Showing posts with label Plant history. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Plant history. Show all posts

Free Vintage Botanical Clipart: Three Grandest New Plants, 1896

Three grandest new plants for only 30 cents (as featured in the Mayflower Horticulture magazine from May 1896). From left to right, you have:

THE BRIDAL ROSE: A remarkable plant with leaves resembling a Rose in shape; its flowers are produced during winter, and as as double as a Peony and almost as large. Color pure white, and when a plant one or two feet high shows a score or more of these enormous flowers, which they often do, the sight is a most novel and attractive one. New and little known. Will create a sensation anywhere, for it is one of the most remarkably showy plants in cultivation, and should be in every collection.

NEW DWARF CALLA LITTLE GEM: All that need be said about this sterling novelty is that it is a perfect miniature Calla, growing 8 or 12 inches high and producing perpetually very large snow-white blossoms. It begins to bloom when only a few inches high in a three or four inch pot, and a well-established plant in a large pot is never without flowers, summer or winter, and sometimes shows a dozen at once. The greatest plant novelty of late years and yet the sensation of the day. Our stock is TRUE, and this is a rare opportunity for our readers to get one at little cost.

RUDBECKIA LACINIATA GOLDEN GLOW: Offered this year for the first time. A hardy perennial plant growing eight feet high, branching freely, and bearing by the hundreds, on long, graceful stems, exquisite double blossoms of the brightest golden color and large as Cactus Dahlias. The cut represents a plant in bloom, as photographed. Mr. William Falconer, the best authority on plants in this country, says of it: "When I saw the double-flowering form of Rudbeckia Laciniate in bloom in your grounds at Floral Park, in summer last year, I was amazed, for notwithstanding my long and intimate acquaintance with plants I had never before seen a double-flowered Rudbeckia; and I was delighted with the fullness and gorgeousness of the blossoms and their clear, bright yellow color. You gave me a plant last spring and it was set out in good garden ground. It grew vigorously and threw up strong branching flower stems six feet high, laden with sheaves of golden blossoms as large as fair Chrysanthemums, and all having an elegant, graceful appearance, without any stiffness in habit or blossom. Many eminent florists and amateurs have seen it here, and all admired it. As cut flowers, the blossoms last well. In fine, I unhesitatingly regard it as the most desirable introduction among hardy perennials since we got Clematis Paniculate."

You can download the vintage ad above as a high-res 8" x 8" @ 300 ppi JPEG here.

Creative Commons Licence
From my personal collection of ephemera. All digital scans by are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please credit and link back to as your source if you use or share this work.

Free Vintage Flower Illustration for Collage Art, Papercrafts, Scrapbooking or Wall Art: The Butterfly and the Rose 1

To love at all is to be vulnerable.
Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.
If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal.
Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements.
Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.
But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change.
It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.
To love is to be vulnerable.
C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

An antique botanical illustration showing a butterfly on a stalk of pink cabbage roses (Provence rose, Rosa x centiflora). The engraving was done by Langlois after a drawing by Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759 - 1840).

The form of Rosa centiflora portrayed by Redouté in this print is a triumph of the hybridiser's art; of its kind, it is surely near perfection. It is not surprising that Centiflora roses came to be identified with the so-called Queen of Roses cultivated by the Greeks and Romans. This notion is romantic, but informed opinion now belives it to be mistaken. Rosa centiflora is thought to be a complex hybrid of four species known in western Europe in the late sixteenth century, which was evolved pver a period of about a hundred and thirty years and perfected in the early eighteenth century. The four species involved were Rosa rubra (the Apothecary's Rose or Rose of Provins), Rosa phoenicea (the Damask Rose or Crusaders' Rose), Rosa moschata (the Musk Rose) and Rosa canina (the Dog Rose).
[Source: Eve and Norman Robson, Plants (London: Studio Editions, 1990), p.84]

Download and print for wall art or to use in various altered art, graphic design, papercrafts or scrapbooking projects. You can find the free high-res 8" x 11" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark here.

Below, you can see how I have paired the above botanical illustration with a vintage piece of French sheet music called "Le Papillon et La Rose." You can find the high-res JPEG of the sheet music here.

