Modern Roses: Polyanthas and Floribundas (Cluster-Flowered Roses)

On Tuesday, I wrote about Hybrid Teas, one of the most popular rose types today, the other type being the Floribundas, or as they are now known, the Cluster-Flowered Roses, which developed from the Polyanthas, so I will discuss the latter first.

Polyanthas

The first Polyantha rose, Paquerette, was a cross between a low growing, perpetually flowering R. multiflora and an unknown Dwarf China hybrid (possibly Old Blush China) by Sisley, France, and was introduced by Guillot, France, in 1875.

Another early Polyantha was Mignonette, Guillot, France 1880, a cross between R. chinensis and R. multiflora, and the earliest Polyantha rose still available. Both bore large sprays of very small, pompom-like, soft rosy-pink flowers, like those of R. multiflora, fading to white with age. Here is a photo of a Multiflora rose, Phyllis Bide.BlogModRosesReszd20%IMG_9508

They were originally classified as R. rehderiana and were called Polypompoms. While they all possessed cluster blooms in the one florescence, they exhibited great variability in their growth habits and the size and shape of their blooms. It was not until the early 1900s that there were enough uniformly distinct characteristics to form a splinter group, known as the Dwarf Polyanthas.

Adaptable, floriferous, hardy and low maintenance small roses (with only an occasional tendency to mildew) with large, tightly-packed clusters of small, slightly cupped, semi-double flowers (unfortunately, with little or no fragrance) throughout Summer, they were useful shrubs in colder climates, where the less hardy Hybrid Teas required mollycoddling in the cold Winters.

They were hugely popular in the period between the two World Wars, with a large number of varieties introduced, most of which have since disappeared with their declining popularity after the Second World War, though there was a brief revival of interest in the 1980s, when they were used as a ground cover, in group plantings and shrubberies or as specimen roses at the front of borders, especially where the soil was poor.

Some well-known Polyanthas are:

The Fairy, Bentall, United Kingdom, 1932: A cross between Polyantha, Paul Crampel, and Hybrid Wichuraiana, Lady Gay, it was one of the first hybrids to have a trailing habit. It has sprays of tiny ‘China’ pink, continuous blooms, with little scent and good disease-resistance. It makes a handy ground cover on embankments. See: http://sarose.org.au/rose-month/fairy/.

China Doll, Lammerts, United States, before 1936: A cross between Polyantha, Mrs Dudley Fulton and Miniature rose, Tom Thumb, it is one of the lowest borderers and bears huge heads of rich ‘China’ pink blooms almost to the ground. See: http://www.1001-landscaping-ideas.com/china-doll-roses.html.

BlogModRosesReszd2014-10-25 13.50.29Climbing Pinkie, discovered by EP Dering, United States, 1952: A sport of Pinkie, bred by Swim, United States, in 1947 and whose parents were China Doll and an unknown rose, this climbing version is very vigorous and will grow without support to form a graceful cascading plant. It is constantly in flower with large trusses of cupped, semi-double, rosy-pink fragrant blooms on thornless stems. The photos above and below are Climbing Pinkie.BlogModRosesReszd2014-10-25 13.50.35Green Ice, Moore, United States, 1971:  A cross between (R. wichuraiana x Floribunda, Floradora) and Miniature rose, Jet Trail, this free-flowering miniature has small, double, white, slightly scented  blooms, tinged with green, especially in cooler weather. It has thick glossy foliage and reaches up to 0.5 metres high. It makes a useful ground cover and also looks good in a hanging basket. See: http://sarose.org.au/rose-month/green-ice/.

Polyanthas were important in rose history, as they led directly to the development of the modern Cluster-Flowered Roses or Floribundas.

Floribundas

Hugely popular in Europe, especially Germany, Floribundas have a mixed pedigree, with its ancestors being R. multiflora (large trusses of flowers) and Hybrid Chinas (long flowering season).

In 1910, the Danish breeder, Poulsen, crossed Dwarf Polyanthas with Hybrid Teas in an attempt to increase the hardiness and cold tolerance of the latter. He crossed Polyantha, Mme Norbert Levavasseur, with Hybrid Tea, Richmond, to produce Rödhätte (Red Riding Hood) with semi-double, cherry-red flowers in large clusters. It was distributed in 1912, but was lost in the turmoil of the First World War.

Crosses of Dwarf Polyantha, Orléans Rose, with Hybrid Tea, Red Star, by Poulsen’s son, Svend, produced two new roses in 1924: the pink semi-double Else Poulsen and the red single Kirsten Poulsen. These were the start of the Poulsen Roses and were soon followed by Karen Poulsen 1932 and the first yellow Cluster-Flowered Rose, Poulsen Yellow, in 1939.

Poulsen Roses were taller in growth and had larger flowers than most Polyanthas and, as more breeders experimented with them, they were renamed Hybrid Polyanthas for two decades, and then, Floribundas, in the 1950s. Most of them have been superseded by the modern Cluster-Flowered Roses and only a few survive today.

Quickly gaining in popularity, Floribundas were used as bedding plants, providing massed colour over a long period throughout the Summer. They have been interbred with other rose types as well, including R. wichuraiana; R. rubiginosa; R. rugosa and R. pimpinellifolia. Over the last twenty years, they have been interbred so much with Hybrid Teas, that it is difficult to separate them genetically.

The earlier Floribundas often had single or semi-double blooms, opening flat, but now, many Cluster-Flowered Roses have blooms as large and shapely as those of Hybrid Teas. The big advantage of Floribundas was not only their hardiness in cold climates, but also the fact that they are much more free-flowering than Hybrid Teas. Here is a photo of an early Floribunda, Gruss an Aachen.BlogModRosesReszd20%IMG_9730Another breeding aim has been to introduce flowers with veined or hand-painted petals eg McGredy, using Kordes’ rose, Frühlingsmorgen.

Here are some well-known Cluster-Flowered Roses, in order of their introduction:

Gruss an Aachen, Hinner, Germany, 1909: A cross between Hybrid Perpetual, Frau Karl Druschki and Hybrid Tea, Franz Deegen, this Floribunda bears large, full, mildly fragrant, light-pink rosette blooms with a salmon-pink centre, ageing to cream.BlogModRosesReszd2014-10-19 13.43.44Dainty Maid, LeGrice, UK, 1938: A cross between DT Poulsen and an unknown rose, it has single large flowers, which are clear pink on the inside and carmine on the exterior, and have a slight scent. See: https://www.classicroses.co.uk/dainty-maid-bush-rose.html. It is a parent of Constance Spry, one of the first English Roses bred by David Austin;

August Seebauer, Kordes, Germany, 1944: A cross between Hybrid Tea, Break O’Day, and Else Poulsen, it bears small clusters of large, double, deep pink, mildly fragrant blooms with a high centred form.BlogModRosesReszd20%IMG_9719Iceberg, Kordes, German, 1958: A cross between Hybrid Musk rose, Robin Hood, and Hybrid Tea, Virgo, this rose holds the distinction of being  the most popular rose today and is one of the best Floribundas ever bred. It was voted the Best Rose by the World Rose Convention in 1983. Nearly every non-rose person knows this one!!! It has large clusters of small, lightly double white flowers, opening wide; smooth slender stems and glossy, light green foliage.

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I never really appreciated Icebergs until I saw them at my sister’s garden at ‘Glenrock’.
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Here is a closer photo from another Iceberg rose.

For an even closer view, see: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/iceberg;

BlogModRosesReszd20c 2013 017Just Joey, Cants, UK, 1972: A cross between Fragrant Cloud (a Hybrid Tea, with a strong fragrance, which was voted the Best Rose by the World Rose Convention in 1980) and Dr AJ Verhage, another Hybrid Tea. Photos above and below;BlogModRosesReszd20%IMG_0424BlogModRosesReszd20%IMG_1869Friesia, Kordes, Germany, 1973: A cross between two Floribundas, Friedrich Wörlein, and Spanish Sun, this rose has small clusters of deep yellow, high-centred ruffled blooms with a strong fragrance.BlogModRosesReszd2014-10-25 14.04.00Gold Bunny, Paolina, France, 1978: A cross between Poppy Flash and (Charleston x Allgold), all parents being Floribundas, this rose flowers continuously. I grew this on our wall at rainy Dorrigo and, despite its reputation for susceptibility to black spot, my climber was superb, with shiny glossy healthy leaves and a multitude of golden pollen-rich blooms over a long period. It had so much pollen that I experienced hayfever symptoms for the first time ever with dry itchy eyes and a runny nose, but it was worth it and I suspect a distinct selling point when we sold the property!;BlogModRosesReszd30%DSCF2073BlogModRosesReszd30%DSCF2065Oranges and Lemons, McGredy, New Zealand, 1992: A cross between Floribunda, New Year and Freude, this striking rose has large, bright lemon-yellow blooms with vermillion orange stripes.BlogModRosesReszd50%april 018Scentimental, Carruth, USA, 1996 : A cross between a yellow and red Floribunda, Playboy, and a striped Floribunda, Peppermint Twist, it is one of the new Floribundas with Hybrid Tea-like blooms on small clusters. They are creamy-white, striped and splashed with burgundy-red, each petal being different, and so, each bloom being different too.BlogModRosesReszd50%april 039Victoria Gold, Welsh, Australia, 1999.  Released in 1999 to commemorate the centenary of the Victorian Rose Society, the first rose society in Australia, it has rich golden yellow blooms, with a fine red edge in cooler weather, borne in clusters up to 7 blooms per stem, and contrasting dark green foliage.BlogModRosesReszd2014-10-19 14.00.26 A child of Gold Bunny, it is one of the first roses to flower in spring and can regularly repeat bloom until early winter. It is very disease resistant, a good performer in the  hot Australian climate and can be grown as an individual bush, a standard rose, grouped to form a bed of roses or a low hedge. At the Victoria State Rose Garden at Werribee Park, it is a feature plant around the old rotunda.BlogModRosesReszd2014-10-19 14.00.12

Finally, there are two more sub groupings I should mention, which cover Floribundas at either end of the height scale!

Grandifloras

An American classification only, referring to large-flowered, taller Floribundas, forming an intermediate group between Floribundas and Hybrid Teas. They include:

Queen Elizabeth, Lammerts, USA, 1954: A cross between a Hybrid Tea, Charlotte Armstrong, and a Floribunda, Floradora, it reaches 3 metres high, is incredible disease-resistant and has continuous-flowering clusters of long, high-centred, clear-pink buds, which open into large, deeply- cupped, lightly fragrant blooms. It was voted the Best Rose at the World Rose Convention in 1977 and its popularity after the Second World War was such that, along with Peace, it is found in almost every garden at some stage (though I haven’t got one yet!!!).

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I’m pretty sure that these are Queen Elizabeth.
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Both photographs were taken at Moidart, in the Southern Highlands, in mid-November.

For a closeup, see: http://www.all-my-favourite-flower-names.com/queen-elizabeth-rose.html.

Gold Medal, Christensen, USA, 1982: A cross between Yellow Pages x (Granada x Garden Party), all Hybrid Teas, this golden yellow rose with copper shadings is the classic Hybrid Tea form, with high-centred buds, opening to cupped, reflexed blooms.BlogSohoReszd5013-06-09 12.43.49Fragrant Plum, Christensen, USA, 1990: A cross between a Floribunda, Shocking Blue, and (Blue Nile x Ivory Tower, both Hybrid Teas, x Floribunda, Angel Face), it has large, double, mauve blooms with a strong, fruity fragrance.BlogModRosesReszd2016-10-28 13.51.47Miniatures, Ground Cover and Patio Roses

Bred from Dwarf China rose, Rouletti, long grown on the window sills of Swiss cottages and rediscovered by Henri Correvon in 1922, these roses are miniature versions of their larger Floribunda cousins, with smaller blooms, foliage, stems and prickles. You can see a photo of Rouletti on:http://www.paulbardenroses.com/minis/rouletii.html.

The slightly larger varieties are known as Patio Roses and are increasingly popular with people living in units or on small properties. An example is:

Queen Mother, Kordes, Germany, 1991: A cross between a seedling of R. wichuraiana and Floribunda, Toynbee Hall, it was bred for the Queen Mother’s 90th birthday to support the Royal United Kingdom Beneficent Association, of which she was the Royal Patron. It has small clusters of medium to large, semi-double, light pink flowers with a mild fragrance, which open flat.BlogModRosesReszd50%april 016The smaller varieties are known as Miniatures or Fairy Roses and have been crossed with Floribundas and Wichuraianas to develop blooms with new colours and shapes.  They are often grown in pots.

Ground Cover Roses, also known as Procumbent Shrub Roses,  are just that. Examples include: Sea Foam, Schwartz, USA, 1964; and Snow Carpet, McGredy, NZ, 1980. See: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/type/shrub-roses/ground-cover-roses for more.

Over the next two weeks, we will be looking at the Modern Shrub Rose and Modern Climbers, starting with David Austin’s English Roses, as well as the progeny of other breeders. We have already discussed Pemberton’s Hybrid Musks, which also fall into this category.

Modern Roses: Hybrid Teas (Large-Flowered Roses)

And now to the roses of the Twentieth Century: the Hybrid Teas, Polyanthas and Floribundas, which represent the majority of all rose plants and have been interbred so much that they are now very difficult to separate on a genetic basis.

Both groups are short bushes, 1m to less than 2m tall and less than 1 metre to 1.5 metres wide, with an upright growth habit, bred to be grown in rose beds and cut for floral arrangements in the home. They repeat-flower with several flushes, 6 to 8 weeks apart and lasting several weeks long, throughout the season, from late October and mid-November to pruning time the following Winter, here in Australia. The first two photos are of Just Joey.BlogModRosesReszd2016-11-12 13.48.23Most blooms have the traditional modern form with a high-pointed bud, opening to a circular outline with a high spiralling centre. However, there are more informal types with a lighter, more airy arrangement of petals, while others have tight rings of petals in rosettes or cupped formations.BlogModRosesReszd20%IMG_0384To add to the confusion, most roses of either group can form multiple heads (clusters) on the top of strong water shoots in Spring, and even cluster-flowered roses can throw a good number of single stems on older, lightly pruned plants.

Within each group, there is huge variety  in the foliage canopy (dense/sparse), leaf appearance (matt/glossy), height (tall/short) and bloom colour and shape, enabling the choice of roses for a wide variety of purposes and situations:

Floral arrangements and cutting blooms: Consistently single shapely blooms on long stems eg Mr Lincoln, Julia’s Rose, Blue Moon, Fragrant Plum (2nd photo below), Pascali  (long regarded as one of the best white Hybrid Teas and a cross between Queen Elizabeth and White Butterfly) and Double Delight. Here is a vase of Mr Lincoln (dark red) and Lolita (orange, pink and gold):BlogSohoReszd50cember2011 200Exhibition/ Competition blooms:  Consistently large blooms with a good form, but not necessarily long stems eg Peace;BlogModRosesReszd2016-11-04 11.25.11Attractive garden plants: Plentiful eye-catching blooms on thick, well-rounded plants eg Apricot Nectar; Lolita (main tall rose in photo above); and Fragrant Plum (photo below);BlogModRosesReszd20%IMG_1987Bedding Roses: Tidy growth habit, dense foliage and free-flowering eg Iceberg, La Sevillana (photo below) and Queen Elizabeth;BlogModRosesReszd2014-10-27 11.26.08Roses for Low Borders: 0.5 to 1 metre tall eg Polyanthas

Ground Cover, Patio and Miniature Roses: See later.

