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Monday, June 7, 2010

Colour, Wisteria and Stormy Weather



Reading Penelope Hobhouse (lest you think I have been goofing off)  Colour In Your Garden. The word to describe this book is “magisterial”. Mrs. Hobhouse does not make many concessions to readerly lightmindedness—this here is , solid prose. How-sum-ever…she's  really good on color. Her chapter on the Nature of Colour (chapter II) is about the best thing I’ve ever read on the subject. Her description of the white wisteria in Monet’s garden “Sunlight pierces the panicles of wisteria like the prisms of a chandelier” speaks for itself.
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Can't compete with that, but here's Stormy Weather blooming as a memorial to the late great  Lena Horne (see  Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne.) "Intense" on the color  scale, intense as the lady herself. Absolutely memorable.Once met her---she had charm that could knock you sidewise. See the film  Cabin in the Sky in which Lena Horne sings Stormy Weather . Hasn't got  much to do with gardening, but the plants would like it if you sang  to therm!  Horne was a resident of the Central Coast  (Montecito) for many years so we count her as one of our own .  And  I'll bet she loved succulents, hummingbirds and butterflies.....

          (photo of epiphyllum, from Lotusland about which you will hear More Later.)

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