I became aware of the allure of wildflowers several years ago when driving at 65 m.p.h. on the expressway in Philadelphia and suddenly seeing a grove of red poppies in the median strips. I quickly pulled the car over to the side of the road where I gazed at them in disbelief, longing to bring some of them home with me. In that instant, I became an ardent lover of wildflowers and to this day dream of nothing more wonderful than living on a huge piece of land and looking out onto an expansive wildflower meadow. My friend told me that I could buy a varied selection of wildflower seeds but I want to have a huge field full of it. It would look amazing!
Several years ago when I apprenticed with Jock Christie at Sir John Thouron’s garden, Doe Run, I observed how the meadow was sown in late fall and again in spring before the glorious blooms of Jock’s ever changing collection of poppies, cornflowers, Queen Anne’s Lace and too many other specimens to mention, seemed to burst open overnight, around Memorial Day. By July 4th, in the Brandywine Valley, the meadow was all but over. Yet, all of the work to maintain the meadow was worth it in order to see this blaze of color for a couple of months in spring/early summer. A little side note, my initial desire to see Doe Run was due to a cover of a magazine (House and Gardens, I think) which had a photo of Doe Run’s sumptuous field of red poppies and white daisies on it.
Cut to Israel when in late March someone mentioned to me that I should go north to see the wildflowers in bloom because by mid-April the peak of the season would be over. These photos are pictures of a meadow, that is literally abutting a busy highway leading into Tel Aviv. Juxtapositioned on the other side of the meadow, where the terrain becomes a bit more steep, are some winding, sandy paths leading to the Mediterranean.
The waves of purple and yellow flowers remind me of an Impressionistic painting. The flowers and grasses undulate through this piece of land as if they had been here for centuries.
My eye landed on these poppies nestled in a spot between some old, towering yuccas. It reminded me of both the power and paradox of nature, very Tao like: the old and new, permanence and impermanence and same and different.
And as if the natural landscape wasn’t enough of a visual feast, a few minutes after I started walking through the meadows, I came upon these sculptures. Sometimes when visiting a sculpture garden, I feel that the sculptures meld beautifully into the landscape, leaving an indelible imprint on my psyche. Yet, there are other times where I walk away feeling like the sculptures have imposed themselves on the landscape: similar to adding more plant material to a garden, when in fact, the garden would have been better off without it.
Talk about the melding of two artistic mediums! The sculptures speak for themselves. Each of them was made from elements of the earth.
Whoever thought that sand ‘breasts’ surrounded by wildflowers could look so ‘right’?
What do you make of this particular sculpture: the bottom half of a torso erupting from the broken end of a large branch?
And for all of you who thought that you needed a large piece of land to sow wildflowers, take heart! Here’s a great story about one woman’s successful efforts to turn Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn into a meadowflower heaven! It’s worth a read: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/12/nyregion/12flowers.html?_r=1&emc=eta1