Single Blooms eg  Mrs Oakley Fisher, Ellen Willmott, White Wings (photo below) and Dainty Bess; and

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General Purpose Roses: Combine a number of the above attributes eg Gold Bunny, Just Joey (photo below) and Peace.BlogModRosesReszd2016-11-23 15.13.08 In 1971, Hybrid Teas and Floribundas were reclassified as Large-Flowered Roses and Cluster-Flowered Roses respectively. I will now focus Hybrid Teas for the rest of this post, then Polyanthas and Floribundas (Cluster-Flowered Roses) in Thursday’s post.

Hybrid Teas

Hybrid Teas are the result of a cross between Tea roses (for their elegance and perpetual flowering) and Hybrid Perpetuals ( for their robustness and freedom of flowering) in the mid-19th Century.

The earliest Hybrid Teas were:

Victor Verdier, bred by Lacharme, France, 1859: A cross between Hybrid Perpetual, Jules Margottin, and Tea rose, Safrano, and the first reliably documented rose, that could be classified as a Hybrid Tea, according to David Austin. See: http://www.petrovicroses.rs/en/roses/old-roses/hp/victor-verdier;

La France, bred by Guillot Fils, France, 1865: This rose has uncertain origins. Guillot thought it was possibly a seedling of Tea rose, Mme Falcot, the current position taken in  Peter Beales’book, Classic Roses, while David Austin attributes its parents as Hybrid Perpetual, Mme Victor Verdier (not to be confused with Victor Verdier) and Tea Rose, Mme Bravy. It had a good scent, vigorous growth and was very free-flowering. At the time, it was considered to be another Hybrid Perpetual and was a nearly sterile triploid, as were the early Bourbons. For a long while, it held the honour of being the first Hybrid Tea. For a photo, see: http://www.paulbardenroses.com/hybridteas/lafrance.html. It was soon followed by:

Lady Mary Fitzwilliam, Bennett, UK, 1882 (photo below): A cross between Devoniensis (Tea) and Victor Verdier (Hybrid Perpetual), it was a fertile tetraploid and was the parent of many early British Hybrid Teas. Thought to have disappeared, it was rediscovered in 1975 by Keith Money, Norfolk. Bennett, long regarded as the Father of the Hybrid Teas, was the first to use the term Hybrid Tea or as he put it ‘Pedigree Hybrids of the Tea Rose’. Bennett was also, along with French breeder, Sisley, the first to apply systematic deliberate cross breeding to roses with certain objectives in view, thus being the first modern rose breeders.BlogModRosesReszd2014-10-25 09.48.16Other early varieties included:

Grace Darling 1884. Unknown parentage. See: https://www.classicroses.co.uk/grace-darling-bush-rose.html;

Mme Caroline Testout 1890 ( a cross between Tea Rose, Mme de Tartas and Lady Mary Fitzwilliam);BlogModRosesReszd20%IMG_9267Lady Waterlow 1903 (Hybrid Tea, La France de ’89 X Mme Marie Lavalley);BlogModRosesReszd2014-10-19 13.20.40Irish Elegance, Alexander Dickson II, United Kingdom,1905, a cross between R. hibernica and an undocumented Hybrid Tea. Salmon buds open to highly fragrant, single, flat peach blooms, fading to salmon-buff. This rose is very disease-resistant and blooms in flushes throughout the season.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChâteau de Clos Vougeot, Pernet-Ducher, France, 1908: Unknown cross;blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0247Mrs Herbert Stevens, McGredy, UK, 1910, a cross between Hybrid Perpetual, Frau Karl Druschki and Tea Rose, Niphetos;BlogModRosesReszd20%IMG_0479Ophelia 1912 (a seedling, which arrived in a consignment of Antoine Rivoire – photo below). For a photo of Ophelia, see: https://www.classicroses.co.uk/ophelia-bush-rose.html; andBlogModRosesReszd20%IMG_9703Mme Butterfly 1918, the bush form a sport of Ophelia. See: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/mme-butterfly.

While many of these early Hybrid Teas have been superseded by the more modern varieties, they still hold their own in their climbing forms, which are either crosses or sports involving the bush forms. For example:

Climbing Mme Caroline Testout 1901;

Climbing Château de Clos Vougeot 1920, both sports of their bush form;

Climbing Mrs Herbert Stevens 1922, one of the most popular white climbers, which is frequently found in old gardens;BlogModRosesReszd2016-11-04 12.23.39Climbing Lady Sylvia 1926, the bush form itself also a sport of Mme Butterfly, and one of the most popular roses of the 1930s. See: http://www.davidaustinroses.com/eu/lady-sylvia; and

Mme Gregoire Staechelin (Spanish Beauty) 1927, a cross between Hybrid Perpetual, Frau Karl Druschki and Hybrid Tea, Château de Clos Vougeot. The first two photos below were taken at Walter Duncan’s home at the Heritage Garden, Clare, while the last photo was our old verandah at ‘Creekside’, Armidale.

BlogModRosesReszd20%IMG_9498BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9631BlogModRosesReszd50%Image (221)Ophelia, Mme Butterfly and Lady Sylvia all exhibit the ideal for perfect Hybrid Tea buds with their exquisitely scrolled formation and have few rivals, even today. They only differ in their colour: Ophelia is blush-pink; Mme Butterfly is a slightly deeper shade and Lady Sylvia is blush, suffused with apricot. In all three, the colour deepens towards the centre. All are reliable growers, reaching 80 cm in height, but are prone to blackspot. The neat foliage is grey-green and the flowers highly scented. All have excellent climbing sports. Ophelia alone was responsible for at least 36 sports!

For more photos of  the Early Hybrid Teas, see:http://www.heritage.rose.org.au/gallery/early-hybrid-teas.

The next advance was the first yellow Hybrid Tea! In 1910, Pernet-Ducher crossed a  clear-yellow  R. foetida persiana with a red Hybrid Perpetual, Antoine Ducher, to produce a seedling, which was then crossed with R. foetida bicolor  to produce the first yellow Hybrid Tea, Rayon d’Or.

Rayon d’Or is now extinct, but another yellow form of the same crossing (Antoine Ducher x R. foetida persiana) still survives: Soleil d’Or 1900.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA For a better photo, see: https://www.classicroses.co.uk/soleil-d-or-bush-rose.html.

Originally known as the Pernetianas and now reclassified as Hybrid Teas or Large-Flowered Roses, they had yellow or orange blooms with little scent and were very thorny and highly susceptible to blackspot. In fact, they are the source of most of the yellows and bright colours in modern roses, as well as the source of their susceptibility to blackspot!

Another important breeding program was the introduction in 1945 of R. wichuraiana genes by Brownlow, Rhode Island, to produce hardier varieties, more resistant to blackspot and suitable for growing in the colder climate of North-Eastern USA, which he called Sub-Zero Hybrid Teas. For more information on these roses, see: http://www.midwestgardentips.com/sub-zero_tea_roses.html. Some were later used by German breeder, Kordes, to produce varieties suitable for Germany.

There are now thousands of Hybrid Teas on the market, with at least ten large rose specialist breeders around the world, including: Kordes (Germany); Meilland (France); Dickson (Northern Ireland); McGredy (formerly Northern Ireland and later, New Zealand); Harkness (England) and Fryer (England); Cocker (Scotland); Jackson and Perkins (USA); and Weeks (USA), as well as countless smaller and amateur breeders.

Description

Tall upright growth with sparse foliage towards the base.

Large solitary specimen bloom with a high-pointed bud and variable degrees of scent. The photo below of Mrs Herbert Stevens shows the typical long pointed and spiralling buds.BlogModRosesReszd2016-11-02 13.33.22Recurrent flowering.

Not as hardy or tough as Old Roses and more susceptible to diseases like black spot.

Most widely grown rose type and according to Deane Ross, the most popular rose type in Australia and New Zealand. Below is a photo of a bush of Mme Caroline Testout.BlogModRosesReszd20%IMG_9266

Varieties

I have already mentioned a few early Hybrid Teas. Here are some more very famous and popular varieties in order of their introduction. Please note that it is only a miniscule portion of the vast number of Hybrid Teas available, the selection being based on the few Hybrid Teas, which I grow in my garden, and other personal photos from other gardens! Where I did not have suitable photos, I have included a link, as in the first rose below.

Mrs Oakley Fisher, Cant, UK, 1921. Single deep orange-yellow blooms with a good scent and golden-brown stamens. Unknown parentage. See: http://www.rosenotes.com/2014/08/mrs-oakley-fisher-rose.html;

Dainty Bess, Archer, UK 1925, a cross between Ophelia and Kitchener of Khartoum, both Hybrid Teas, it has single rose-pink blooms with a deeper pink on the outside, contrasting red-brown stamens and fringed petals.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Ellen Willmott,  Archer, UK, 1936: A cross between Dainty Bess and Tea Rose, Lady Hillingdon with large, single, creamy flowers, tinged with pink at the edges, wavy petals and golden anthers and red filaments;BlogModRosesReszd20%IMG_9670Peace, Meilland, France, 1945: One of the most popular roses of all time, the story of its creation immortalized in Antonia Ridge’s beautiful book ‘For Love of a Rose’. See: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/01/10/fabulous-rose-books/.

Peace is the result of crosses between (George Dickson x Souvenir de Claudius Pernet) X ( Joanna Hill x Charles P Kilham) X  Margaret McGredy and was also called Gloria Dei (Germany), Mme A Meilland (France) and Gioia (Italy). For a shorter version of its story, see: https://www.gerbera.org/gardening-magazine/the-gardener-index/june-2005/peace-rose/. It was voted the Best Rose by the World Rose Convention in 1974;BlogModRosesReszd50%Image (190)White Wings, Krebs, USA, 1947 : A cross between Dainty Bess and an unknown rose, it is another Hybrid Tea with pure white single blooms with chocolate anthers;BlogModRosesReszd20%IMG_9666Sutter’s Gold: Bush form: Swim, USA, 1950; Climbing form Weeks, USA, 1950: A cross between Charlotte Armstrong x Signora, both Hybrid Teas. A lovely rose, with whose climbing form I grew up. See: http://www.treloarroses.com.au/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=2466;

Meg, Gosset, UK, 1954: A cross between Paul’s Lemon Pillar X Mme Butterfly, both Hybrid Teas and another beautiful single golden rose;BlogModRosesReszd2014-10-25 13.52.10Papa Meilland, Meilland, France, 1963: A cross between Chrysler Imperial X Charles Mallerin, both Hybrid Teas. A  velvety deep red rose with a perfect formation and delicious perfume. It was voted the Best Rose by the World Rose Convention in 1988, however it can be a tricky rose with poor growth in Britain. See: http://sarose.org.au/rose-month/papa-meilland/;

Mr Lincoln, Swim and Weeks, USA, 1964 : Another cross between the same two Hybrid Teas, Chrysler Imperial X Charles Mallerin. Another beautiful deep red rose with a divine scent and very long stems, making it very popular with florists;BlogSohoReszd50%IMG_9022BlogModRosesReszd20%IMG_2319Blue Moon, Tantau, Germany, 1965:  A cross between Hybrid Tea, Sterling Silver, and an unknown seedling, this rose has upright growth and highly fragrant lavender exhibition blooms. One of the earliest and most successful of the blue roses that will flower through Summer and Autumn. See: http://rankinsroses.com.au/product/blue-moon/;

BlogModRosesReszd2016-10-29 12.10.20Lolita, Kordes, Germany, 1973 A cross between Hybrid Tea, Colour Wonder and an unknown seedling. Continuous slightly scented apricot flowers, tinged with pink on long straight almost thornless stems. I love it at all stages from the tight bud (photo above) to a high-pointed, classic-shaped rose through to a full bloom showing its stamens;BlogModRosesReszd2016-11-01 13.25.03Julia’s Rose, Wisbech, UK, 1976: A coppery coffee-coloured rose with a slight scent, which is a cross between two Hybrid Teas, Blue Moon and Dr AJ Verhage;BlogSohoReszd50%late apr 2013 124Double Delight, Swim and Ellis, USA, 1977: A cross between Granada and Garden Party, both Hybrid Teas,  it has creamy-white, highly scented continuous blooms with red edges, but the leaves are susceptible to mildew. It was voted the Best Rose by the World Rose Convention in 1986. See: http://www.all-my-favourite-flower-names.com/double-delight-rose.html;

The Children’s Rose, Meilland, France, 1995: A cross between (Perfume Delight x Prima Ballerina, both Hybrid Teas) X The Mc Cartney Rose, another Hybrid Tea, this tall robust disease -resistant rose has highly fragrant, fully double fat, soft pink blooms, mainly borne singly, but sometimes in clusters on almost thornless stems. It starts to bloom in the mid-Spring, the flowering being constant throughout the season and right up to Winter pruning. It was introduced in the United States under the name, Frederic Mistral;BlogModRosesReszd20c 2013 202Our Copper Queen, Kordes, Germany, 1996: Tall healthy plant with large, fragrant, deep golden yellow solitary double blooms, borne in flushed throughout the season;BlogModRosesReszd20%IMG_0380BlogModRosesReszd20%IMG_4487Ice-Girl, Kordes, Germany, 1997: A cross between Frederic Mistral and Osiana, both Hybrid Teas, this rose has ivory-white, medium, double and quartered blooms in small clusters in flushes throughout the season;BlogModRosesReszd2016-11-01 13.24.52Best Friend, Meilland, France, 1997: A cross between (Tino Rossi x Rendez-Vous) x  Sonia, all Hybrid Teas, this tall, disease-resistant rose has medium-pink blooms with a fruity fragrance, borne on long strong stems in flushes from late Spring to late Autumn.BlogModRosesReszd2014-10-25 13.57.36 A perfect rose for floristry, it was named by the RSPCA to honour the unconditional love of man’s best friend (below is another photo of the rose with my best friend, my husband, Ross!) and has been awarded a Gold Medal at the Rome Rose Trials in Italy, and Fragrance Awards at the same trials, as well as at the Nantes Rose Trials and Bagatelle Rose Trials in France; Le Roeulx Rose Trials in Belgium and the Geneva Rose Trials in Switzerland; and lastly,BlogModRosesReszd2014-10-25 13.58.02Heaven Scent, Carruth, USA, 2001 A cross between a Floribunda, Blueberry Hill, and a Hybrid Tea, New Zealand, this is a strong tough rose with large highly scented (Damask scent) orchid-pink roses with a darker reverse and slightly frilled petals on long thornless stems, perfect for floral arrangements. It is the pink rose in the foreground. Lolita is the rose in the background.BlogModRosesReszd2016-11-06 13.10.49BlogNovGarden20%Reszd2016-11-08 15.27.37On Thursday, I will be discussing the Polyanthas and Floribundas or the Cluster-Flowered Roses, as they are known today.

The Wonderful World Of Art: Part Two: Post 1900s

On Tuesday, we explored the beautiful art books concerning artists of the period before the 1900s. This post continues our journey into the wonderful world of art through books about the artists of the Twentieth Century.

Even though the next four artists were born in the mid 1870s and 1880s, they came into their own over the turn of the century, a time of great excitement and hope for the future, when photography was in its infancy and Australia became a nation, achieving their peak fame in  the 1920s. They include: Australian printmaker, Margaret Preston (1875-1963); photographer, Harold Cazneaux (1878-1953), and painter, Elioth Gruner (1882-1939), both of whom were born in New Zealand, but grew up in Australia and  Australian artist, Hilda Rix Nicholas (1884-1961).

