nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘Lupin

garden escapes: having fun

with 6 comments

I have been working at my garden escapes project for almost a month now. Many of the poems are simple free verse, usually evenly divided in stanzas of four to seven lines, often consisting of regular numbers of syllables. I have also tried some other forms, the pantoum and the ghazal. And most fun of all, for a few poems, I have tried shape poems, using the lines of the poem to create shapes reflective of the subject matter.

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Here is a poem that goes a step further. The shape shows the shape of lupins growing in the ditch; the colours are the colours of the flowers.

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lunpins Giants Glan

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And, a poem about chokecherries, in the shape of the hanging blossoms or berries.

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I will continue to work with these, perhaps aiming to make the poem read sensibly no matter which way you approach it.

I’d appreciate any comments, positive or negative!

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All my best,

doing my best to stay in my shape,

Jane

 

Written by jane tims

July 27, 2020 at 7:00 am

garden escapes: lupins

with 5 comments

In late June and early July, the ditches of some roads in New Brunswick are filled with colour as lupins become the dominant flower.

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Lupins are legumes and enrich the soil with nitrogen. In spite of this, there is an old tale that lupins impoverish the soil, hence the name derived from  lupe,’  the word for wolf.

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Lupins make pretty bouquets but, in my experience, have an unpleasant, peppery smell that keeps me from ever bringing them into the house.

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Lupin has been grown as an ornamental and, in earlier times, as a food source. They are great escape artists and spread easily into the countryside. Some species are considered invasive in Europe, New Zealand and places in North America.

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Lupins along the road

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Lupins do not occur along all roads, but when they do, they may have originated in the gardens of early communities. For example, lupins line the ditches of the road to Giants Glen, north of Stanley, New Brunswick. Giants Glen was settled by the Irish in 1850.

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lunpins Giants Glan

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The Giants of the Glen

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lupins escape The Glen

scramble to roadsides

fix nitrogen

repair poor soil

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fingered leaves like hands

collect the river wind

lean together

work as one

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stand tall in spikes

pink, purple and blue

grey as summer wears

rattles their seeds

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All my best!

Stay safe.

Jane

 

 

Written by jane tims

July 20, 2020 at 7:00 am

an attempt at ecoprinting

with 6 comments

After our drive to Canterbury over the weekend, I was anxious to capture some of the roadside flower colour in my ‘harvesting colour’ experiments.  I decided to try a technique described by India Flint in her book Eco Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles (Interweave Press, 2010).  ‘Ecoprinting’ involves bringing a plant into close contact with a fabric  in order to transfer the colour to the cloth.  I am very impressed with the effects shown in Eco Colour – prints of leaves, flowers and berries.

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For my experiment I tried a handful of the Forget-me-nots I collected on our weekend drive …

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Forget-me-nots in the woods

Forget-me-nots in the woods

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a bundle of the purple Lupins growing along the road in my community …

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Lupins along the road

Lupins along the road

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and a bunch of a ground cover plant growing in my yard, Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans) …

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Bugleweed in the orchard

Bugleweed in the orchard

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basket of Bugleweed

basket of Bugleweed

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I only used small samples of cloth … my idea is to use these ‘patches’ to make a little quilt to show the results of my ‘colour harvest’.  I arranged a few of the flowers, both petals and leaves, inside the cloth  …

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Forget-me-nots on cotton

Forget-me-nots on cotton

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Lupin petals and leaves on cotton

Lupin petals and leaves on cotton

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Bugleweed on cotton

Bugleweed on cotton

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Then I folded the cloth in half, enclosing the flowers like a sandwich …

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flowers folded in cotton

flowers folded in cotton

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and rolled the cloth up tightly …

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rolling the bundle tightly

rolling the bundle tightly

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and tied it with cotton thread …

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flower and cotton bundles

flower and cotton bundles

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I put my bundles in a wire basket and steamed them for an hour …

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flower and cotton bundles steaming  (as usual I have thrown in a bit of woods and sky)

flower and cotton bundles steaming (as usual I have thrown in a bit of woods and sky)

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After cooling, I opened the bundles, discarded the leaves and flowers, and rinsed the cloth.  I was quite pleased with the results.  After ironing, I have a pale array of colour.  The Bugleweed left a definite lime green.  The Lupin a more indefinite green and pale violet.  The Forget-me-nots left a faint violet-grey.

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pale colour

pale colour

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I did not get the flower and leaf impressions I expected, but I will keep trying.  There are so many variables, steaming time and ‘unbundling’ time among them.  I do hope to see that lovely lime green again!!!

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Copyright  2014  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

June 20, 2014 at 7:17 am

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