}

December 30, 2011

Greeting a Dawning Year


CONSERVATORY DELIGHTS WELCOME A NEW YEAR
A COMPOSITION INSPIRED BY AN ENGRAVING PUBLISHED IN  THE YOUNG GARDENERS ASSISTANT
by Thomas Bridgeman, 1853.

 PERIOD FLOWERS, PICKED TODAY IN THE GREENHOUSE.
Descending snow, the yellow leaf and sear,
Are indications of old Time's career;
The careful florist tends his sheltered plants,
Studies their nature, and supplies their wants.

Winter's white sheet now covers earth's cold bed;
Pride of our home the lovely flowers, outside, are dead;
Some early venturers would the aspect cheer;
B'neath thy glass, first-born greet a dawning year.


In 1850, winter flowers were often presented under glass domes, or placed in bowls and vases within Wardian Cases, where the extra humidity would keep them fresher. Greenhouses were heated by coal or wood, and night-time meant even colder temperatures. Homes where also wood or steam heated,  heated, and most recommended that plants and flowers be brought into the center of the room for evenings, so that they would not freeze when the temperature drops on chilly nights.

Above, a New Years' urn created in the 19th century style, it includes many flowers in bloom in the cold greenhouse today ( from top), Clivia caulescens x nobilis,  a natural cross which occurs in South Africa, Westringia rosmarifolia, two Abutilon varieties (the  flowering Parlor Maple), a red Vireya Rhododendron, pink and cream colored Correa 'Western Hills', a good shrub for winter gardens under glass, Narcissus romieuxii and Narcissus cantabricus, Camellia japonica and a Cyclamen graecum leaf. Moss and ferns complete the period composition.

Alos, the term 'Florists', is an old term for those who grew not only grew plants and flowers to sell,  but also those who bred flowers, sold bulbs and notions for growing plants. Somewhat different than what  a florist is today. In 1853, a 'Florist' was more like a butcher who raised his own meat, and bred his own cattle as well.


1 comment :

  1. Anonymous7:21 PM

    These are so magical and the colors are exquisite.
    Beautiful work Matt.

    ReplyDelete

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