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18th and 19th Century Botanicals

Updated on May 1, 2014
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A garden can be a "private space," a plot of ground, commonly adjacent to a home planted with delightful flowers, bushes, and ornamental plants (there is of course also the garden which is largely planted in vegetables, fruits, and herbs destined for the family dinner table). A "public space" within a town or city, frequently referred to as a garden or park, will include most of these, but also a wide variety of pleasing grasses, shrubs, and trees, designed for all to enjoy.

Our modern word garden seems to have originated in Germany between 1300 and 1500. At first spelled "gartin," we are all familiar with the word Kindergarten, which was borrowed from the German. But before the word entered the our modern lexicon it first journeyed through Old French "jardin" and Old North French "gardin" coming finally into English as "garden."


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Hard to imagine distant cobwebbed centuries,

to comprehend a world absent technology.

Before the appearance of the Phylum, "Camera,"

the human desire to record, preserve, existed.

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What today we photograph in an instant, was once

painstakingly drawn, colored, and painted by hand.

In the eighteenth, nineteenth centuries, enthralled

botanists captured the verdant natural world.

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Books and magazines were liberally sprinkled

with the reverential phrase, "the Glories of Nature."

Botanical gardens signified the taste, wealth,

the cultural sophistication of a great city.

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Ferns, fronds, pine cones, seeds, herbs, exotic grasses,

flowering plants, and trees of every description.

Daffodils, iris, tiger lilies, and violets -

others, whose beauty I know, if not their names.

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    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Hi Marcy - I would love to be able to draw like that, too. Alas, all I can do is admire and share. :) Glad you enjoyed it. Hope all is well. Theresa

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Morning Joyful - That is an interesting observation because I have noticed I am more aware of the details also, maybe partly because they often enlarged a specimen while they were drawing it. But I guess also because they thought of themselves as botanists - scientists and teachers, and if they were not detailed and accurate the rest of us would never know. I am sure they enjoyed drawing, but they weren't "just" drawing for pleasure. :) Thank you for your lovely comments. Theresa

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 

      3 years ago from Planet Earth

      I'm envious of anyone who can produce this kind of 'flower' art - really pretty! Thanks for sharing this!

    • Joyfulcrown profile image

      Joyfulcrown 

      3 years ago

      I really enjoy the illustrations. I seem to notice more of the details of the flowers. Wonderful hub. Thank you for sharing.

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Oh you should definitely take some pictures. Don't let this moment slip by. Then you can share them with all of us! :) Thank you for such kind and encouraging comments. I hope your week is going well. :) Theresa

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      4 years ago from the short journey

      Well, it helps to know what the issues are…! :)

      Glad to have another look, and another read here--thanks for sharing today. The flowers I have in bloom right now are tempting to photograph, and I probably will, but even perfect pics can't do justice to well-written lines.

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Aren't they just beautiful? I know exactly what you mean, it is s ohard not to buye very botanical book I see. What an art form! Thanks so much and have a Happy New Year! :) Theresa

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 

      4 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      Gorgeous! I too have a book of botanical illustrations and I have to use great restraint not to order all the botanical books which I allow Amazon to tempt me with via emails. Great hub, phdast7. Voting way up.

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Good Morning Jo. Thanks for reading and commenting. We are definitely on the same page. Like you, I am amzed at these intricate and detailed drawings. I hope that all is well with you and that you aren't suffering too much from the heat in Bedfordshire (such a mellifluous name). :) Theresa

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Hello TimeTraveler2 - They are really beautiful,aren't they? :) Sorry to be so long in responding -- I ahve been spending three - four days a week working on the little old lake house my extended family bought. And then threedays a week I am teaching. Mty cats don't evenknow who I am. I hope you are doing well and making progress. :)

      I know you of all people will sympathize... Sunday evening my daughter-in-law (youngest son) went outside to close up their storgae shed. She stepped in a hole, sprained her right ankle, and broke her left leg about two

      inches above the ankle. Of course there was a trip to the Emergency Room, and they saw the orthopedic surgeon today. -- surgery to put a metal plate and screws in her bone will probably take place first of next week. Meanwhile I will keep my grand-daughter for a few days and really, really watch my step. Take care. Theresa

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 

      5 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Photographs can be beautiful and exciting, and as you have so rightly said, they can capture an image in the blink of an eye. However, these scrupulously hand produced images are just spectacular!!.. beautiful hub.

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      Sondra Rochelle 

      5 years ago from USA

      Theresa: This is such a beautiful hub...so uplifting...thank you.

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Hello Natasha - About a year ago, you responded to this hub and ten minutes later HP pulled it for Duplicate Content, but there was none that I knew of. I was so frustrated I just let it sit, which is why I never responded to your generous comments.

      Last week, I tossed out all the words and text and turned it into a poem, posted it and the HP police grabbed me again. However this time they pointed out that three of my eight pictures were watermarked. So I pulled those pictures added some new ones and finally got approval. So , this is my very belated response and thnk you to you comment of long ago. :) Theresa

    • phdast7 profile imageAUTHOR

      Theresa Ast 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Hello RT - 13 months ago you responded to this hub (although it looked quite different then). Ten minutes later HP pulled it for Duplicate Content, but there was none, because it was all material out of my head and I was so frustrated I just let it sit, which is why I never responded to your kind comment.

      Last week, I tossed out all the words and text and turned it into a poem, posted it and the HP police grabbed me again. However this time they pointed out that three of my eight pictures were watermarked. So I pulled those pictures added some new ones and finally got approval. So after 13 months (not that I expect you to remember this) thank you for commenting. :) Theresa

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 

      6 years ago from Hawaii

      I love pictures and drawings of flowers because they attempt to catch the fleeting beauty of delicate creations. Thanks for sharing these illustrations!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      6 years ago from the short journey

      Indeed, the beauty of plants and words. :) I'll be revisiting this to enjoy it again. Thank you!

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