It takes a gifted artist to become a great teacher and those who dare to teach never cease to learn.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Spring is Coming!

(please click the image to enlarge)

(to download the entry form, use username: biprogram, password: student)

You can also pick up your copy of the entry form from the Classroom C

Saturday, December 27, 2008

One of the Greatest Florists - Alexander Marshal

Common Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and greyhound (Canis familiaris), c. 1650-82

Alexander Marshal (c. 1620-1682) painted not to document scientific discoveries, not for publication nor for sale but for pleasure. A highly skilled, although self-taught artist, Alexander Marshal was a horticulturist and famed entomologist who believed the cultivation of plants was essential to the study of the natural world.
The Florilegium of Alexander Marshal (c.1620—82) has been part of the Royal Collection since the times of King George IV. The art is now included in the collections of the Royal Library at Windsor Castle containing 159 folios of exquisite water colors portraying more than 600 different plants, both native and exotic, together with meticulous studies of insects, birds and animals. It is the only surviving example of a flower-book painted by an English artist in the 17th century. This was also the first collection that was made for the pleasure of the eye and not for a herbal. Despite Marshal’s importance as an artist, no full-scale study of his work has ever been published.
The Florilegium of Alexander Marshal at Windsor Castle by Prudence Leith-Ross and Henrietta McBurney was published in 2000 showing the 159 folios beautifully reproduced as a full-page color plates.

Some of Marshal’s works were also included in Amazing Rare Things exhibition curated by David Attenborough. Those of us who saw that exhibit certainly noticed the fresh and bright colors in the art. Mr. Marshal experimented with different pigments extracting them from flowers, berries, roots and gums.

Quite recently the Viking Studia published a condensed version of "The Florilegium of Alexander Marshal" with the title Mr. Marshal’s Flower book containing 140 stunning illustrations and the abridged text from Prudence Leith-Ross and Henrietta McBurney book from 2000.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays!!!!

(Rudolf Koivu (1890-1946)

Wishing you all the very best for the Holiday Season.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

James Gurney welcomes you to Dinotopia

James Gurney is an artist and author probably best known for his illustrated book series about Dinotopia. Dinotopia is the isolated island inhabited by shipwrecked humans and dinosaurs coexisting peacefully in the same society.
Less well-known might be the dozens of science fiction and fantasy paperback covers James Gurney has painted for works by authors such as Tim Powers and Alan Dean Foster, the background paintings he has done for the film industry, the stamps (World of Dinosaurs, released by USPS on May 1st 1997), and uncounted illustrations for "National Geographic" and other publications. Dinotopia has been translated at least into 18 languages.
James Gurney is coming to Denver Botanic Gardens on March 5th, 2009….more

Friday, December 19, 2008

Rutabaga and Ginger

(by Barbara Piascik, BI-graduate of 2007)

Rutabaga is the most popular root vegetable in the Finnish cuisine. It is included in casseroles and served as a side dish alongside meat and salads. Rutabaga casserole (Lanttulaatikko) is one of the oldest holiday dishes in Finland. Rutabaga was cultivated in Finland already in the 17th century and the rutabaga casserole has been part of the festivity cooking since then. As requested by many, click for the recipe here.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Magical Season – Magical Spices –

(Cinnamon zeylanicum by Susan Rubin)
The Holiday Season is a treat for the nose and for the taste buds –
After last weeks BI holiday party I have got many requests for a number of recipes, the glögg recipe can be found here…

Friday, December 12, 2008

Registration starts on Monday!

Please remember that registration for January - June 2009 BI-classes starts on Monday, December 15, 9 a.m.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Durable Plants for the Garden - Plant Select Guide

Available January 15, 2009: Durable Plants for the Garden: A Plant Select® Guide. Please read more here…

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Fresh from the Press: Brush with Gondwana

Brush with Gondwana is the first book celebrating the artistic achievements of the Botanical Artists’ Group of WA (BAG), Australia, established in 1992.
The book presents seven permanent members of the BAG: Rica Erickson, Pat Dundas, Ellen Hickman, Penny Leach, Philippa Nikulinsky, Margaret Pieroni and Katrina Syme. Each of them is given a chapter in which their ‘story’ is told and each chapter includes fourteen whole page illustrations from the respective artist. The book is undoubtedly convincing us once again of the fundamental link between botanical art and science.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cardamom - Queen of all Spices

(Otto Carl Berg & Carl Friedrich Schmidt, Leipzig, 1858-1863)

Cardamom, Elettaria cardamomum, also known as Malabar or Ceylon cardamom grows wild in the Ghat Mountains of the Malabar Coast, southwestern India and on Sri Lanka. It is a perennial, up to 6 meters tall (~20 ft.) plant with flower stalk that is only a one meter high. The seedpod is a centimeter long capsule containing up to 20 seeds. The harvesting (the seedpods need to be harvested individually) and growing cardamom is very labor intense making Cardamom the second most expensive spice in the world.
Cardamom was considered as a cure against obesity and dysuria already more than 3000 years ago. It has long been famous as an aphrodiasiac. It was imported to Greece by the fourth century B.C. Romans started to use the spice in cooking.
India and Guatemala are the biggest cardamom producers today.
The traditional Indian cuisine consumes ca 50 % of world's production and the second 50 % of the modern cardamom consumption is divided between Near East (Saudi-Arabia) and Nordic Countries led by Sweden and Finland. Arabs use Cardamom in coffee, west Europeans use it in sweet pastries; they also mix it with hamburger meat, meat loaf and sausage meat. Cardamom is also an important part of the Danziger Goldwasser, mulled wine and glögg.