CPGFS and IAPI meetings – all botanical art of course!

What does CPGFS and IAPI mean? Read on.

We got back from Norway on Wednesday last week after a two-day drive. I was tired and so was Robin. But of course as usual the diary was full when we got back. Against my better judgement I had said yes to an invitation to an 20th anniversary lunch held by the Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society (CPGFS). This was of course in London, but was held at the Royal College of Physicians; what a wonderful building and a delicious meal. we were lucky enough to sit at a table with some really nice members and it gave me the opportunity to put my mind at rest in relation to the expectations of me as a member. I haven’t yet started the work on the picture I will be doing, although I have decided what I am going to do.

After the meal we were invited into the garden by Dr Henry Oakley for an introduction to the gardens. Although we only had a short time being led around the garden (we had a train to catch) it was absolutely fascinating. We got a potted history of the garden and then a thoroughly interesting reasoning behind its layout and the plants that were there. I think that many were surprised that so many really important medicines that are in use today, can be evolved from one and the same plant. There were several instances of this happening. I just wish we could have stayed longer. I’m glad that we made the effort to go.

Dr Henry Oakley explaining about the uses of the Opium Poppy.
Dr Henry Oakley explaining about the uses of the Opium Poppy.

Thursday was spent catching up with cleaning and washing clothes (followed all the time by the cats), before we went away for the weekend! Once a year the Institute for Analytical Plant Illustrators (IAPI) has a weekend away. There is normally a meeting every two months which we try to attend when we can as there is so much to learn from the rest of the group: botanists and botanical artists.This time it was decided that the meeting should start in the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff. Maureen Lazarus and Heather Pardoe were to show us some of the botanical art in the collection. They were very knowledgeable about the collection which included artworks from Ehret up to modern day artists.

Although we missed the beginning of the session (junction closed on the M4), we still saw most of the pictures they had selected for us and heard some of the history behind them. Pictures ranged from ones by Ehret to modern day botanical artists.

Part of a work by G. Griffiths
Part of a work by G. Griffiths
11.IAPI 0715
Work by Ehret.
Part of a picture by Bryan Poole. The composition on this one was very exciting.
Part of a picture by Bryan Poole. The composition on this one was very exciting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following day we planned to go to the National Botanic Gardens of Wales as a group. In between times we found each to our hotels for the night and we happened to end up at the same place as another group of people we were due to see the next day. Funnily enough, our visit coincided with Gardeners Question Time; they had chosen the same hotel as us – or the other way round!

We had a really beautiful day at the Botanic Gardens. The sun shone and it was warm. But we wanted to see everything. In the end we only watched one of the show recordings (they took two, obviously with a different panel), caught some of the talks round the garden, but we also wanted to SEE the plants as well as HEAR about how to look after them. These are one or two pictures.

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A day at the Chelsea Physic Garden in London

It is 11:30 in the morning and I am sitting in the Chelsea Physic Garden, drinking a cup of coffee, looking out over beautifully sunny flower beds. I am recovering from a shock – a very pleasant one, but still a shock.

I had applied for membership with the Chelsea Florilegium and was invited to submit five pictures for review today. My ‘bag carrier’ Robin (his phrase – not mine) and I took the early train from Bosham and arrived here precisely on time at 11:00. I delivered my pictures and was told that we would be collected from downstairs about 20 minutes later.

I think it was about five minutes or so and they came to tell me the good news. I have been accepted. I am still recovering.

No doubt as time goes on you will hear more about my involvement with the Florilegium, but today I am taking advantage of a very pleasant day out, in beautiful relaxing surroundings. However, it will mean a bit of gardening when we get home as I have spotted some ‘must have’ plants!

Me, writing the words of this blog post to you.
Me, writing the words of this blog post to you.

I’m afraid that after we were given the good news, Robin did spoil me for the rest of the day. We spent the rest of the time meandering around the garden, with a break for a lovely lunch. I’m glad that it was so early in the year as not everything was above soil level – but even today there was so much to look at. Although I had forgotten my phone and camera, I was able to take one or two pics with Robin’s iPad.

How to plant what size bulbs at which depth!
How to plant what size bulbs at which depth!

We noticed this super idea in a bed that was about to be filled.With the aid of pot fragments, they had created the shape of a flower pot, laid different size bulbs at different depths from the soil surface to show how deep bulbs of certain sizes should be planted. It looked really good and certainly brought home how to plant bulbs.

Ribes speciosum
Ribes speciosum

 

I was intrigued by this plant. It is Ribes speciosum,  the common name is apparently ‘fuchsia-flowered gooseberry’. It was growing up a wall. The flowers were small and elongated, very delicate as well as attractive.

Rosa chinensis 'Crimson Bengal'
Rosa chinensis ‘Crimson Bengal’

 

Roses at this time of year! I thought that the Canary Bird Rose was one of the earliest. We have quite a large on in our garden, but it hasn’t begun to flower yet. But this Rosa Chinensis ‘Crimson Bengal’ was in full flower. Again very attractive and in particular at this time of year before so much has started flowering.

Rosa chinensis 'Crimson Bengal'
Rosa chinensis ‘Crimson Bengal’

 

It won’t be too long before everything in the garden begins to run rampant. So being able to study fewer plants in more detail, is quite a treat.

 

If you take a trip to London – do go to the Chelsea Physic Garden too. It is well worth it. It is the second oldest botanical garden in England after the one in Oxford, and is from 1673.