Stood like a cone
Like stars they shone
Showed up in front
A brown leaf
Fell to the ground.
The Magnolia Stellata in my garden is in flower and for me this is one of the highlights of the gardening year. It's a small specimen - after 10 years still only just above 4ft in height - but exquisitely formed. In previous years when the weather has been particularly unsettled it has flowered just fleetingly, a windy day can pluck every newly unfurled flower and hurl them around like confetti or perhaps bolls from a cotton plant ...
I love the purity of the white flowers as they shine out against the newly painted black shed; bright-white, like stars.
We painted the shed on Sunday - 'Tudor Black' so the tin says. What do you think? I haven't quite made up my mind whether I like it or not - the colour change is startling. It has gone from 'beach-hut' cream and pale grey/green to 'tithe barn' black ...!
By way of comparison, here is a photo from March last year ~
... and in June 2013 ~
... and, just glimpsed beyond a riot of flowers and vegetables, in July 2012 ~
I was planning to give the shed doors a further coat of Tudor Black this morning, however when a friend suggested we go to a screening of 12 Years a Slave at our local Picturehouse cinema I decided to put the paint brush down until tomorrow.
12 Years a Slave is such a powerful story, it is devastating and harrowing in its subject matter yet somehow director Steve McQueen has deftly created a beautiful and poetic film. There are scenes of stunning sunsets of red and gold and white-heat skies glimpsed through canopies of exotic trees. The Louisiana bayou is shown to us in all its haunting beauty, such as the iconic bald cypress tree with its green 'flowers' hanging in huge tassel-like structures; life-affirming nature juxtaposed with scenes of incomprehensible inhumanity. McQueen has used sound to great effect too, illustrating the passing of time in long shots where we hear rumbles of distant thunder, birds singing and the movement of trees; a sense of the cotton blowing from the fields in the heat and wind.
The relationship between the plantation owner Epps and the slave Northup is at the heart of this film: the former represents the very worst of humanity, while the latter holds on to his dignity with resilience, keeping faith in what is good in the human spirit. It has been said that 12 Years a Slave is a film everyone should see. I cannot disagree with that.
Doubtless there will always be injustice in this world. Looking at my beautiful magnolia tree, from a distance not totally dissimilar to a Gossypium (cotton plant) below, I feel fortunate to take such joy and spiritual nourishment from nature.
borrowed from the internet