I did find a gap in the clouds on Thursday and under pretty dappled skies cycled down to Leu for more Ginkgo inspiration. Apart from the one large Ginkgo biloba tree by the Rose Garden there is a little Ginkgo grove of young trees, some not more than a foot high. These are the cultivars and there are a surprising number of different ones. .
Summer Rainbow has variegated leaves
G. tubiformis has bizarre fused leaves which, as the label implies form trumpet shaped leaf forms.
Spring Grove, Jade Butterflies, Green Pagoda, Mariken and Majestic Butterfly are all dwarf varieties, some have variegation in the leaves, some have deeply divided or frilly leaves.
Pendula is a more weeping variety. Then there are Chi-chi and Robbie’s Twist which is a slightly contorted variety.
When it comes to leaf shape, its very hard to pin a ginkgo down. There is a huge variation in shapes and sizes even on the same tree.
I sketched the tree shape while I was there. It’s not very distinctive just a regular tree shape, but a quick sketch does make you understand the configuration of the branches and how the leaves grow. With the ginkgo they grow in groups along each branch at fairly regular intervals. There is a slight weeping aspect to this particular tree and the branches are long and slender. It’s perhaps a bigger tree than it appears so I added a little bench on the right for a scale indicator.
You have to “look” much harder to draw from real life, as opposed to copying a static photo, and it’s in the “looking” and “seeing” that lies the value. You will understand more. The drawing many mean nothing to someone else but it will be packed with information for you and be a real memory jogger when you see it again. You will remember the mosquitoes, the suffocating heat, the fire ant bites and the sweat dripping onto your sketchbook… really, it’s worth it, it is ..honestly..
I also made a very quick sketch of the leaves too..scruffy, but looks OK cropped down. The leaves are still a dull midsummer grey-green with no sign yet of their famously beautiful yellow autumnal colouring.