Margaret Preston by Elizabeth Butel 1985/ 1995

Well-known for her still life paintings and woodcuts of Australian flora and fauna and one of Australia’s leading Modernists of the early 20th century, Margaret was the most prominent Australian woman artist of the 1920s and 1930s, during which time her designs were used in painting and printmaking, as well as interior decoration, fabric design and even floral arrangements. The cover shows her Self-Portrait 1930.BlogArtBooksReszd30%Image (686)Studying in Munich and Paris, and travelling in Italy, Spain and Holland, between 1903 and 1919,  Margaret was heavily influenced by Japanese art and the Post-Impressionism, Fauvism and Cubism movements of the time. She also attended Roger Fry’s Omega workshops in decorative art in Britain during the First World War. Below is a photo of her, taken in 1930, by my next artist, Harold Cazneaux, titled: Margaret Preston in the Garden, from page 43 of this book.

BlogArtBooksReszd4017-07-30 13.37.02Her works display a love of asymmetry; pattern as a dominant element of design; simplified composition, where natural patterns are so closely observed that they can be broken down into discrete units, as seen in the photo below of The Brown Pot 1940 from page 57; a degree of primitivism; and a great appreciation and love of Australian flora and fauna, as well as the small things of life. BlogArtBooksReszd2517-07-30 13.37.14 Her earlier works show an emotive and sensual use of colour, as seen in the photo below of her hand-coloured woodcut Anemones 1925, from page 32 of the book:BlogArtBooksReszd2517-07-30 13.36.31 but as she progressed, she adopted a more restricted colour range, with a major emphasis on blue and a graphic use of black and white, as shown by this photo of one of my favourite oils: Implement Blue 1927, from page 38:BlogArtBooksReszd3017-07-30 13.36.45This detailed book discusses her early life and the three major phases in her work: the periods from1875 to 1920; 1920 to 1930; and 1924 to 1963; accompanied by a comprehensive bibliography of all her works; newspaper and journal articles; and books and monographs, as well as a catalogue of all her oil paintings; prints (etchings; woodcuts; masonite cuts; screen prints; stencils; and monotypes); fabric designs; ceramics and wood blocks. Here is a photo of one of her works on the cover of the October 1926 issue of magazine, Woman’s World, from p 42:BlogArtBooksReszd20%IMG_0027We feel very lucky to have one of her framed prints,  a hand-coloured woodcut, titled Christmas Bells 1925.BlogArtBooksReszd5017-07-30 13.40.18 For more information  on Margaret Preston, see: http://www.margaretpreston.info/ and https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/?artist_id=preston-margaret.

The Cazneaux Women by Valerie Hill 2000

Another lovely book featuring the monochromatic works of early Australian photographer, Harold Cazneaux (1878-1953) , with their beautiful women subjects , romantic compositions and a wonderful use of light and shade. The book cover features his photo of British artist and theatre designer, Doris Zinkeisen with Her Brushes 1929.BlogArtBooksReszd25%Image (683)

I have always loved black-and-white photographs for their focus on design and composition, line and structure (form and shape), pattern and texture, contrast and tonal variations and the play of light and shadow, without the distraction of colour. These elements are superbly illustrated in the dramatic work of contemporary German photographer, Maik Lipp: See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/01/maik-lipp_n_4019302.html.

While it was the only medium in Cazneaux’s day, when used today, it also lends a timeless or vintage aesthetic to the work, as can be seen in the work featured on this website: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/06/beautiful-black-and-white-photography/, although I still think the subject matter and treatment plays a big part of it too.  Compare the previous two links with  the work of Imogen Cunningham: https://www.imogencunningham.com and Endre Balogh at: http://www.endresphotos.com.

But back to Harold Cazneaux!

While Cazneaux also photographed historic cityscapes, and industrial and landscape aspects, this particular book is devoted to 36 plates of Cazneaux’s women – his wife Winifred and small daughters, Rainbow, Jean and Beryl, as well as stylish portraits of well-known women in the 1920s and 1930s including artist, Margaret Preston, writers Ethel Turner and Theo Proctor, performers, Dame Nellie Melba and Anna Pavlova; and a large number of Sydney social belles. I adore this photo: Bathing Baby 1909 from p 50:BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-30 13.38.14The plates show the developments in camera art,  as well as women’s fashions and the changing role of women, from the formally posed wet plate images of the 1870s (and earlier albumen prints), through the Pictorial period to the start of Modernism, where Max Dupain and Olive Cotton (see later) made their mark. Here is another favourite photograph by Harold Cazneaux: The Sleeping Child 1914 from page 64.BlogArtBooksReszd2517-07-30 13.38.37We also learn about Harold’s life, his relationships with women and his artistic influences from his parents, Pierce and Emma, both early photographers; stepmother Christina, who nurtured his talent; his wife, Winifred, who trained at the first photographic studio, where he worked; John Kauffmann, who introduced Pictorialism to Australia, and the Sydney Camera Circle of the early 1920s. Harold’s photograph, Rainbow in the Cosmos 1916, from page 62, is delightful!

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His photograph Pergola Pattern 1931, from page 100 shows such a superb mastery of composition, pattern and contrast and the play of light and shadow!BlogArtBooksReszd2517-07-30 13.39.30

The Cazneaux Collection, containing 272 exhibition prints; 200 working photographs and 4300 glass negatives, mainly from 1904 – 1940, as well as his personal papers and letters from 1903 – 1953, is held at the National Library of Australia: See: https://www.nla.gov.au/selected-library-collections/harold-cazneaux-collection.

BlogArtBooksReszd25%IMG_0023I loved the background of the these two photographs: Doris Zinkeisen: New Ideas Portrait with Leaf Background 1929 from page 91 (above); and A Study in Profile 1931 from p 104:BlogArtBooksReszd20%IMG_0025There are also significant collections of his photographs at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, and the Mitchell Library and Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney. See: https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/?artist_id=cazneaux-harold.

The Art of Elioth Gruner: The Texture of Light by Deborah Clark 2014BlogArtBooksReszd25%Image (689)

This cover features Elioth Gruner’s oil painting, titled Thunderstorm 1928.

Elioth Gruner (1882 – 1939 ) was also a master of light and shade, as seen in his very famous painting, displayed in the Art Gallery Of New South Wales: Spring Frost 1919, which introduced me to his work, seen in the poster below. The shafts of sunlight and the steam rising from the bellowing dairy cows can probably be better appreciated by viewing this link: https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/6925/.BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-30 13.48.48We were also lucky enough to attend an exhibition of his work, Elioth Gruner: The Texture of Light, at the Canberra Museum and Gallery in 2014, many of his landscapes painted en plein air from the Sydney to the South Coast of New South Wales, including Cooma and the Monaro; the Canberra region, Yass and the Murrumbidgee River valley and the Southern Highlands, all part of our new home! Is it any wonder that we brought the book based on the exhibition home with us!!BlogArtBooksReszd20%IMG_0032There is even a painting of our old stamping grounds in Northern New South Wales with his painting Shelley Beach, Nambucca Heads 1933 (photo above from page 86), and Winter Afternoon, Bellingen, NSW 1937 , the latter held by our old home art gallery NERAM , which also owns his paintings: Beach Idyll 1934 and The Beach 1918, another personal favourite (seen in the photo below from page 21 of the book)!BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-30 13.55.28I adore his landscapes depicting pastoral life and the rural homesteads of the period, like Manar, a large cattle and sheep property between Bungendore and Braidwood, seen here in his oil painting, Manar Landscape 1928, the first photo below from page 52 of the book and Autumn, Manar 1939, 2nd photo below, from page 53.BlogArtBooksReszd25%IMG_0028He was obviously very popular in his day, enjoying the support of both conservative and progressive elements of the Sydney art scene, as well as winning the Wynne Prize for landscape painting seven times between 1916 and 1937.BlogArtBooksReszd25%IMG_0031 It was wonderful to see his paintings so closeup, to examine and admire his techniques for reproducing light and shadows, using short, choppy brush strokes and different tones of greens, as exemplified by Morning Light 1916, his first painting to win this award, shown in the photo above from page 26. Spring Frost 1919 was his second Wynne Prize.BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-30 14.06.21Hilda Rix Nicholas: The Man For the Job by the Bendigo Art Gallery 2010

We were also very fortunate to see an exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery in 2010 of the works of Australian artist, Hilda Rix Nicholas (1884-1961), who also came to fame in the 1920s, the second Australian artist after Rupert Bunny (who I discussed in the first part of this post last Tuesday) and the first woman to have a solo exhibition in Paris in 1925.BlogArtBooksReszd25%Image (690)

She too painted many lovely paintings of life in rural Australia, especially her family property, run by her second husband, Edgar Wright, at Knockalong near Delegate, on the Southern Monaro. I love this painting of His Land 1922-1923 from page 30.BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-30 14.34.14 Other favourites are:  In the Bush 1927, from page 41; BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-30 14.35.04 Bringing in the Sheep 1936, held by our local art gallery, Bega Valley Regional Gallery, shown on page 54 of the book;

BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-30 14.35.43 and The Homestead of Tooraloo 1945 from page 60.BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-30 14.36.05The book also chronicles her brilliant early career, from 1907 to 1918, in France, Morocco and Italy, marred by the desperate loss of her travel companions, her sister and mother, from illness and the untimely death of her new husband of six weeks on the Western Front in the First World War. For more about Hilda Rix Nicholas, see: http://knockalong.com/?page_id=664.

No discussion of the art world of the 1920s is complete without reference to the Bloomsbury Group, the subject of the next two books:

Charleston: A Bloomsbury House & Garden by Quentin Bell and Virginia Nicholson 1997

The Bloomsbury Group was a very famous name in the British art world, and while most of its members were born in the 1880s, their main flowering came during the 1920s after their move to Charleston in 1916 to escape the horrors of the First World War.BlogArtBooksReszd25%Image (696)

This lovely book is an ode to Charleston and all its inhabitants: Vanessa Bell and her husband, Clive (temporarily),  their sons Julian and Quentin, the co-author of this book; Vanessa’s lovers, Roger Fry and Duncan Grant, to whom she bore a daughter, Angelica; David Garnett, Duncan’s homosexual lover, and Clive’s lover, Mary Hutchinson, as well as other members of the Bloomsbury Group: Vanessa’s sister, Virginia Woolf, and husband, Leonard, who lived nearby; Lytton Strachey; Desmond MacCarthy; EM Forster and Maynard Keynes, not to mention chief cook and housekeeper, Grace Higgins.

Starting with a map of the garden and ground plans of each storey of the house and an  introduction with its highly appropriate title: A Vanished World, a chapter devoted to Charleston’s golden age from 1925 to 1937, which was shattered by the death of Vanessa’s son, Julian in the Spanish Civil War, just before the Second World War.

Through the following chapters featuring each room : Clive Bell’s study and bedroom; Vanessa’s bedroom; the spare bedroom; and those of Maynard Keynes and Duncan Grant; the green bathroom; the dining room and kitchen; the library; the studios; the garden room and finally the beautiful garden, Angelica’s ‘earthly paradise’, including the productive Walled Garden and numerous old photographs, we get to know all about their unconventional lives and their art.

It is backed up by the following small paperback:

Charleston: Past and Present  by Quentin Bell, Angelica Garnett, Henrietta Garnet and Richard Shone 1987/ 1993

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This official guide to Charleston also describes the contents of each room, and includes essays on Life at Charleston, including personal letters and memoirs, like the childhood memories of the garden, written by Quentin Bell; and the memoirs of Vanessa’s daughter Angelica and her daughter Henrietta, who recalls her grandmother, ‘Nessa’. It is possible to still visit Charleston. See: https://www.charleston.org.uk/ for details of opening times.

1930 to 1960s

The Boyds by Brenda Niall 2002/ 2007

The Boyd family is a very famous artistic dynasty in Australia, founded by Emma Minnie à Beckett (1858-1936) and her husband Arthur Merric Boyd (1862-1940), whose children also pursued art: William Merric (1888-1959) became a potter; Theodore Penleigh (1890-1923); and Helen à Beckett (1903-1999) were both painters and son, Martin à Beckett (1893-1972) became a writer.

William married a painter, Doris Gough, and raised five talented artists: a potter, Lucy (1916 -2009); sculptor, Guy (1923-1988); and three painters: Arthur (1920-1999); David (1924-2011); and Mary (1926-2017).

They in turn have raised artists like Lucy’s potter son, Robert; Guy’s sculptor daughters, Lenore, Sally and Charlotte; Arthur’s children, Polly, Jamie and Lucy; David’s daughters, Amanda, Lucinda and Cassandra; and Mary’s children by her first husband, John Perceval: Matthew, Tessa, Celia and Alice Perceval, as well as musicians and writers.

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In her fascinating book, Brenda Niall traces the family biography from 1840s Melbourne with convict heiress Emma Mills, who married William, the son of Victoria’s first Chief Justice; her daughter, Emma Minnie, and son-in-law, Arthur Merric Boyd; their children, who grew up at Open Country, Murrumbeena, and  Boyd grand-children, all of whom were famous, especially Arthur.

See the Table of Contents of this book at: https://web.archive.org/web/20060618070355/http://www.mup.unimelb.edu.au/catalogue/0-522-84871-0.html.

This book is so well-written and hard to put down and features many photos of the family and their homes, as well as colour-plates of their artworks!

Open Country, now obliterated by Melbourne suburbia, was the meeting place for many prominent Australian artists in the 1940s and 1950s. See : http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/boyd-familys-murrumbeena-gatherings-a-fount-of-inspiration-for-australian-artists-20141124-11ss2n.html.

Another famous Boyd landmark , which can still be visited, is Arthur Boyd’s property at Bundanon, on the Shoalhaven River, near Nowra, which he bought in 1979 and donated to the Australian people in 1993 and which we visited years ago. It is well worth making the effort to visit, even though opening times are limited and there is a long narrow drive in. It’s wonderful to see his house and studios and the landscape, which inspired him.

It  also includes a huge art collection of over 3 800 items, with more than 1 300 works by Arthur Boyd, over 1 200 works from five generations of the Boyd family dynasty and a number of works by Arthur Boyd’s contemporaries, such as Sidney Nolan, John Perceval, Joy Hester and Charles Blackman, from which regular exhibitions are held,  as well as hosting an artist-in-residence program each year. See: https://bundanon.com.au/ for visiting times.

Olive Cotton by Helen Ennis and the Art Gallery of New South Wales 2000

I love Olive Cotton’s work! Olive Cotton (1911-2003) was one of Australia’s leading twentieth century photographers, whose career spanned six decades from the 1930s to the 1980s. The front cover of the book shows her delightfully titled photograph: Only to Taste the Warmth, the Light, the Wind 1939: BlogArtBooksReszd40%Image (682) This small book, which was produced to accompany an exhibition of her work by the Art Gallery of NSW in 2000,  contains photographs from the 1930s to mid 1940s, when she worked with her first husband, Max Dupain, at his studio in Sydney, as well as work from the 1980s, when she revisited her negatives and her passion for ‘drawing with light’. I love this photograph of a dandelion head, titled: Seedhead 1990 from page 59.BlogArtBooksReszd2517-07-30 17.53.50Her photographs display her great love for nature, as seen in her landscapes and flower studies; her keen observational powers; her wide range of subject matter; her fluidity of style, moving freely between Pictorialism, the style perfected by her predecessor, Harold Cazneaux (see above), and Modernism; and her great love of the photographic medium.

