Vacation for plants

My mother’s angel wing begonia, which we brought home after her passing last year, has really been enjoying its summer vacation on our patio. The plant was not¬†in very good shape when we brought it home, but I went on a campaign of feeding, watering and pruning, and this year it has begun to flourish. We moved it from the sunspace to the patio for the summer months, and the extra sun and all the rainy weather seem to agree with it. During the winter I started propagating some cuttings, which are also¬†developing into nice plants, and now all of the begonias are bursting with blooms:

I don’t know if Mom ever had so many blooms on this plant – but I do know that I never visited her when it had more than one or two. I probably need to cut it down some before its vacation is over and we return it to the sunspace, but it’s doing so well now that I hated to disturb it much. I love the delicacy of the blooms, which are so thin that they’re actually a little translucent.

Apparently, the insects love the begonia blooms, too – yesterday I found this little guy hanging out:

I thought of Mom this morning in church as we were singing “Shall We Gather at the River,” and had a hard time continuing to sing for a verse or two. I think she would have enjoyed seeing her begonia in such good shape – we’re certainly enjoying it, and cherish it as a reminder of her.

Graphic botanicals

One of the plants we brought home to New Jersey from my mother’s collection was an heirloom Angelwing Begonia. Mom got her plant as a cutting from one of her mother’s plants, and there seems to be some family lore that suggests Grandma got it from her mother. I think the Angelwing Begonia was first hybridized around 1926, so that could be about right to support the oral tradition. Mom had propagated numerous cuttings of her original plant, and after she died, my brother was trying to make sure everyone knew where they came from, and to send a plant home with each member of the family. Recently I was using this plant as a model for my continuing study of botanical art, sketching with colored pencils. After I sketched the plant, I was playing around with the word “Angelwing” with my brush, and decided I’d like to combine the sketch with the lettering. Here’s the current layout:

If you have thoughts about other ways to combine these two elements, I’d welcome your comments!