If you would like to download the combined illustration and sheet music image, you can find the high-res JPEG here.

Creative Commons Licence
From my personal collection of ephemera. All digital scans by are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please credit and link back to as your source if you use or share this work.

Free Vintage Flower Illustrations for Collage Art, Graphic Design, Papercrafts or Scrapbooking: Two Varieties of Begonias, 1900

She wanted something else, something different, something more. Passion and romance, perhaps, or maybe quiet conversations in candlelit rooms, or perhaps something as simple as not being second.
Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

A pair of black and white vintage botanical illustrations from 1900. These two flower drawings feature very old varieties of begonias. The first, Begonia 'Gloire de Lorraine' was first bred in 1891 in France. Since 1940, this hybrid has been classified as Begonia x сheimantha. You can read a short article of this flower in a December 1, 1900 issue of American Gardening here.

The second drawing is of the Begonia 'Gloire de Sceaux,' which is an even older variety that was first bred in 1883. It is described in various vintage catalogs as "One of the finest flowering Begonias introduced for many years..." and as "Perhaps one of the most valuable additions in later years..." The plant is supposed to be a prolific bloomer in winter months with soft silky pink flowerrs that contrast well with its dark, bronzy plum foliage that posseses a rich, metallic lustre.

You can download these botanical clipart as a free 6" x 9" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark for collage, graphic design, papercrafts or scrapbooking projects here.

Creative Commons Licence
From my personal collection of ephemera. All digital scans by are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please credit and link back to as your source if you use or share this work.

My Photo Journal: Zinnia elegans 'Benary's Giant Salmon Rose'

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.
Russell Baker

Are you experiencing sweltering heat where you live? This has been a pretty crazy end of summer in our Zone 5B garden. Temperatures were in the chilly single-digits last week but headed higher into the high 20+ degrees this week (30C+ with humidity). While most of our blooms don't seem to know what to do with themselves (some are really leggy, some are very floppy, more than a few are leggy and floppy), the zinnias that I planted in late spring are thriving and trouncing almost every other plant in the late summer garden sweepstakes.

The flower images shown here are the Salmon Rose variety of Zinnia elegans from the Benary's Giant series. The Benary's Giant line of dahlia-like zinnias was developed by Ernst Benary Samenzucht, a 170-year old seed breeding company with an interesting history. Benary's Giants are truly ginormous (as my daughter likes to say), with flower heads ranging from 3 to 5 inches across, which are very ably supported by their sturdy stalks that stay upright without staking, something I can't assert about my dinner-plate dahlias (lying face down in the dirt even as I type). I haven't seen any pest activity on these beauties but this is only my first year of growing this type of zinnia so time will tell if they are as insect and disease-resistant as claimed. I think I will switch these superlative annuals around with my weak-stemmed, aphid-infested dahlias in the front yard next year, perhaps in a wider variety of colours and in greater numbers so I can also use them as cut flowers in the home.

Have you spotted any Benary's Giant zinnias in your neighbourhood or are you growing some? Share a photo or story in the comments below. :)

© 2020 All rights reserved. (Originally published 2017.)

My Photo Journal: Paeonia lactiflora 'Lady Alexandra Duff'

I took a close-up photo of this beautiful cottage garden peony during the Peony Festival, held yearly in the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens.

This fully double, pale pink beauty is the Paeonia lactiflora 'Lady Alexandra Duff.' 'Lady Alexandra Duff' is an heirloom variety that dates back to 1902, having been bred by Kelway and Son, once the largest nursery in the world. It takes its name from Lady, later Princess, Alexandra Duff (1891 - 1959), the daughter of Princess Louise of Wales and Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife. You can find more information about the plant here.

Do you have this attractive shrub growing in your garden or do you know someone who has? Share a picture and let us know how it's doing in the comments section. Below is a photo of the peony in full bloom (photo credit follows).

Paeonia lactiflora 'Lady Alexandra Duff' in springtime
by Andrey Korzun on Wikimedia Commons

© 2020 All rights reserved. (Originally published 2015.)