Saturday, July 05, 2008

Again With the Acanthus

I know I've posted about this before (probably every summer but I'm too lazy to go back and check). But I love acanthus. Thanks mom! She gave me a small bit of it when we first moved into this house fourteen years ago and I planted it out in the "back 40."

That small clump turned into an evergrowing and expanding acanthus patch, it is now taking over a large portion of the fenceline. There are at least four separate large clumps, and I know I need to take some out and move it some where. But summertime is not the best for transplanting stuff, way too stressful and hot for the plants (oh and me too). Apparently it is deerproof because it has grown under the fence and is flourishing quite nicely with no bite marks from either Prongs or Dear Leader (the deer pair we have around this year have been officially named). Not sure why, the leaves are soft, but the flower stalks are sharp and prickly. Maybe I'll try moving it out into the deer-zone garden in the fall and see what happens.

The acanthus mollis, or Bear's Breeches, apparently one of the most common leaf motifs used in architectural decorations, think, tops of Corinthian columns. The flower not so much, it is kind of complicated. I find the structure of it really fascinating though, all stacked up like it is.

I really am inspired by the transition from green to purple on the leaves, that would be a fun challenge to try and dye something that would approximate that colorway.

I've always been drawn to the William Morris designs of acanthus such as this one, a design for wallpaper. Oh can you imagine how luscious that would be? A whole room covered in this stuff? Yowza.
Print of this image can be bought at ArtsyCraftsy.

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