BlogArtBooksReszd2517-07-30 17.55.03Her photographs are so beautiful and almost like paintings eg Interior (My Room) 1933, shown above, from page 13, and Cardboard Design 1935, shown below from page 25:

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I also love Tea Cup Ballet 1935, a different take on the same subject matter of Margaret Preston’s  Implement Blue 1927, shown below, from page 24;BlogArtBooksReszd2517-07-30 17.54.50

Jean-Lorraine By Candlelight 1943, from page 37;

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and The Sleeper 1939, shown below from page 31:

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Margaret Olley by Barry Pearce 1996

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Another famous Australian artist, Margaret Olley (1923-2011) came to fame from the 1950s and 1960s on and is still very popular today. The book cover features one of her early works: Portrait in the Mirror 1948. The photo below is of one of her very famous paintings: Afternoon Interior with Cornflowers 1990, from page 103.BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-31 11.06.33 I adore her still-lifes and rich, cluttered interiors, full of colour, vases of flowers and vintage objects and furniture. I just love the colours in her painting Chianti Bottle and Pomegranates 1994-1995 (photograph from page 112):BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-31 11.05.59 This book traces her life, her travels and her work, reproduced in the numerous full colour plates in this lovely book. The mask in the photo below, painted in her Interior IV 1970, page 59 of the book, bears testament to her three trips to Papua New Guinea between 1965 and 1968.

BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-31 11.07.50 I love the lemons tumbling out of the basket in  Lemons 1964, the photo from page 51. BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-31 11.08.23 They were such comfortable homey interiors too like Yellow Tablecloth with Cornflowers 1995, photograph taken from page 126 of the book.BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-31 11.05.27 In fact, I could own any one of her works. They are all so beautiful, as well as probably being very pricey these days! Another favourite for its rich warm colours is Clivias 1984, photograph from page 97 of the book. I just love that kelim!!!BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-31 11.06.53Fortunately, she left her possessions to the Tweed Regional Gallery at Murwillimbah, so we were able to visit the Margaret Olley Art Centre during our recent trip to Brisbane, a wonderful treat! The first photo below is The Chinese Screen 1994-1995 from page 10, while the last photo is Yellow Room with Lupins II 1994-1995 from page 122.BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-31 11.08.47 The centre also includes a recreation of key areas of her famous home studio at 48 Duxford Street, Paddington, Sydney : the Hat Factory (living room, dining room and  kitchen) and Yellow Room, all built to scale, with original architectural elements like windows, doors and fireplaces, and over 20 000 items, collected by Margaret over many years as subject matter for her paintings. See: http://artgallery.tweed.nsw.gov.au/VisitUs and http://artgallery.tweed.nsw.gov.au/MargaretOlleyArtCentre.

BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-31 11.05.17Finally, some books about some contemporary artists among the Baby Boomers, all of whom have a deep affection for Australia and its amazing flora and fauna!

Criss Canning: The Pursuit of Beauty by David Thomas 2008BlogArtBooksReszd25%Image (688)

The book cover above features Still Life with Poppy Cedric Morris 2007.

Criss Canning’s art is very similar in style, talent and subject matter to Margaret Olley. In fact, Margaret Olley was a close friend and supportive mentor and in 1999, Margaret actually bought one of Criss’s paintings : Waratah in a Green Jug 1999, seen below from page 139 in the book and donated it to the Art Gallery of New South Wales.  See: http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/4417688/olleys-living-legacy/ and https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/61.2000/.

BlogArtBooksReszd2517-07-31 11.01.42I first discovered Criss Canning, when she visited my garden club in Armidale with her husband David Glenn, of Lambley Nursery fame. See: https://candeloblooms.com/2016/03/08/favourite-gardens-regularly-open-to-the-public-nursery-gardens-in-victoria/.

Her love of native Australian flora can be seen in her painting titled: Winter Banksia 2001 from page 155.BlogArtBooksReszd2517-07-31 11.02.09This beautiful coffee table book was written and published to coincide with her retrospective exhibition at Ballarat Fine Art Gallery in 2007 and it certainly does justice to all her wonderful sumptuous paintings with full page colour plates in glossy paper. Below is another ode to Australian flora: Gum Blossom 1995, photo from page 123.BlogArtBooksReszd2517-07-31 11.01.25David Thomas traces her life from her birth in 1947, exactly one month before my husband (!), and childhood in Laburnum, near Blackburn, a suburb of Melbourne, which was then rural acreage; her struggles as a single mother of two young children; her sojourn on the island of Rhodes in Greece, inspired by Charmaine Clift; her marriage and life with David Glenn in Ascot, near Ballarat, and her later more minimalist works, influenced by  her love of  Japanese artseen in Freesia’s and Japanese Tea Service 1996 from page 175 and the geometric designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-31 11.01.11I adore her beautiful floral studies: their rich colour; bold composition; strong patterns and dramatic contrast and flowing textile backdrops, as can be seen in her paintings titled: Black and White 1999, the first photo below from page 77 and Arthur Merric Boyd Coffee Set 2003, the second photo below from page 160.BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-31 11.00.52BlogArtBooksReszd20%IMG_0044I love her talented portrayal of metal surfaces and her patterned backgrounds, as seen in the first photo below: Silver Reflections 2003 from page 162 and the silver tray in the second photo below: Native Flowers and Silver Tray 2001 from page 149,BlogArtBooksReszd20%IMG_0045BlogArtBooksReszd2517-07-31 11.01.54As well as her wonderful sense of colour, as seen in Poppies 1987 from page 43.BlogArtBooksReszd25%IMG_0047 To see more of her work, visit her site at: http://crisscanning.com.au/.

Salvatore Zofrea: Days of Summer by Anne Ryan 2009BlogArtBooksReszd25%Image (693)

This lovely book features the work of Salvatore Zoffrea, an Italian-Australian printmaker, who produces beautiful woodcuts of Australian flora and the bush. The book cover features his woodcut: Mountain Devil Grevillea with Eggs and Bacon Pea, Native Iris and Kunzea, while the photo below shows Bowerbirds with Native Irises and Eggs and Bacon Pea from page 43.BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-31 10.59.57 Like Criss Canning, he was also influenced heavily by Japanese art, especially its traditional Japanese woodcuts, as well as European art. I love his delightful work: Tea Tree with Bronze Pigeon in the photo below, taken from page 39.BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-31 11.00.06 I love his attention to detail, the busyness of his designs, his use of colour or lack of colour, his sense of wonder at the beauty and abundance of the Australian bush and his underlying message of the importance of conservation and sustainability. The photo below is a closeup of a double page spread, page 62 and 63, featuring his large woodcut, 3 metres long, titled: Bellbirds at Kurrajong, which was made by carving nine blocks of marine plywood and was his artistic response to a local incident at Mandeni, near Merimbula, where a bellbird population was culled due to their destruction of eucalyptus trees. Little did we realize that five years later we would be living in the area!BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-31 11.00.25 We felt so lucky to see these wonderful prints by chance when passing through Wagga Wagga in 2010. See: http://www.wagga.nsw.gov.au/art-gallery/exhibitions-landing/past-exhibitions/exhibitions-2010/salvatore-zofrea-days-of-summer); http://mrag.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/ZofreaProposal_sml.pdf and http://mrag.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/ZofreaEdKit_11_01_10.pdf.

Byron Portfolio: An Artist’s Response to the Byron Shire  by Karen Wynn-Moylan 1989BlogArtBooksReszd25%Image (691)Another environmental artist, whose work I love is Karen Wynn-Moylan, also known as Karena Wynn-Moylan. Her book cover features her watercolour, View From Honeysuckle to Tallows Beach, a familiar scene from coastal holidays in the area many years ago.BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-31 10.58.11Karen works in a variety of media: watercolours, oils, acrylics and pastels – to record and celebrate the beauty of the unique flora and fauna of her subtropical home environment in the Byron Shire, as well as encourage an appreciation of the environment and the need for conservation. Her love of her local rainforest can be seen in the photo above of her watercolour painting, The Clearing, page 43, while her pastel, Sunsoaked, on page 7, portrays a subject matter typical of the local area!BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-31 10.59.35 I love The Flowering Beach, a mixed media painting on page 21, the fine dots of colour so typical of the Australian bush.BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-31 10.59.11 Nasturtiums (Mullumbimby Laneway), labelled The Nasturtians in the book on page 29 and seen in the photo below, reminds me of our holidays at Hat Head with its old-fashioned dirt lane ways, lined with bougainvillea and frangipanis, wooden sheds and garages and leaning wooden fences, trailing with nasturtiums.

BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-31 10.58.56 For a look at her work, see: http://www.karenawynn-moylan.bravehost.com/.  As a Tasmanian, I really loved her new oil: Summer Above the Snowline: Mt Wellington, at: http://www.karenawynn-moylan.bravehost.com/newwork.html.

The final artist in this post, Michael Leunig, also has much to say about our treatment of the environment, as well as each other, as can be seen in the following book:

The Michael Leunig Collection: Favourite Paintings and Drawings by Michael Leunig 1991BlogArtBooksReszd30%Image (695)Born in 1945, Michael Leunig is a much-loved and well-known cartoonist with delightfully quirky characters, who highlight the absurdities of life, and wonderfully whimsical poetry. The book cover features his well-known cartoon, The Kiss 1985.BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-31 11.04.10His work is just so much fun and he addresses serious issues with a humorous light-hearted approach, which is very effective, as seen in the photo above of his cartoon, Plastic Shopping Bags in Autumn 1989 from page 22, though we are only just starting to address the issue in 2017! BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-31 11.03.57I love his characters, Mr Curly and Vasco Pyjama, as well as the small things of life:  his ducks, houses, teapots and angels. The photo above is Mr Curly Comes Home 1973, from page 30, while the colour photograph below is the book cover for The Travelling Leunig, published by Penguin in 1990, and reproduced on page 112 of this book. BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-31 11.04.58This book is a taster to some of his most famous drawings. We own a number of his books, and his work also appears regularly in the Melbourne Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, as well as a free annual calendar. For more on his work, see: http://www.leunig.com.au/.

I will finish this post  with one of his delightful prayers from his website :

Dear God,

We rejoice and give thanks for earthworms,
bees, ladybirds and broody hens;
for humans tending their gardens, talking to animals,
cleaning their homes and singing to themselves;
for rising of the sap, the fragrance of growth,
the invention of the wheelbarrow and the existence of the teapot,
we give thanks. We celebrate and give thanks.

Amen.

 

 

The Wonderful World of Art: Part One

Now for a visual treat: a post on some of my favourite books about both art and artists, many of which we have bought after attending a wonderful exhibition!

Art is such a personal concept and performs many different purposes from representing our world to exploring personal ideas or beliefs. Being a romantic at heart and a bit of an ostrich, I tend to be drawn to works of beauty, as I feel our world has enough ugliness in reality, without perpetuating it in our art! A typical example is one of my most favourite paintings: End of Dinner by Jules-Alexandre Grun 1913 https://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-end-of-dinner-jules-alexandre-grun.html.

I will start with two general books on art, then introduce you to some books featuring of my favourite artists and art periods in chronological order. Note: This selection is based solely on my art library and is a very incomplete representation of my favourite art and artists! For example, I love Impressionism, but do not own any books on it or its proponents in my art library, so they are not included in this post. Because this is quite a long post, I have divided it into two parts: Part One: General Art Books and Pre-1900s; and Part Two: Post 1900s.

In my last book post on Architectural Books, I discussed one book, which covered both the architecture and art of Islam, so I thought I would begin with:

The Orient in Western Art by Gérard-Georges Lemaire 2000BlogArtBooksReszd25%Image (680)

For over 2 000 years, the Western imagination has been excited by the world of the Orient from Egypt to Palestine and Greece to Turkey with its exoticism and mystery, its domes and minarets and harems of beautiful women, as depicted in the art of :

Bellini, Carpaccio, Veronese, Tintoretto, Rubens and Rembrandt (15th to 17th Centuries);

The beautiful women of Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, Jean-Étienne Liotard and Antoine de Favray and landscapes of Jean-Baptiste Hilair in the 18th Century;

The battle scenes of Jean-Léon Gérôme, François Watteau, Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, Anne-Louise Girodet de Roussy-Trioson and Alexandre Bida;  and

Egyptian scenes, painted by David Roberts, Frederick Goodall, William James Müller, Adrian Dauzats, Prosper Marilhat and Rudolf Ernst of the 18th Century.BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-24 17.09.00

I particularly loved Private Conversation by John Frederick Lewis (p 134; photo above); Odalisque by Natale Schiavoni (p 150; first photo below), Jewish Girl in Tangiers by Charles Landelle (p 169; fourth photo below) and Algerian Woman and Her Slave by Ange Tissier on the book cover (first photo of this post).BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-24 17.09.13 Constantinople featured in The Slave Market by Sir William Allen 1838 and View of Constantinople by Germain-Fabius Brest 1870.BlogArtBooksReszd2517-07-24 17.10.09 Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres was entranced by the women of the harem, with some beautiful sensuous nudes like Odalisque (p 202, photo above); Little Bather; Grand Odalisque and Turkish Bath (see: http://www.jeanaugustedominiqueingres.org/), as was Théodore Chassériau – I love his Dance of the Kerchiefs 1849 (p 226).BlogArtBooksReszd20%IMG_0018 Jean-Léon Gérôme painted some lovely river scenes, while Gustave Moreau was fascinated with classical mythology and especially, Salome. Auguste Renoir’s Odalisque 1870 and Seated Algerian 1881 are also favourites.BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-24 17.09.32While the book also features the work of more modern artists, to my mind, none match the beauty and romance of the earlier period. It is a lovely dreamy book and does credit to these beautiful artworks!

Now for something totally different, yet still close to our heart:

A Brush With Birds: Australian Bird Art From the National Library of Australia Introduction by Penny Olsen 2008BlogArtBooksReszd25%Image (685)

Being keen bird-lovers, we had to buy this book! With  full-page colour reproductions of bird art and brief notes on each artist’s life, it showcases bird art from 1788 to the present and a wide variety of styles from the rather stilted representations of the early colonial artists in an attempt to record these strange new birds for scientific purposes (John Hunter, George Raper and Sarah Stone) and the more realistic etchings of John Lewin and the Goulds (John and Elizabeth) to the bird identification guides by the Neville Cayleys (father and son), Ebenezer Edward Gostelow (front cover of the book), Lilian Medland and Betty Temple Watts and the hyper-realistic bird portraits by William Thomas  Cooper, a particular favourite. I love his attention to fine detail like the feathers and his stunning use of colour, seen in the photo below, from page 101 of the book.BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-24 17.01.43

Lars Knudsen’s Australian Birds by Lars Knudsen 1995

Another bird artist, who loves colour, but was not in the above book, is Lars Knudsen.BlogArtBooksReszd40%Image (697) - Copy Born in 1931, so this book is definitely not in chronological order (!), Lars grew up in North Queensland, where he fell in love with the amazing bird life. He spent many years working in advertising in Sydney, before setting up a studio in Spain in 1977 and painting birds full-time.BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-24 17.10.28 Since returning to Australia in 1985, he has produced numerous limited edition prints and now has a studio and gallery at Hampton in the Blue Mountains. In fact, I bought this lovely little book, showcasing 29 of his best Australian bird paintings, along with detailed comments about each bird, at Everglades, Leura in the Blue Mountains.BlogArtBooksReszd2517-07-24 17.10.44 They are stunning paintings, full of movement and colour and really capture the essence of each bird. I particularly loved the Orange-Bellied Parrots (p 30); the Whiskered Terns (p 38); both photographed above, and the Regent Bowerbird (p 53); and the Australian King Parrots (p 56), both photographed below.

