Leaf of the Day: Snowdrop

No spring garden is complete without snowdrops. Here is a sketch of three from under one of the apple trees. As I am in Tennyson country I feel I should favour his snowdrop poem.. simple and optimistic. It was written late in his life in 1889.

The Snowdrop
Many, many welcomes,
February fair-maid,
Ever as of old time,
Solitary firstling,
Coming in the cold time,
Prophet of the gay time,
Prophet of the May time,
Prophet of the roses,
Many, many welcomes,
February fair-maid!

Alfred Lord Tenyson



Leaf of the Day: Sacred Bamboo

I used to grow Sacred Bamboo or Nandina in my little garden in Deal in England. It had lovely winter orangy red colours in the foliage with cheerful red berries and delicate little flowers. The plant has a light and airy feel about it, but does not really look much like bamboo and is not related..although I did read somewhere that it was used in the manufacture of chop sticks. This one is, again, from the varied borders round the apartment. I am going to venture further very soon.

This is one leaf. A compound bipinnate leaf. I have yet to do the “leaf composition chart”.. but its comforting to know I have a sample of the bipinnate variety!

Sacred Bamboo

Leaf of the Day: Umbrella Plant

Oh the poor umbrella plant .. unhappy victim of many a dusty airless UK front room. Here in Florida it thrives and is a sturdy and happy thing. This one lives in close companionship with the little oak, again at the bottom of my steps. Its just a plain green one. The Schefflera Arboricola. Its not so easy to draw. It is my first compound leaf, which really means I have had to draw 10 leaves, not just one. .

The Umbrella Plant

the drawing can be bought for $40 plus postage

First Leaf of the Day: The Live Oak

My very first leaf of the day and it had to be the leaf of the splendid live oak tree. At the moment we are living in Winter Park a suburb of Orlando and there are live oaks in abundance. Huge and beautiful trees cast a dappled shade on the sidewalks and some star in the elegant gardens in this district . Why “live”? …because they stay green for almost all of the year. They are so different from the English oak. The leaves are tougher and some are almost like holly. It is a really magnificent tree and my first sight of Spanish moss hanging from its branches in the leafy side streets of Winter Park will always remain with me. Some interesting facts about the live oak are here from the Winter Park Live Oak Fund. There are two small live oaks outside our apartment where squirrels chase and chatter and generally squirrel about.
The leaves are very small,the longest only 2.5 inches. One would not have seemed enough! This also shows that some have prickles and some are very smooth.
The Live Oak