April Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

scan of april blooms
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For more about this technique, see Scanning Flowers.

With the cold weather this week, the garden has been in a state of suspended animation. No daffodils or tulips yet, though the former are budding and the the latter did add some leaf.

Small, low-growing spring ephemerals are about all that’s flowering. Various iris are past their prime, most having been damaged by temps in the teens. (Same goes for crocus.) Snowdrops are also past their prime on the south side, but in their prime on the north side of the house. Hellebores are peaking. Pulmonaria, primula and corydalis are coming on. Cyclamen continue to bloom, as they have most of the winter. Coltsfoot flowers show up here and there. Willows are still putting on a show.

This time of the year, foliage adds to the display. Old and new heuchera leaves. Lamium. Scotch thistle. Emerging sedums.

It was nice to do a little garden clean-up today. The soil is still a little on the wet side. Now I’ll say good-bye to the ground for awhile, what with a foot of snow predicted for Sunday and Monday.

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Scanning flowers

Update: Great post by Julie over at Human Flower Project. I’ve been practicing this technique with my monthly bloom day posts and some other fiddling around:

May post (cold) | May post (hot) | Violets | April post

This morning over at Cold Climate Gardening, Kathy posted about Katinka Matson’s scanned flower art. I first became aware of this technique in a New York Times artcle (abstract only unless you have TimesSelect) by uber garden writer Ken Druse back in April 2005. He profiled artist Ellen Hoverkamp’s technique of arranging flowers on the platen of a flatbed scanner, with the resulting prints looking like old-timey pressed-flower arrangements, only with vibrant colors and 3-D effects.

my first scanBefore I even finished reading the article, I ran over to my office windowsill, snapped off whatever was flowering (violets, geraniums, fuschias), tossed them on the scanner, threw my jacket over the top, and hit scan. That’s the image there on the right. Larger image.

That doesn’t really do the technique justice. It’s just to prove that this is one of those techniques that takes a minute to learn — and a lifetime to master. In addition to Matson’s site (check out her gallery), Hoverkamp’s site offers gorgeous examples. And I stumbled across another floral scanner artist, Patri Feher.

I thank Kathy for reminding me about this technique. Maybe I’ll get into it again this year. When I do, here’s the how-to site that I’ll digest and put to good use. But in all honesty, the biggest barrier (beyond time) is that I really have a hard time cutting my best flowers off at the knees, even if they’ll be immortalized in art.

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