BlogArtBooksReszd2517-07-24 17.10.53

I love his slightly abstract style, the colours of the backgrounds complementing the birds so well and his love and passion for birds and their environment really shines through. A delightful little book!BlogArtBooksReszd2517-07-24 17.11.10A Vision of Eden: The Life and Work of Marianne North by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 1980BlogArtBooksReszd25%Image (694)

Marianne North (1830-1890) is a great favourite of ours! An intrepid traveller, contemporary of Charles Darwin and Sir Joseph Hooker and highly talented artist, she produced over 800 oil paintings, now housed in the Marianne North Gallery at Kew (https://www.kew.org/mng/marianne-north.html). Her paintings show such accuracy and attention to detail and introduced the pre-photography public of the day to the huge diversity of life and natural wonders of the world.BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-24 17.11.58

I love her botanical studies (Page 26 North American Carnivorous Plants in the photo above; and Page 68 Flowers of a Coral Tree, Brazil, in the photo below, BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-24 17.11.46

as well as her exotic landscapes like the Taj Mahal at Agra (above) and the Road Up To Naini Tal, India (below) from page 126 :BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-24 17.11.25and her painting of Distant View of Mount Kinchinjunga, from Darjeeling, India (p 132):BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-24 17.11.34This book follows her life from her early days and home life to her travels in Canada and the United States; Jamaica; Brazil; Japan; Indonesia; India and Ceylon; Australia and New Zealand; South Africa and Chile in South America. I love the simplicity of this painting: A Road Near Bath, Jamaica, Lined With Palms, Bread-Fruit and Cocoa, from page 46:BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-24 17.12.11

As an Australian, it is fascinating to read her travel diary notes and descriptions of the native flora and fauna,  though she could be quite ascerbic:

Brisbane in 1880  is described as: ‘a most unattractive place- a sort of overgrown village, with wide empty streets full of driving dust and sand, surrounded by wretched suburbs of wooden houses scattered over bare steep hills’ (p 158)

and Tenterfield as: ‘what Australians call “a very pretty place”, meaning that there was not a tree within a mile of it, and that it had a little water within reach’ (p 161).

As she travelled south, her mood improved! Armadale (her spelling, but really spelt Armidale) was ‘a considerable place, with some stone houses in it and a bishop’ (p162), where hotel rooms cost 10 shillings a day and meat, a shilling for 10 pounds.

Bendemeer was ‘a pretty green meadow with a clear river running through it, bordered by casuarina trees’ (p 162), though the accommodation was flea-ridden and noisy!

She was very comfortable in Sydney, staying at the Prime Minister’s house in the Blue Mountains; Elizabeth Bay; and Camden, so by the time she reached Melbourne, she was positively rapturous, declaring the city to be: ‘a noble city, and its gardens are even more beautiful than those of Sydney, with greater variety of ground, and lovely views over the river. It is by far the most real city in Australia, and the streets are as full of quickly-moving people as those of London’ (p 168).BlogArtBooksReszd20%IMG_0019 She even visited Perth and Albany in Western Australia and Hobart in Tasmania, where she raved over Mt. Wellington, as seen in her painting: View in the Forest on Mt. Wellington; p 181; photo above). I had to laugh at her assertion that: ‘Cherries, raspberries, every kind of fruit which grows at home grew better than at home. Half the jam in the world is made in Tasmania.‘ (p 178).

The Art of the Pre-Raphaelites by Steven Adams 1988

While well-connected Marianne was very much part of the establishment, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood were much more controversial, rejecting the conservatism of the Royal Academy and aspiring to the era before Raphael, hence their name.BlogArtBooksReszd25%Image (675)

This book examines the academic tradition, against which they rebelled; the inception of the group in 1848 and the famous works of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Ruskin, John Everett  Millais, Edward Burne-Jones, William Morris, William Holman Hunt and Ford Maddox Brown. They certainly produced some beautiful art, especially Millais’ family scenes (Autumn Leaves 1855-1856), as well as his famous Ophelia 1851 and Rossetti’s classically inspired ‘Stunners’ with their heart-shaped faces,  full lips, hooded eyes, unrestrained flowing hair and extravagant robes, like Proserpine 1874 and The Beloved 1865 (book cover). See: http://preraphaelitesisterhood.com/rossettis-models/ .

The Pre-Raphaelites also led very unconventional (and messy!) lives, recounted superbly in Desperate Romantics: The Private Lives of the Pre-Raphaelites by Franny Moyle 2009, as well as the accompanying BBC TV production.

BlogArtBooksReszd30%Image (681)

It is a fascinating read! I think William Morris was very forbearing, as well as being a fascinating character and a real Renaissance man, gifted with so many talents! I adore his work and ethos, so it is not surprising that I own two books about his life and work!

William Morris & Morris & Co. by Lucia Van der Post 2003

Father of the Arts and Crafts Movement and one of Britain’s greatest and best-known designers, whose wallpapers and textiles are still enormously popular, William Morris was born into a wealthy family in 1834 and studied art and literature at Oxford University, where he developed his passion for medievalism and the Gothic and met his lifelong friend, Edward Burne-Jones, through whom he came into contact with the Pre-Raphaelites .

He hated the mass production , pastiche, excessiveness and ugliness of Victorian industrial society, espousing a return to the medieval guilds, simplicity  and true craftmanship, as seen in the ceramic tiles, metalwork, woodwork, furniture, glass, textiles, embroideries, carpets and wallpapers, produced by his firm Morris & Co.

I have always loved his famous quote:

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’.

I also love his intensely personal involvement with all these crafts and the way he taught himself the necessary skills, whether it was stained glass; clay modelling; illuminating manuscripts; calligraphy; book production; carving wood and stone; wood engraving; mural and tile painting; natural dyeing or tapestry weaving and hand embroidery.

This lovely small book examines the key components of his work under the chapter titles of: Craft; Colour; Honesty; Pattern; Nature; and Legend, with colour photographs of his beautiful work  and patterns throughout. By incorporating Morris designs in a wide variety of settings and modern contexts, the book also provides inspiration for contemporary homeowners.BlogArtBooksReszd25%Image (677)

And if you still haven’t had your fill of his designs, another excellent book about his life and work is:

The Art of William Morris by Christine Poulson 2004, in which the chapters are more chronologically-ordered, following his early life and university study, his establishment of the Firm, his involvement with the Pre-Raphaelites; his marriage and family life; his homes; his political beliefs, public speaking and writings, published through his Kelmscott Press.BlogArtBooksReszd25%Image (676)

The Arts & Crafts Companion by Pamela Todd 2008/ 2011

The ultimate guide to the Arts and Crafts Movement (1880 – 1920), it begins with its philosophy and background; its proponents including William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones, Walter Crane,  CFA Voysey, William Lethaby, Ernest Gimson, the Barnsley brothers,  Philip Webb, MH Baillie Scott and Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and that is only a small portion of the British Arts and Crafts movement. It was also occurring simultaneously in the rest of Europe and the United States of America.

The main section of the book is devoted to lengthy and detailed  chapters about all aspects of the Arts and Crafts Movement: Architecture, Interior Design, Furniture, Textiles and Wallpaper, Stained Glass and Lighting, Pottery and Ceramics, Metalwork and Jewellery; the Printed Word and Gardens, the latter being the subject of my main assessment during my garden history studies.

I loved reading about these gardens, especially those created by Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens (Munstead Wood; Hestercombe; and the Deanery); I would love to visit them one day, as well as Red House, Kent (Philip Webb and William Morris) and Kelmscott Manor (William Morris) in the Cotswolds; Standen, West Sussex (Philip Webb), Snowshill Manor (Baillie Scott), Rodmarton Manor (ErnestBarnsley), both in Gloucestershire and Blackwell, overlooking Windermere in the Lake District (MH Baillie Scott). The famous gardens of Hidcote Manor, Sissinghurst and Great Dixter have also been heavily influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement. See: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lists/our-arts-and-crafts-houses-and-gardens.

I also love the simplicity, subtlety and harmony of the wallpapers, textiles and furniture designed by CFA Voysey, who described his ideal interior as:

a well-proportioned room, with white-washed walls, plain carpet and simple oak furniture’ with a simple vase of flowers and repeated decorative  motifs and symbols like stylized hearts‘.

His houses had low roofs, wide eaves, low horizontal windows, white roughcast walls and exposed beams and brickwork.

It was also very interesting to read about the influence of the Arts and Crafts Movement on embroidery (including the Glasgow School of Art); Morris’s mastery of indigo discharge printing and natural dyeing; early electric lamps from the 1880s on; and stunning jewellery, inset with moonstones, amethyst and mother-of-pearl, as well as pearls, opals, coral, turquoise, malachite and lapis lazuli.

At the back of the book is a Source Book with key addresses and websites for the United Kingdom and the United States of America, as well as an extensive bibliography.BlogArtBooksReszd25%Image (679)

Now for books about four more artists, born during the 1860s, who were developing their artistic styles over this first half of this period: Alphonse Mucha ( 1860-1939) from Czechoslovakia; Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) from Vienna, Austria and two Australian artists, Bertram Mackennal (1863-1931) and Rupert Bunny (1864-1947), both of whom achieved their fame in Europe. All of them produced stunningly beautiful art, reflected in the colour-plates of these gorgeous books.

Alphonse Mucha by Sarah Mucha 2005

Alphonse Mucha was most famous for his Art Nouveau posters (advertising and art posters) with their sinuous lines, pastel colours, beautiful women and decorative motifs, but like other artists of the day, he was also interested in a wide variety of other artistic endeavours from pastels, drawings and oils; sculpture; photography; stained glass; architecture and interior design; furniture; tableware and cutlery; jewellery; tapestry and books. The book cover shown below features his colour lithograph Dance 1898.BlogArtBooksReszd25%Image (674)

This lovely book explores his life, influences and beliefs, the history of the time and the birth of Art Nouveau, and includes his wonderful photographs of his models and family. We were introduced to Mucha, when we bought one of his prints, Music 1898, on our second trip overseas and were delighted to see all his other beautiful designs in this book. I can honestly say that I love them all!BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-30 13.40.49 Compare the colour of our print with the same design, shown in the photo below (p 25), showing the way his designs could be reproduced in a large number of different formats.BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-24 17.07.26

His women are so sensual, romantic and feminine, and I adore his backgrounds with abstract and naturalistic patterns and strong flowing lines, as seen in Reverie 1897 (p 38).BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-24 17.08.07Mucha used floral and botanic details, as well as Byzantine, Celtic, Japanese, Rococo, Gothic, Judaic and Czech folk elements in his work, as can be seen in his mosaic backgrounds, extravagant robes and jewellery and arabesques, all embellished with strong stylised outlines. I love the photo below his lamp titled La Nature 1899 (page 14).BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-24 17.07.02 He used his designs in decorative panels and murals; posters; paintings; jewellery and haircombs; Moet and Chandon labels and menus; packages and postcards; and in 1902, produced a handbook for craftsmen, Documents Décoratifs , containing 72 plates, drawn in pencil and highlighted with white pigment, of all the necessary patterns for creating an Art Nouveau lifestyle, as well as being an encyclopaedia of all his decorative work. They include a realistic study of nature, the designs becoming increasingly stylised for metal, leather, glass and lace work; studies of nudes and women’s heads, showing how the human body has decorative elements; and abstract ornamental framing with repetition of stylised motifs. Below is a photo of two designs for hair combs and jewellery for Documents Décoratifs in Plates 49 and 50 (page 73).BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-24 17.08.25Mucha had a strong philosophical background to his work. Believing that art influenced all aspects of human life and was instrumental in uplifting the soul and promoting peace, harmony, beauty and a sense of moral goodness, he also was a strong proponent in art for the masses, creating strong stylized and often heavily symbolic designs (both explicit and hidden), which could be used repetitively to beautify goods of common consumption and utility, which could be afforded by the ordinary man. Here is Zodiac 1896 (p 28).BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-24 17.07.37His idealism is epitomised by his later Slav Epic, 20 huge canvases, representing the last 1000 years of Slavic history, in which he celebrates the Slavic virtues of peacefulness; piety and devotion to learning and the arts; chronicles the oppression of the Slavs by their militaristic neighbours and laments the weakness, born of Slav disunity. The photo below is: The Apotheosis of the Slavs 1926 from page 18.BlogArtBooksReszd20%IMG_0020With his wonderful ideals and sensitivity, it is little wonder that he died not long after interrogation by the Nazis in 1939 and his work was then largely forgotten in his homeland until the 1990s.

The Mucha Foundation was established in 1992 by his grandson John Mucha and daughter-in-law Geraldine Mucha, following the death of their father/ husband and Mucha’s son Jifi. Its aim is to preserve and promote Mucha’s art for future generations and to this end, has an  ongoing program of exhibitions all over the world. See: http://www.muchafoundation.org/. His work can also be seen at the Mucha Museum, which was opened in Prague in February 1998. See: http://www.mucha.cz/.

Gustav Klimt: Art Nouveau Visionary by Eva di Stefano 2008

Klimt is another favourite Art Nouveau portraitist and landscape painter. I have always loved his sumptuous gilded artworks, full of eroticism, symbolism and mystery, and his beautiful nudes, abstract colourful geometric patterns and gold leaf spirals. The book cover features his painting called Water Serpents I 1904.BlogArtBooksReszd25%Image (673) Like Mucha, he too had a thorough grounding in mosaics, metalwork, and painting, even preparing his own paints, as well as the symbolism and decorative motifs of many different eras and cultures from Greek ceramics and Egyptian and Assyrian reliefs to Slavic folklore. While specialising in painting, he also designed fashion and jewellery. This is one of his very famous paintings, The Kiss 1907-1908 from page 199:BlogArtBooksReszd2517-07-24 17.05.52This lovely book discusses his early life and Fin-de-siècle Vienna; his artistic creed; his landscapes and allegorical friezes; the women in his life, his scandalous paintings and his secession years, having been a founding member of the Vienna Secessionist movement. Another very famous erotic painting is The Virgin 1912-1913 from page 227 of the book:BlogArtBooksReszd2517-07-24 17.06.22For more about Klimt, see: https://www.klimtgallery.org/ and http://www.klimt.com/. Also read  ‘The Painted Kiss’ by Elizabeth Hickey (http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-Painted-Kiss/Elizabeth-Hickey/9780743492614) and the film, Woman in Gold (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2404425/).

Bertram Mackennal : The Fifth Balnaves Foundation Sculpture Project  by Deborah Edwards 2007

One of the earliest Australian- born artists to seek fame and achieve success on the international stage, especially France and Britain. He was the first Australian artist to exhibit at the Royal Academy, London; the first overseas artist (and first Australian) to be elected to the Royal Academy; and the first Australian artist to have work purchased for the Tate Gallery and to be knighted. The book cover features a closeup of an exquisite bronze Circe 1893, the statuette from 1902-1904 appearing on page 31.BlogArtBooksReszd25%Image (684)Travelling to Europe in 1882, aged 19 years old, he was heavily influenced by Art Nouveau and  the avant-garde aspirations of the British ‘New Sculptors’, creating beautiful naturalistic figures in bronze and marble, based on symbolist themes. By the early 1900s, he had become a prominent civic sculptor and a master of Edwardian style and elegance. I love this bronze Morning (Woman Dressing Her Hair) 1902 from p 110:BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-24 17.03.58Despite being highly successful overseas, he is less well-known here in Australia, so this book was produced, along with an accompanying CD-ROM, to educate the Australian public about his life,  showcase his smaller domestic sculptures and complement a retrospective exhibition, held in Sydney and his home-town of  Melbourne, where we were introduced to his work. I fell in love with his work- so beautiful and so tactile, the full-page colour-plates of this gorgeous coffee-table book really do justice to his amazing sculptures! Here is a delightful small marble statue, Sappho 1909 from page 70.BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-24 17.04.20Rupert Bunny: Artist in Paris by Deborah Edwards 2009

While Mackennal was the most internationally successful Australian artist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Rupert Bunny was Australia’s most successful painter in Paris, both men finally eclipsed by Sidney Nolan in the 1950s and 1960s.BlogArtBooksReszd25%Image (692) Arriving in Paris in 1887, just as PostImpressionism and Symbolism were emerging, he was heavily influenced by these movements, as well as the art of the Pre-Raphaelites and French Realism. The book cover features his dreamy oil painting titled Dolce Farniente 1897, seen in full in the photo below from page 60.

BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-24 17.02.21 This beautiful book, also produced to accompany a wonderful exhibition at the National Gallery Of Victoria, describes his life in France; his successes and his sumptuous paintings from biblical and literary paintings (1889-1905), for example:  his beautiful oil painting A Summer Morning 1897, the photo taken from page 63 of the book;BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-24 17.02.31 the beautiful women and fashions of the fin-de-siècle (1896-1911);BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-24 17.03.26 the works for the Ballet Russes; and his later landscapes and mythological paintings in the decorative modern style (1913-1930). I loved his oil  The Sun Bath 1913 (page 105):BlogArtBooksReszd2017-07-24 17.03.40It was wonderful seeing the large artworks closeup and this book is a lovely reminder of his beautiful romantic and sensuous paintings.

On Thursday, I will continue this post on Art Books with more wonderful artworks from the 1900s on.

Architecture Books: Part Two

The second part of this post features six wonderful books for people planning to build their own home, with lots of practical information on materials and building techniques and styles, as well as plenty of inspiration and useful and helpful advice! There is so much to consider and so many decisions to make when building your own home, as well as so much time, physical work and cost, so prior research and planning is essential!

The Natural House Book: Creating a Healthy, Harmonious, and Ecologically Sound Home Environment by David Pearson 1989/ 1992

Given all the effort involved in building your own house, it would be awful if your new home had deleterious effects on your health and this is one of the key tenets of this book, along with the need to be environmentally aware and have as minimal impact on our planet as possible!

The book is divided into three parts:

Part One describes the interaction between you, your home and the environment. It compares the Natural House, defined as providing ‘health for the body, peace for the soul and harmony with the environment’, with dangerous dwellings, full of indoor pollutants and toxic chemicals, and based on wasteful environmental practices.

Part Two examines life systems for comfort and climate (energy efficiency, renewable energy, cooling, insulation, fuel and power, the dangers of radiation and electricity and energy conservation); water (use, pollution and conservation; air (air quality, pollution and air control systems); scent (aromatherapy and herbs); sound (noise pollution and acoustics in the home) and light and colour (daylight, artificial lighting, energy-efficient lighting and colour therapy); and the attributes, costs (health and ecological) and use of a variety of building materials (stone; glass; plaster; metals; earth; timber; reeds and bamboo; canes and grasses; natural fibres, paints and varnishes; and plastics).

Part Three applies all the principles gleaned from the previous parts to the design of spaces within the home: Living Spaces; Sleeping Spaces; Kitchen Spaces; Bathing Spaces; Health Spaces and Green Spaces. It includes a large section on health and ecological hazards in the kitchen, bedrooms and bathroom, as well as lovely illustrations and photographs of  beautiful rooms and spaces.

I loved the window seating area, which doubles for sleeping, in the section on Living Areas; the simplicity of  Japanese and Scandinavian bedrooms; the passive solar greenhouse attached to the kitchen, outdoor sunrooms and pools, as well as the deep Japanese bath or furo, in which you sit and soak with water right up to your neck!

The appendices include charts featuring sustainable timbers; natural fabrics, grasses and canes; natural paints, varnishes and finishes; household cleaners (their personal and environmental risks and alternatives); household waste; rating your home and indoor air pollution. There is also a list of resources, including materials, organizations and architects, and a glossary and bibliography in the back.BlogArchitectureBooksReszd30%Image (651)

Earth to Spirit: In Search of Natural Architecture by David Pearson 1994

Also written by David Pearson, this book features a large number of vernacular and traditional architecture throughout the world and their influence on modern architecture.

It starts by examining Ancestral Archetypes, before exploring Healing Architecture, the Art of Living in Harmony with the Land, Vernacular Wisdom, Cultural Identity and Living the Dream, all supported by beautiful and inspiring photographs of examples.

In Architectural Archetypes, he gives examples of the original human dwellings: Caves, yurts, hogans, pit houses, roundhouses, pueblos, and kivas.

In Healing Architecture, he discusses the growth of movements like Baubiologie, Organic Architecture and Anthroposophic Design (Steiner), with their use of wood and other natural materials, flowing lines and curves and romantic and spiritual emphases.

The chapter on Harmony with the Land stresses the importance of environmental awareness, energy efficiency, recycling and the inter-relatedness of all living things, as propounded by James Lovelock’s Gaia Theory, giving many examples of different architectural projects, including Australia’s Permaculture, designed by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren.

Vernacular buildings also hold many ecological lessons for today’s architects and builders, as they display many ingenious and low-energy-use solutions to living in difficult climates, as well as harmonizing with their local landscapes through their use of local materials.

Authenticity and Cultural Identity are also important concepts in modern architecture, especially with regards to modern developments and finally, in Living the Dream, there are examples of individuals and groups, who are incorporating all the ideas, propounded in this book, into actual practice, like the Centre for Alternative Technology, which we visited in Wales in 1994 and Crystal Waters, Australia’s first intentional permaculture village, in Maleny, Queensland.BlogArchitectureBooksReszd30%Image (654)The Good House Book: A Common-Sense Guide to Alternative Homebuilding by Clarke Snell 2004

An excellent  guide to all the different aspects of alternative home building with chapters devoted to

1.Philosophy and Definitions;

2.Building Materials:

Traditional:

Earth : Stone; Mud (cob, rammed earth, adobe, brick, wattle-and-daub, earth plasters and concrete); Metal and Glass;

Plants: Grasses (straw, bamboo, sod roofs using living grasses) and Wood; and

Animal Products (skins, whalebone,dung, blood, milk and urine)

Modern : Plastics and synthetic polymers

Alternative: Recycled and Waste Materials: Used tyres (earthships), byproduct straw (strawbale houses), wood-based waste (cellulose insulation), and recycled plastics and concrete;

: Local Materials: Earth; and Plants;   and

:  Natural Materials;

3.Structure: Loads; Foundations; Floors; Walls; and Roofs;

4.Temperature: Heating; Cooling; Insulation; Thermal Mass; and Traditional/ Modern and Alternative Approaches to Temperature like masonry stoves;

5.Separation: Forces of Decay (water, sun, wind and life) and House Skins (integrated; applied: walls and roofs), including flashings, breathable walls, stucco and plasters; and green roofs;

6.Connection: Exchange of light and sun, water, air and power, including discussions of rainwater tanks, wells, waste water and compost toilets, septic systems, air quality, and renewable energy;

7.Applications: Examples of six alternative homes: their experiences, decisions and advice. They include: an earthship, a strawbale home; a breathable hot-climate house; a tiny earth-plastered office; a health-conscious home and a conventionally-constructed ‘alternative’ wooden, energy-efficient, passive solar home. Brief notes about all these buildings are detailed in a table at the end of the chapter, according to the previous chapters: their materials, structure, temperature, separation and connection.

8.Reality Check: Cost factors, building codes and considerations and advice for owner-builders.

Throughout the book are countless examples of traditional, modern and alternative approaches with hundreds of photographs, interviews with alternative builders and side bars and detailed drawings, helping to explain concepts.

The final chapter, Going Deeper, lists useful resources (hard copy, internet and buildings) for each chapter.BlogArchitectureBooksReszd30%Image (653)

Building Green: A Complete How-To Guide to Alternative Buiding Methods by Clarke Snell and Tim Callahan 2005

A similar, but much thicker  and even more practical book, with lots of detailed suggestions.

Part One: The Basics covers the reasons behind green building (low construction impact; resource efficiency through the life of the building, durability, nontoxicity and aesthetics); and alternative building fundamentals and building strategies, according to structure, temperature, separation and connection) and design (patterns and pattern language).

Part Two:

Building : Examines siting (in relation to sun, water, wind and earth- soil and contour); site work (required to seat the building and ensure good drainage: clearing land, mapping site contours, excavation, retaining walls, layout and digging foundations) and structure (the basic framework – its foundation, wall and roof structures.)

The latter has a huge amount of practical information, with step-by-step photographs on piers and drains, gravel trenches, stem walls, post-and-beam framework, moving heavy objects, tools, termite barriers, preparing and setting posts, building roof trusses, framing the roof, roof decking, living roofs and porches.

Temperature: Discusses the use of cob and other earth mixes, cordwood, strawbale and modified stick-frame to cocoon the building and maintain a stable indoor temperature. Again, lots of practical information on the advantages, disadvantages green credentials of each, as well as how to determine if your soil is suitable, how to build with cob, shaping niches and shelving and using glass bottles (cob); choosing and processing wood, mixing mortar, laying cordwood and round buildings (cordwood); types of strawbale construction (infill vs. loadbearing), bale dimensions, designing with bales, drainage planes, laying bales, water considerations and  rendering (strawbale); and wall trusses, wooden laths, insulation, prepping for plaster and use of bamboo (stick framing).

Separation: Covering the walls, roof and floor with skins to protect the building from the forces of decay: covers plastering and stucco and finishing the skin or trim (walls); living roofs; lapped or seamless roof skins, finishing the roof skin, gutters, insulation, drainage, rainwater catchment, and shingles (roofs); and raised or on-grade floors, gravel beds, grouting and hydroponic floor heating (floors); and

Connection: Creating connections between indoor and outdoor spaces via doors and windows; transition zones; and systems (plumbing, heating and cooling, power, lighting and waste disposal). of the topics covered include salvaging windows; building doors from scratch, outdoor work spaces, and patios and courtyards.

The four different alternative building methods and many of the concepts in this book are incorporated an actual construction project and the completed energy-efficient green building is shown in the final chapter and is quite delightful.BlogArchitectureBooksReszd30%Image (664)

Small Strawbale: Natural Homes, Projects and Designs by Bill Steen, Athena Swentzell Steen and Wayne J Bingham 2005

Strawbale construction is a particular favourite of mine, because of its energy conservation, insulation, fire retarding qualities, soundproofing, low cost, thick sills, sculptural and recessing potential and the total look and feel!

This lovely book features a collection of small houses, studios, meditation spaces, outbuildings and landscape walls.

While serving primarily as an inspiring showcase of ideas, it also includes many practical suggestions from basic guidelines for small buildings, roof slope and pitch, shading devices, round buildings, greenhouses, plastering hints, and  carving murals to  making window seats, built-in furniture, lofts and mezzanines, dormers and alcoves, earthen baking ovens and pantries, as well as numerous house and room plans. It’s a lovely little book for dreamers!BlogArchitectureBooksReszd30%Image (650)

And finally, one book on interior decoration, which complements many of the buildings described in this post:  simple, organic, natural, imaginative, creative and highly original!

Ethnic Style: From Mexico to the Mediterranean by Miranda Innes 1991

This beautiful book showcases ethnic interiors from around the world from the carved fretwork and richly embroidered fabrics of Eastern Europe, the simple elegance of Scandinavian wooden houses with sod roofs, the whitewashed plaster walls, blue doors and window shutters, terracotta roofs of Greece to the decorative Moorish partitions, colourful mosaic tile work  and the African mud hut walls, painted in abstract patterns with earth and mineral pigments in ochre, brown and black; the decorative arches, cooling courtyards and exquisite brightly coloured textiles of India; the simplicity, harmony, serenity and minimalism of Japanese homes with their paper screens, bamboo matting and sense of order; the Australian bush style and in the Americas:  the Shaker furniture; Native American artefacts; brilliant Haitian shutters; and bright Mexican colours!

The second part of the book explores how to create the ethnic look using wood (natural and  decorative: painted and carved); rattan, wicker, bamboo and rush; plaster; paint, textiles and  ceramics and tiles. There are so many lovely ideas and interiors in this book! It is a real feast for all the eyes alone, though no doubt in practice, it satisfies all the senses and creates a comfortable and highly personal home!!!BlogArchitectureBooksReszd25%Image (665)

Next week, I am exploring some of the beautiful Art Books, which we have in our library…. a visual treat indeed!!!

Architecture Books: Part One

Following on from previous posts on books about our natural environment and the world we live in, as well as our own historical background, it is now time for a post on books about our built environment and the homes people have created.

I have always been interested in architecture, especially vernacular, traditional and alternative owner-built dwellings, so it is not surprising that we own a number of books on this fascinating subject. Here are some of my favourites!

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa and Murray Silverstein with Max Jacobsen, Ingrid Fiksdahl-King and Shlomo Angel 1977

Second in a series of books about a totally different approach to architecture, this book is a bible to all those interested in architecture and  town planning, especially those who believe that people should design their own communities, houses and streetscapes.

The book provides a language for building and planning, describing detailed patterns for towns and neighbourhoods, houses, gardens and rooms. Each pattern describes a common widespread problem, as well as the core to the solution of the problem, allowing for a multitude of different responses.

Each pattern has the same format:

Black-and-white photograph, showing an archetypal example of the pattern;

Introductory paragraph setting the context for the pattern and its role in larger patterns, which are numbered;

Three diamonds denoting the start of the problem;

Headline in bold type giving the essence of the problem;

Body of the problem: the empirical background of the pattern; the evidence for its validity;and the range of different ways the pattern can be manifested in a building;

Solution in bold type, describing the field of physical and social relationships required to solve the stated problem in the stated context. The solution is always expressed in the form of an instruction, so you know exactly what you need to build the pattern;

Diagram, showing the solution with labels indicating its main components;

Three diamonds, marking the end of the main body of the pattern;

Final paragraph, linking the pattern to all those smaller patterns in the language, which are needed to complete the pattern.

This format presents each pattern in context to all the 253 other patterns in the language as a whole, so an infinite variety of combinations can be selected. The patterns are presented in a straight linear sequence, ranging from the largest pattern for regions and towns, then concentrating on increasingly smaller elements: the neighbourhood; clusters of buildings; buildings; rooms and alcoves; and finally details of construction. All the patterns are related to and support other patterns, like the web of nature.

While this all sounds rather complex, an example might make it clearer:

When my children were smaller, we lived in a large old house and each child had their own room like conventional Western practice, however we found that the kids never slept in their own beds each night, but moved around, sharing each other’s rooms. They liked being in each other’s company, a natural instinct described in Pattern Number 143: Bed Cluster, which is illustrated with beds, inset into the wall of a shared room.

The introductory paragraph sets the context within the larger patterns: Couple’s Realm (136) and Children’s Realm (137), as well as Sleeping to the East (138). The bold type headline discusses the balance between a need for privacy and the problem of isolation for young children in many cultures if they sleep alone. The body of the problem examines the possible configuration of children’s beds in shared rooms; isolated rooms and a cluster of alcoves, complete with a diagram, and the problems associated with each scenario. The solution in bold type suggests the placement of children’s beds in small individual alcoves around a common playspace, again illustrated by a simple diagram.

The last paragraph looks at smaller patterns, which should be examined to complete the pattern like Communal Sleeping (186); Bed Alcove (188); Children’s Realm (137); Dressing Room (189); Closets Between Rooms (198); Child Caves (203); Light on Two Sides (159); and The Shape of Indoor Space (191).

It is a fascinating book, which looks at basic human needs and how to fulfill them, an approach so different to our materialistic money-driven architecture, where the houses are so large with multiple bathrooms to ensure a good resale value, rather than being a home or taking the environment or our basic needs into account. It’s a lovely book to dip into and really make you think and question.

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Dwellings: The Vernacular House Worldwide by Paul Oliver 2003/ 2007

This is a terrific book for showing the huge diversity of vernacular buildings throughout the world and the ways indigenous peoples cope with local issues like climate, migratory lifestyles and symbolic and cultural expression.

