"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Sunday, 29 August 2010

More Ginkgo-ing

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

summer  rainbow

G. tubiformis has bizarre fused leaves which, as the label implies form trumpet shaped leaf forms.

tubiformis

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.

green pagoda   mariken  

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.

ginkgo tree Leu 26th August sm

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.

gink tiny leaves sm

3 comments:

Meredehuit ♥ said...

You have an amazing talent! I love your watercolors!

Shady Gardener said...

I had no idea there were different varieties of Ginkgo. It is not a shock to discover this, however. :-)

Interesting post and, as always, beautiful work.

Know a grandparent or someone's grandchildren? Head over to my space Sept. 1!

sharp green pencil said...

Meredehuit thank you so much .. the ginkgo leaves are so very pretty.
Hi there SG .. I had no idea either.. the striped leaved ones were quite interesting but I have to say I love the simplicity of the original ginkgo!