Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Virginia Flora Documented

Yesterday I attended a lovely presentation hosted by the Newcomers Club of Greater Charlottesville's Gardening Group.

Lara Call Gastinger presented her botanical water color drawings and described The Flora of Virginia Project.  Lara is a local resident and also has her own Etsy shop.  She will be holding a botanical drawing seminar in April for all levels.  She has been assigned to create illustrations for 1,300 of the 3,600 Virginia species.

"Forget Me Nots" taken last summer on Forsythia Hill.

Amazingly, a book of this magnitude, listing all of the Virginia plant species was last printed in 1762.  A lot can change in 250 years!  The 1,400 page volume and corresponding electronic version is due out in 2012.

The topic that left the most meaningful impression on me was Lara's painstaking creation of a journal for a client that took her a year.  She joyously worked in the elements and all seasons to capture the plants (and a few creatures) in this one private garden.  Oh what would I give (if I had it to give) to have such an item for our homeplace in SW Virginia.  It was just fascinating.  I have written in my gardening journal for 20 years but to draw it, that's something else all together.
For now, I'll have to stick to my electronic gizmo and my chicken scratch.


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