Vernacular architecture is defined as: Owner-built or community built dwellings, utilising traditional technologies and local resources to meet specific needs and accommodating cultural values, economies and ways of life.

Each chapter examines the environmental considerations and problems and the buildings and method people use to handle these problems.

In addition to discovering different architectural and building styles, I learnt so much from this book about different peoples, their traditions, beliefs, cultures and ways of life, as well as the problems they face and how they have dealt with them. For example, while every child is familiar with Eskimo igloos, I was unaware that the Inuit also have communal clubhouses called karigi, nor that some Inuit built houses with whalebone frames (quarmang) or that there were different types of iglu like the anegiuchak and killegun.

Ancient dwellings, like the longhouses of late Bronze Age farming communities or the stilthouses of lake dwellers, are also described, as well as the wide variety of dwellings created from different building materials like earth (mud and clay), stone, wood, bamboo, and reeds and grasses.

I love the cave dwellings of Saumur, France, and the tufa pinnacles of Cappadocia, Turkey; the adobe abodes of Syria and Turkey with their parabolic corbelled domes; and the stone trulli in Apulia, Italy; the wattle-and-daub houses in England and sod-roofed timber log houses in Norway; the floating reed dwellings of Lake Titicaca, Bolivia, and the whitewashed walls and blue paintwork of the houses of the Greek islands.

In an increasingly urbanised Western world with mass uniformity in modern housing developments with brick venereal disease, it is wonderful to see the creativity, sense of place and attention to detail these traditional houses and settlements display.

In the back is an extensive bibliography and glossary of architectural and building terminology.BlogArchitectureBooksReszd30%Image (652)Home Work: Handbuilt Shelter by Lloyd Kahn 2004

Another wonderful book, which celebrates the creativity and individuality of hand-made shelters, as encapsulated by his introductory quote:

Shelter is more than a roof overhead’.

I also totally relate to Phillip Moffat’s quote on Page 31:

A house is a home when it shelters the body and comforts the soul’.

A sequel to his best-selling book, Shelter, written in 1973, it contains 1 100 photographs and over 300 drawings and includes the homes of builders, photographers, dreamers, farmers, travellers, traditionalists and campers.

The common features of the handmade homes featured include: Good craftsmanship; Practicality, economy and simplicity; Efficient use of resources; Tuned to the landscape; Aesthetically pleasing and radiated good vibes; Integrity in design and execution; and/ or Wild Creativity! The book and these buildings are so inspiring!

There were some really interesting and individual buildings from Louie Fraser’s shop, a Mandan earth lodge with curved white-plastered walls, a curving shingled roof and hand-crafted furniture to his Japanese polehouse, accessible only by riding a bosun’s chair on a 500 feet cable across a river; Ian MacLeod’s circular stone houses with gauze windows in South Africa; Bill Coperthwaite’s yurts; and Jack William’s beautiful simple wooden home to the tiny dwellings of Archilibre in the French Pyrenees (http://www.archilibre.org/) and strawbale houses, made famous by builders, Bill and Anthea Steen (see later) and photographer, Catherine Wanek.

There were also many photos of vernacular dwellings and communities throughout the world, including Native American shelters; American barns; stone buildings in Northern Italy; Tibetan monasteries, shrines and cabins; the Greek monasteries of the Meteora; Hungarian timber framed buildings; the Hallig homes of Northern Germany (a certain casualty of global warming and sea level rises!); Mongolian cloud houses; tropical tree-houses; colourful gypsy wagons and handmade house-trucks and house-buses. Some of the fantasy dwellings were amazing and quite ingenious: Michael Kahn’s Eliphante with windows composed of old car windshields, silicone together with stained glass incorporated on the inside; Ma Page’s Bottle house and Steve Kornher’s lightweight concrete sculptural forms at Timolandia. They are all labours of love, relatively cheap in monetary terms, though costly in time and a wonderful testament to their builder’s creativity and uniqueness.

Like the previous book, it has an excellent list of recommended reading matter.BlogArchitectureBooksReszd25%Image (658)Homemade Houses: Traditional Homes From Many Lands by John Nicholson 1993

This is a lovely little book about architecture and regional building styles for children.

It covers:  Mobile homes (Moroccan tents; Afghan yurts; and Inuit igloos;) and a wide variety of dwellings built from :

Reeds, grass and bamboo: Madan Mudhif; Sulawesi Tongkonan; Samoan fales; and Venezuelan huts;

Earth and clay: Dogon village; Cappadocian cave; New Mexican pueblo; and Syrian mud domes;

Wood: Australian Queenslander; Japanese minka; timberframed houses in England; and

Stone: Cotswold cottage; Apulian trullo and Irish thatched farmhouse.

Like all children’s books, it is a great way to get a quick condensed and simplified view of an unfamiliar subject. It has a simple glossary and a world map marking the locations of featured buildings at the back.BlogArchitectureBooksReszd25%Image (657)

The next two books concentrate on the vernacular architecture of the United Kigdom.

The Illustrated Handbook of Vernacular Architecture by RW Brunskill 1971/ 1978

A simple, yet comprehensive guidebook to all the different vernacular building styles in Britain, though there is a small section on the English influence in North America. There are detailed chapters on :

Walling : Frame and cladding: Construction and materials, including stone, cobbles and pebbles, flint, brick, earth and clay, timber, wattle-and-daub, shingles, weatherboard and plaster;

Roofing : Shape, construction and materials, including thatch, slate, stone flags and tiles, clay tiles and pantiles; as well as notes on dormers, eaves and chimneys;

Plans and sections, including notes on halls, hearths and fireplaces, storeys and staircases;

Architectural details : All the different styles and shapes of windows and doors throughout time; and external (bay windows, porches, wrought iron, barge boards, plaques and sundials) and internal ornament (partitions, built-in cupboards and moulded ceiling beams);

Farm buildings : Haysheds, stables, pigstys, threshing barns, cow-houses, granaries, dovecots and oast houses; and

Urban vernacular and minor industrial buildings, including the terrace houses of the Industrial  Revolution; windmills and watermills; and smithies, kilns and textile mills.

In the back are distribution maps and notes on all the different types of building materials: stone; flint, pebble and cobble; brick; clay; timber; thatch; stone flags and tiles; plain tiles and pantiles; and building techniques: cruck timber frame construction;  fireplace type; as well as time scales showing the different styles of windows, doors and roofing over time.

There are black-and-white photographs and diagrams illustrating patterns, forms and floor plans, as well as appendices on the different methods of studying  vernacular architecture; glossary notes; and suggestions for further reading.

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Village Buildings of Britain by Matthew Rice 1991/ 1992

While the black-and-white photographs of the previous book lend an historical feel to the vernacular architecture, the delightful watercolour renditions of this lovely book are equally suitable.

This book also has a different format. Whereas the previous book was divided into sections according to the elements of the building (roofing, walling, decoration etc), this book is divided geographically with chapters devoted to the typical style of building and building materials in the West Country (Cornwall Somerset and Devon), Wessex (Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire), the Weald (Surrey, East and West Sussex and Kent), East Anglia (Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire), the Shires (Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire), the Cotswolds (Gloucestershire and parts of Wiltshire and Oxfordshire), the West Midlands (Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Cheshire and Warwick), Wales, the North of England (Northumberland, Cumbria, Durham and Yorkshire), the Borders, and the Highlands and Islands.

There is a regional map on page 15 and a resource distribution map on page 9 (random rubble, granite, sandstone, brick, limestone and chalk or flint), which determines the building materials used.

I loved the paintings of the individual houses, particular features like doorways and windows or brick patterns; regional maps and general landscapes, complete with chooks, turkeys and sheep. There are also interesting notes on the Arts and Crafts movement, Norfolk churches and Welsh chapels, and model villages and farms, as well as an illustrated glossary in the back.BlogArchitectureBooksReszd30%Image (656)A Home in Provence: Interiors, Gardens, Inspiration by Noëlle Duck 2014

A sumptuous book showcasing the beautiful stone houses- the bastides, mas and mazets, bories and cabanons and townhouses of Provence on the Mediterranean coast. I love the blue wooden shutters, the terracotta tiled roofs and  the ochre and burnt sienna walls. The interiors are so beautiful from the terracotta tiled floors and stone staircases with wrought-iron railings to the  ornate plasterwork, rustic exposed wooden ceiling beams and distempered walls in ochre, sienna and azure.

The shady paved terraces, outdoor furniture, water features, earthenware pots and vases and gardens full of lavender and roses are also discussed, as well as the decorative features of Provencal style: the polished and painted wood furniture;; gilded mirrors; rush-bottomed chairs; Provencal fabrics like Souleïado (http://provence.souleiado.com/souleiado-story/ and https://www.french-nc.com/shop/Fabrics/French-Fabrics/Souleiado-Fabric.htm; boutis and matelassage quilts; ceramics and glassware; and tableware and kitchenware.  This is a beautiful dreamy book for francophiles and homemakers alike.BlogArchitectureBooksReszd30%Image (661)Planning the Australian Homestead by Kenneth McConnel 1947

Written the year my husband was born, this book belonged to his mother and I am including it in this post, as I love the old black-and-white photographs of the houses and gardens of famous old Australian properties like Camden Park and Harben Vale in New South Wales and Cardross and Cressbrook in Queensland.

After a brief discussion of Australia’s early bush tradition, the book follows a logical order with chapters on:

Site and Setting: Water; Access; Aspect and Prospect; Wind Protection; Associated Features; Slope; and Soil;

Plans: Verandahs; Site Placement according to sun, wind and aesthetics;  and

Plan Types: Simple Rectangle; L or T Plan; U Plan; Courtyard Plan (which I particularly liked!); and Open Plan, all accompanied by scaled house plans, like the example of the courtyard plan, shown in the photo, taken from page 30, seen below;BlogArchitectureBooksReszd30%Image (668)

Planning the Parts:

Front Entrance: Porch, Verandah, Driveway and Front Door;

Living Room: Fireplace, Ingle Nooks, Windows, Verandah; and Ceiling;

Dining Room: Placement and Lighting;

Kitchen, Pantry and Servery;

Laundry;

Sleeping Wing; and

Bathrooms.

It is so interesting reading this section, as it represents a time capsule. Many of the essential items mentioned are now obsolete in modern homes. How many contemporary entrance halls, if indeed they still exist, contain a hall cupboard for coats and hats, a sofa, an occasional table, telephone and grandfather clock? There are also many references to the beliefs of the time, making for some amusing reading like:

‘ There is, however, something to be said for being able to shut young children out of the living room in the daytime, provided there is somewhere else for them to carry on their activities’!

How times have changed! The contents of the living room have also changed. While we still have sofas or armchairs and possibly a table in our contemporary living rooms, many modern houses no longer have bookcases, desks, wireless sets or pianos. And how many people these days know what an ingle nook is? See photo from pages 50 to 51 below.BlogArchitectureBooksReszd20%Image (669)BlogArchitectureBooksReszd50%Image (670)

I love the idea of a two-way cutlery drawers (see dining room photo above, from page 61) and kitchen dresser, built into the wall between the kitchen and dining room, accessible to both rooms, which can also take the form of a drying rack, a ‘real boon to the lady of the house, if she is also the cook and dishwasher’, as seen in the photo below, from pages 68 to 69, though most kitchens and dining rooms are open plan these days and the dishwasher has replaced washing dishes by hand!BlogArchitectureBooksReszd25%Image (671)I also laughed at the assertion that: ‘a bath is almost as out of date and insanitary as an antimacassar’, whatever the latter is (!), but that ‘being a conservative people, I suppose that we shall stick to it for quite a long time’, written 70 years ago by an obviously non-bath lover!!!

The book then discusses Associated Features and Services: The garden; water and drainage; rain water tanks; sanitation and septic systems; stables and horse yards; and milking sheds, all of which could still be relevant to country homesteads, though more really an indication of the age of this book!

There is a separate chapter, written by Rex Hazlewood, on Garden Design, followed by chapters on heating and cooling; lighting; building materials: stone and brick; pise; timber; concrete and cement; wrought iron; and paint; and the use of these materials in walling, posts and columns, verandahs, roofs, ceilings, floors, paving, gates and railings.BlogArchitectureBooksReszd30%Image (659)The Australian House: Homes of the Tropical North by Balwant Saini and Ray Joyce 1982/1993

The traditional timber Queenslander house of tropical Northern Australia is a classic example of vernacular domestic architecture in Australia during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The author examines the origins and influences upon the development of the tropical timber house and its components: verandahs, stumps, roofs, interiors and fences. He discusses their renovation and restoration, the pitfalls and things to look out for.

There are over 200 photos of houses from large wealthy city mansions to the humble cottages of factory workers and miners. Having lived in Toowong, Queensland, I was familiar with many of the houses and streetscapes photographed in this book.

I love these old houses: their old verandahs, the decorative awnings and brackets, cast-iron work, roof ventilators and finials, roof lookouts and curved corrugated iron bullnose verandah roofs, as well as their internal features: fretwork door panels, pressed metal ceilings and stained glass window panes. The photographs are delightful and the book provides plenty of inspiration for renovators. It finishes with a bibliography and glossary of terms.BlogArchitectureBooksReszd25%Image (660)

Islam: Art and Architecture Edited by Markus Hattstein and Peter Delius 2004

Islamic architecture is also highly distinctive and recognizable and another one of my favourite architectural styles. This book is a wonderful guide to the fundamentals of Islamic architecture and showcases many beautiful examples throughout the world, their locations depicted in the introductory world map, as well as different historical time periods

Introductory chapters cover:

World Religion and Cultural Power: History; Beliefs; the Koran; the Five Pillars of Islam: the public profession of faith (shahada); the obligatory liturgical prayer (salat) five times a day at fixed times; the giving of alms (zakat); ritual fasting (saum) in the holy month of Ramadan; and the pilgrimage to Mecca and its surroundings (the hajj); and Islamic Law;

Art and Culture in the Islamic World: Early Arabian art; Islamic attitudes to art; Mosques; Philosophy and Science (astronomy, physics and medicine); and Literature.

The book continues with a discussion of the different time periods and places: their history, trade and trading routes; architecture and architectural ornament;  and decorative arts, including mosaics and  tile work; sculptural ornamentation, reliefs and frescoes; textiles and carpets, ceramics and glassware, woodwork and metalwork; artifacts made from ivory and rock crystals; calligraphy, book illustration and miniature painting; and garden design. Comprehensive chapters, complete with timelines, maps, diagrams, architectural plans and wonderful photographs, are devoted to:

Syria and Palestine: the Umayyad Caliphate

Iraq, Iran and Egypt: the Abbasids of Tunisia and Egypt: the Aghlabids and Fatimids;

Syria, Palestine and Egypt: the Ayyubids, Mamluks and Crusaders;

Spain and Morocco: Spanish Umayyads; Almoravids and Almohads; and the Nasrids of Granada;

The Maghreb: Morocco to Tunisia, including the Berbers;

Early Empires of the East: Ghaznavids and Ghurids;

Central Asia and Asia Minor: the Great Seljuks, the Anatolian Seljuks and the Khwarazm-Shahs;

Islamic Mongols: From the Mongol Invasions to the Ilkhanids;

Central Asia: the Timurids; the Shaybanids and the Khan Princedoms;

India: From Sultanate to Mughal Empire; Iran: Safavids and Qajars;

The Ottoman Empire;  and

Islam in the Modern Age.

It is a really lovely book, with so much information and so many beautiful buildings and artworks!BlogArchitectureBooksReszd25%Image (666)

On Thursday, I will be discussing Part Two of this discussion of Architectural Books.

