Tuesday, 18 March 2014

... of Magnolias and Gossypium

Haiku ~ Magnolia Tree

Stood like a cone
Flowers white
Like stars they shone
Magnificent beauty
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
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18 comments:

  1. Mr. Shed now does justice to Le Wall.

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    1. Well thank you Joanne:-) Our flint wall is a great backdrop - we are lucky to be able to 'borrow' it from the Big House!

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  2. I love these flowers. We have them growing all along our neighborhood park hedge and they are glorious in bloom though it be short. I look forward to seeing them bloom every spring. I have long desired to know what they are, now I do! I think your shed looks wonderful in the black...and that is not a choice I would make but I do like the outcome. In all your photos the black wins with me.

    My son was watching Twelve Years A Slave on his computer and I caught the last 30 mins. I cried deeply and in just that last bit I knew it was the best movie in a very long time. I can't wait to see the entire film. I was thrilled when it won the Oscar.

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    1. Kerrie, from someone who I know simply loves white and pale hues, this is confirmation indeed that the Tudor Black was a good choice:-)

      This film is important in so many ways. Let me know what you think when you've seen it.

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  3. I love the dark colour now on the shed ...
    It is the beauty of all the lush vegetation that has also caught my eye as we languish here awaiting another snowstorm.
    Have a wonderful day.
    Susan x

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    1. I'm late here with my replies Susan so I do hope the anticipated snowstorm has perhaps been and gone, and a glimmer of spring is on the way ....

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  4. I love dark background colours in the garden, my entire fence is painted black and it sets off the plants beautifully. The only downside is I haven't yet discovered a paint that doesn't need redoing every couple of years. I would be interested to know what make you use.

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    1. Your black fence sounds very intriguing Debbie, do you have some photos on your blog? I've used a Ronseal Paint which is good but I'm more or less expecting to redo the shed every year:-)

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    2. Only just got back over here. There are some glimpses on the entry of 26th July 2013, but it is in need of a new coat of paint.

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  5. I love the new colour of your shed against the flinty wall. It looks just right somehow. Your magnolia tree too looks lovely against the dark shed. I would like to see 12 years a Slave but I know I'd have to take loads of tissues to mop up the tears:)

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    1. Thanks Rosie!

      You will need a LOT of tissues but you must see it. It is an exceptional film.

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  6. My neighbour has one of those magnolias, I love looking at it from my study window :-) I really like your shed in the black, very dramatic and barn like (in the nicest possible way).

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    1. Sue, I'm slowly getting used to my little barn-like shed:-) In fact its becoming quite a local feature, with several people from the village whilst walking down the lane coming around to look at it!

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  7. Beautiful magnolia! I love the new color. I think it will be a fabulous backdrop to the garden!

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  8. I'm glad you're back; I haven't visited in a while, and have been reading through your recent posts - and all I can say is, I'm glad you're back and that this blog is active again, beautiful and thoughtful as always.

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    1. Aaw thanks HKatz; I just need more time to go a visiting:-)

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  9. 1. Love the black shed.

    2. That movie changed my life.

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Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and for indulging me in my musings. I enjoy reading your comments and will reply, time and tide permitting, on this page... at some juncture ... which may be several days later ... oh to have more time to blog!

I love to visit you in return also.

Jeanne
x

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