Saturday, 1 May 2010


I've been watching my tulips, I mean really watching them, and the change is incredible.

These green buds slowly appeared from the midst of the unfurling origami-like leaves

And then somehow they change into these bright intense colours.

Its never before struck me how that change occurs. I assumed, if I'd though about it at all, that the buds were made up of sepals (I think that's the right word) that fell away when the petals inside opened up, like some flowers do. Poppies, for instance, have a green bud covering that is peeled away when the petals burst it open. But no, these buds change slowly from green

acquire a hint of the colour to come

which slowly spreads

until the bud is a subdued version of the open flower colour

and then when its ready and with some sun it opens up.

I've watched butterflies emerge from their chrysalis and then pump up their soggy, crumpled wings, filling them with colour and strength. This seems like a similar but slower process - absolute magic!

The colours in the garden appear different depending on the weather and light conditions, so the sketch at the top of this post was yesterday afternoon after a day of heavy rain showers and generally overcast skies so that the garden was dominated by a glaucous green. Then this morning with bright sunshine to open up the flowers and bring an entirely different light to the greens and the shadows the same view looked like this:

Current listening: Delibes, The Flower Duet - ha!

1 comment:

  1. Some very diligent observation going on here. Looks like you got a nice sunny day for it too. Blog is looking great. :)