Bucket List of Rose Gardens in Italy and Germany

My final bucket-list post features the wonderful rose gardens of Italy and Germany, starting with one of the most famous romantic rose gardens of all time:

Ninfa (Giardini di Ninfa)

Via Provinciale Ninfina, 68, 04012 Cisterna di Latina LT, Italy    Near  Sermonetta

http://gardentravelhub.com/garden-ninfa-worth-superlatives/

http://www.madeinsouthitalytoday.com/garden-of-ninfa.php

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMssohopSzo

Ninfa has been described as one of the 10 most beautiful gardens in the world. In fact, Monty Don states in his video, Italian Gardens (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Y8wh7Xqw7U, at the 2:48:20-2:56:0 mark), that he considers it to be THE most romantic garden in the world!

It is located in the province of Latina, 40 miles south-west of Rome (one hour drive), at the foot of the Lepina Mountains, from which numerous springs run down to form a small lake, which feeds into a river, which runs through the centre of the town, which was surrounded by marshlands.

Ninfa was an ancient Etruscan town, founded in the 8th Century, by the Volscians and named after a small temple near the springs, dedicated to the Nymph goddess, Ninfa. During the Middle Ages, it was a rich merchant stopover between Rome and Naples on the Appian Way. It included a 12th century castle; seven churches; palazzos; medieval clock towers; a town hall, mills, bakeries, a blacksmith; a 1400 metre long defensive wall, bridges, two hospices; and 2000 people living in 150 homes. It was acquired by the Caetani family in 1298.

In 1381, the town was sacked by mercenaries and pillaged by neighbouring towns during a civil war, caused by a schism in the Roman Catholic Church. Attempts to resettle were thwarted by outbreaks of malaria and gradually, the town was abandoned and overgrown with ivy and weeds. It lay sleeping for six centuries, still attracting the odd visitor for its melancholic air, like Edward Lear in 1840, who also described it as one of the most romantic visions in Italy.

In 1921, Gelasio Caetani, the second youngest son of Prince Onorata Caetani and his English-born wife, Ada Wilbraham, drained the marshes; cleared the undergrowth, weeds and ivy;  restored some of the medieval buildings, in particular, the tower and town hall, for a Summer residence; and started a garden in the romantic English Landscape style.

His sister-in-law, Marguerite Chapin (1880-1963), who was married to musician, Roffredo Caetani, in 1911, planted on a grand scale with thousands of trees and shrubs, imported from from all over the world, including fastigiate cypress, Chamaecyparis sempervirens; holm oaks (Quercus ilex); poplars; beeches; crab apples; prunus; magnolias; camellias; rhododendrons; and roses. Their daughter Leila continued her work after World War II, leaving the garden to the Roffredo Caetani Foundation.

While the whole park is 105 hectares (260 acres), the garden is 8 hectares (20 acres) and is managed organically by a curator and six full-time gardeners. It is only open 25 days a year between April and October and attracts 70 000 visitors a year. Guided tours of up to 20 visitors are conducted on a prescribed path 10 to 15 minutes apart and last 1.5 hours. It is best in April and May for rose lovers!

It is a gorgeous wild garden, which thrives with the rich well-drained moist soil, benign Winter temperatures and hot Summers. Plants ramble over ruined towers, walls and archways and overhang the stream.

Other trees include: Stone pine, Pinus pinea;  Judas trees; Ribbonwood, Hoheria sexstylosa (New Zealand); wattles; birch; hawthorne; liquidambars; Persian Silk Tree , Albizia julibrissin; Dragon’s Claw Willow, Salix matsudana ‘Tortuosa’; walnuts; weeping cherries; maples like Acer griseum; Himalayan and Mexican Pines; American walnuts; Gingko biloba; Catalpas; Dogwoods; Casuarina tenuissima; and banana trees.

Other shrubs include: bamboos; papyrus; buddleja; viburnums; smoke bush, Cotinus coggygria ‘Flame’; Photinia serrulata; lavenders andMagnolia stellata.

Climbers include Clematis armandi; star jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides; Wisteria floribunda ‘Macrobotrys’ and climbing hydrangea, H. petiolaris.

Hazelnuts; Acer saccharinum; Liriodendron tuilpifera, Arum lilies, Iris and Gunnera manicata line the river.

Other plantings include: Salvias; lilies; cannas; anemones; alliums; Iris; Acanthis mollis; and ferns.

The rock garden contains Iberis; Eschscholzia; Veronica; Golden Alyssum; Aquilegia; Dianthus and Pomegranates.

There are over 200 different roses including: a hedge of 100 plants of R. roxburghii plena; R. hugonis; R. bracteata; American Pillar; Banksia rose; R. filipes ‘Kiftsgate’; Rambling Rector; Paul’s Himalayan Musk; Mme Alfred Carrière and Gloire de Dijon; Général Schablikine; Mutabilis; Complicata; Iceberg; Max Graf; The Garland; Desprez à Fleurs Jaunes; Seagull; Comtesse du Cayla; Dr W Van Fleet; Cramoisi Supérieur; R. brunonii ‘La Mortola’; Rêve d’Or; David Austin roses and Hybrid Musks: Penelope; Vanity; Ballerina and Buff Beauty. Penelope is such a beautiful romantic rose, I have chosen it as my feature photo for Ninfa (see below)!

Ninfa is on the flyway for migrating birds between Africa and Europe and 152 birds have been sighted. In 1976, under the auspices of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), 2000 acres were set aside for a wildlife sanctuary with brush plantings and the creation of more wetlands, as well as re-establishing 15 ha (37 acres) of native vegetation. The river contains brown and Mediterranean trout populations.

If you would like to read more about Ninfa, Charles Quest-Ritson wrote Ninfa: the Most Romantic garden in the World in 2009.blogsummer-gardenreszd20img_0813Because I adore the rose Mutabilis, I would have to include La Landriana on my bucket list!

La Landriana

Via Campo di Carne, 51, 00040, Tor San Lorenzo, Ardea (Roma)

https://www.romecentral.com/en/luoghi-segreti-vicino-roma-giardini-della-landriana/

A few kilometres from Rome, in the city of Ardea, this 10 ha garden is owned by the Marquise Lavinia Tavernain, who started it from scratch in 1956. She commissioned Sir Russell Page to design a series of themed rooms, arranged  in a geometric pattern.

There are 23 different areas in the garden with many Australian and South African plants due to the  maritime Mediterranean climate. They are separated by clipped hedges of Buxus sempervirens; Viburnum tinus and Laurus nobilis.

The house is covered in climbers including roses:  R. laevigata; R. banksiae lutea; and R. bracteata ‘Mermaid’, as well as Solanum jasminoides; Solanum crispa; Vitis coignetiae and Vitis ‘Brant’.

There is a pergola covered with Wisteria sinensis and Rosa bracteata, as well as a lily pool and a water fountain.

It is worth consulting the map on the website for an idea of the different garden areas, but for this post, I will be concentrating on the roses, of which there are 350 different varieties, contained mainly in the Rooms of the Rose; the White Walk; the Antique Rose Valley; and Valley of Roses Mutabilis.

Rooms of the Rose: Hundreds of plants of Bonica 82 are planted beneath olive trees and a Pinus pinea along this cobbled walkway, interplanted with Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Silver Queen’;

White Walk: Flanked by Hybrid Musk, Penelope, and semi-procumbent Seafoam; and many white and grey plants, including Romneya coulterii and Carpenteria californica, with Mme Alfred Carrière in the background;

Antique Rose Valley: A large informal area with wide grass walkways between irregular beds and borders of different shapes and sizes, crammed with roses, underplanted with lavender, nepeta, pinks and Pavonia hastata. They include:

Rugosas (eg Blanc Double de Coubert; and Sarah Van Fleet); Gallicas;  Damasks; Centifolias and Mosses; Portlands (eg Jacques Cartier; Comte de Chambord; and Rose de Rescht); Hybrid Musks (eg Prosperity; Cornelia; and  Moonlight); David Austin roses (eg Abraham Darby; Claire Rose; and Mary Rose);  and finally, there is …

The Valley of Roses Mutabilis: 300 bushes of 2 metre high Mutabilis are grown en masse in huge drifts with mown walkways between. Their peachy-pink, yellow, orange and crimson single open flowers bloom right through to Christmas, giving the appearance of a host of butterflies hovering over a dark sea of Ophiopogon japonicus. A rare tea rose, ‘Belle Lyonnaise’ climbs up Melia azederach trees.

The garden is open to the public from April to November and there are two major plant fairs in Spring and Autumn.blogvsrg50reszdnov-2010-253Il Roseto Botanico Gianfranco and Carla Fineschi

Casalone 76, 52022, Cavriglia (Arezzo),Italy   50 km south of Florence

http://www.rosetofineschi.it/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fd1h8jpZLHA

And for those of us who cannot read or speak Italian:

http://oldroses.nl/essays-articles-and-books/visit-to-roseto-botanico-carla-fineschi-cavriglia-arezzo-italy/   and

https://fromatuscanhillside.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/the-carla-fineschi-botanical-rose.html.

Charles Quest-Ritson dedicated his book, Climbing Roses of the World, to his wife and  ‘Gianfranco Fineschi, who has done more for the rose in one lifetime than the Empress Josephine herself ‘, so I would have to visit this amazing living museum, dedicated to the rose!

Professor Gianfranco (1923-2010) started his rose collection fifty years ago in 1967 on his family estate in Casalone, near Cavrigio, overlooking the Tuscan Hills. It is now the world’s largest private rose garden in the world with 6500 different species of rose, each represented by a single plant, which is tagged with its botanical name; its year of introduction to Europe and its ability to hybridize.

Roses are organized according to their scientific classification and are planted in separate beds according to their species, subspecies and hybrids, with climbers and ramblers forming division walls.

Many of the beds of modern roses are grouped according to their hybridizers eg Lens, Kordes, Harkness, Buisman, Leenders, Mc Gredy, Meilland, Poulsen, Noack, Beales, Austin, Dickson, and Verschuren. This botanical and historical emphasis makes this garden particularly valuable for rose historians.

Its reputation as the world’s largest private rose garden refers to the number of rose species in the collection, rather than the size of the garden, which is only one acre! Hence, the roses are planted very close together, which necessitates the use of chemicals to control diseases! The garden has been reopened and can be visited in May and June.

I have chosen R.brunonii as my feature photo for this garden, as well as the main feature photo for this post on Italian rose gardens, as it has a hybrid ‘La Mortola’, named after the famous Italian garden, La Mortola, in Liguria.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9523And finally, and especially for my daughter, who is living in Germany and still hasn’t visited this amazing garden!:

Sangerhausen

On the Rosengarten 2a
06526 Sangerhausen, Germany  South-West of Berlin and just west of Leipzig

http://europa-rosarium.de, translated into English at:

https://translate.google.com.au/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://europa-rosarium.de/&prev=search

http://oldroses.nl/essays-articles-and-books/my-visit-to-sangerhausen/

http://oldroses.nl/essays-articles-and-books/sangerhausen-the-greatest-rosary-in-the-world/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3PzS00H9xc

Map: http://europa-rosarium.de/fileadmin/files/Lageplan_2015_SEgeschlossen.pdf

Brochure: http://sangerhausen-tourist.de/fileadmin/Flyer/Flyer_Rosarium_07-11_engl_.pdf.

Sangerhausen is a huge historic public rose garden, the German equivalent of L’Hay des Roses, France, with 75 000 rose plants of over 70 classes of rose; and 8 600 rose cultivars, including 500 species roses, 1 350 historic roses, over 2 000 modern roses since the 1950s and 850 climbing roses. 2 000 cultivars are only found in Sangerhausen. According to the Guinness Book of Records, it is the largest collection of roses in the world!

It was proposed by rose breeder, Peter Lambert, in 1898, as a refuge for roses and rose classes at risk of oblivion with the rising dominance of the Hybrid Tea and as a genetic pool for hybridizers. Albert Hoffman donated his rose collection of 1 100 different roses as a basis for the new rosarium.

In 1899, landscape architect Friedrich Erich Doerr, Erfurt, designed a formal rose garden, which was extended to include an agricultural area in 1902. The 1.5 ha garden, at that stage owned by the German Rose Society, was opened to the public in 1903 with a collection of 1 500 roses. It was extended in 1913 to 12 ha and became a trial ground for testing new German roses prior to their introduction. By 1939, there were 5 000 roses and the site was extended again to its current size of 12.5 ha (31 acres).

Sangerhausen was kept going through the Great Depression; the Second World War and the Cold War by Richard Vogel and his son, Max. Being located in what became East Germany after World War II and the erection of the Berlin Wall in 1961, rosarians in the West were largely cut off from contact from it for over thirty years. The first visits from the West occurred in the early 1970s, but direct exchange and donations of roses were still not allowed, so would often reach Sangerhausen via Poland. During this time, 800 different cultivars of Polyanthas were planted together en masse for a spectacular effect and the irrigation system renewed.

The rosary was revived with the reunification of Germany. In 2003 (its 100 year anniversary), a new entrance gate with bright tourist-attracting modern roses; a restaurant and three new gardens were created, including a Jubilee Garden (a classical rosary design showing the historical development of the rose in the last 100 years); a Sea of Roses and an ADR Garden, ADR standing for Allgemeine Deutsche Rosenneuheitenprufung, the group which conducts rose trials, assessing roses over three years for disease-resistance; hardiness; attractiveness; and habit and judging 50 new cultivars annually.

Since then, a Rose Information Centre with a lecture hall and souvenir shop; a glasshouse conservatory for the more tender roses; and a fragrance garden has been opened. There is also an arboretum of over 250 rare trees and shrubs and an outdoor theatre.

Situated 170 metres above sea level on the scenic mountain slopes of the Southern Harz, with an average annual rainfall of 500 mm and a continental climate of hot dry Summers and minimum Winter temperatures of Minus 20 degrees Celsius, it would need a glasshouse for some of the more delicate Tea and China roses!

No chemical pesticides have been used since 1997 and the garden is managed by 27 gardeners. It is now owned by the City of Sangerhausen. In 2003, the World Federation of Rose Societies awarded Sangerhausen an Award of Garden Excellence.

The main blooming season for the Old Roses (pre-1867) is from the end of May to the middle of June, but other roses bloom till October, followed by a superb display of rose hips. Apparently, the old city entrance is very romantic with all the old roses in bloom.

Sangerhausen attracts a huge number of visitors. The garden had over 132 000 visitors in 2009 alone! On the last weekend in June, there is a Festival of Mining and Roses and on the 2nd Saturday in August is a  ‘Night of a Thousand Lights’ featuring fireworks, food, music and dance .

The garden is also an important research centre, being named the German Rose Gene Bank in 2009, as well as acquiring a New German Rose Library, and also is a major supplier of budwood for hybridizers.

Below is a photo of Maigold, bred by German breeding family, Kordes, in 1953. Wilhelm Kordes II was very involved in implementing ADR testing in the 1950s, so this rose is a very suitable feature rose for Sangerhausen!

BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9505I hope you have enjoyed my bucket-list of overseas gardens and that you (and I!) get to visit them some day, but here is the thing about blogging! Even if we never make it overseas again, I have had so much pleasure researching all these beautiful gardens to the extent that I almost feel that I have been there! Even though nothing can really replace the real experience, the enjoyment of such visits can be tempered by huge  crowds in Summer, the peak rose blooming time, bad weather and sheer fatigue! And their websites these days are so comprehensive, so many lessons can be learnt digitally from these gardens from garden design to companion planting for roses!

For the next month, I am returning to further reviews of the books in our home library and some wonderful visual treats, with two weeks dedicated to architecture books and the following fortnight to art books, before returning to posts on today’s roses: the Hybrid Teas and Floribundas; and David Austin roses.