Here's a thistle I recently found in a local prairie preserve here in Council Bluffs. They're not the easiest flower to handle, obviously, but they're worth the trouble. Thanks to everybody who visited my display at Lauritzen Gardens over the summer. It was an incredible experience.
Well, the good folks at Lauritzen Gardens asked if I would extend my show until September 14, and I thought about it for a quarter second before answering yes. I'd be a fool not to, right? This is one in a new batch of prints I dropped off at the Gardens yesterday to replace some that have been either sold or stolen. I'm kind of hoping for the latter, since nothing sells like a scandal. They say that you know you've made it when people start stealing your work. I'm not necessarily condoning theft, but it is the theme of my show (A Theft in the Garden), so if I'm on the receiving end of it, I kind of had it coming. Plus, if you know me, I'm not always one to take the high road.
Having a 2-year-old in the house means that I read a lot of kids' books, and many are adorned by cute little drawings of background flowers (and bunnies, butterflies, birds, etc). They are typically 5 or 6 rounded red or yellow petals above a green stem and maybe a few hastily drawn leaves. I'm usually unsure which type of flower they're meant to represent; maybe some British flower that I'm unfamiliar with, since so many kids' books have deep English roots. Regardless, I'm always on the lookout for flowers that seem to match the characteristic style of those in storybooks. A few months ago, my wonderful grandma sent Teri a bouquet of interesting little short-petaled tulips for Mother's Day, and at certain angles, they resembled the flowers in Gavin's books. So I spent an afternoon trying to emulate that look. This one falls seriously short of the description above, but it's one of the "outtakes" that I like.
I had some time to go wildflower hunting yesterday and found myself in a field of these little pink and white flowers. I learned this morning that they are fittingly called crown vetch, or axseed. I can only assume that I've seen them countless times throughout my life, but I just never took a closer look. A Google search told me that they are considered invasive in many areas, that they are poisonous in large quantities to horses, and that they provide excellent erosion-resisting groundcover. They're also ubiquitous and hardy, which many find to be unforgivable qualities in plants of all kinds.
You would laugh if you saw how small this "vase" is. The clematis is from my mother-in-law's flower garden.