rare compendium, and I have selected some of the images below to give you an idea of its splendors. Enjoy!!

Into this one page, Marshall incorporated a red-billed toucan, pomegranate (double form), common crane, meadow saffron or autumn crocus with caterpillar of buff-tip moth, vine branch, scarlet macaw, mona monkey (at  left), filbert or hazel nuts, caterpillar of cabbage white butterfly, and common frog!


  1. Is a beautiful flower fully explained by Stephen Hawking's physics alone? These images seem to argue against it. Blind pollen would fly as swiftly to a hideous receptacle. Thank you for the lovely treat for the eyes.

  2. Yes, thanks to all of those who help us see and savor the stunning beauty of nature.

  3. Very pretty! Makes me want to venture to Longwood Gardens.