Eyeful, Plateful, Basketful!
Oh the ritual of new year’s resolutions challenging us to be our better self has come around again. The predictable but valid ones reappear; save money, spread kindness, and eat better are high on the list. As gardeners, at least one of our resolutions is likely to include something related to fruits and vegetables. We not only resolve to eat more fruits and vegetables but to grow our own bountiful harvest! There are many wonderful reasons deeply rooted in our souls which drive us to succeed, yet how disappointing when our seeds of optimism dry up. However, I have a fruit and vegetable resolution that is truly attainable. Resolve to get an eyeful of the beauty fruits and vegetables provide all year long.
The beauty of fruits and vegetables appeared in the portrait compositions of Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo in the late 1500’s He used the shades of color and shapes of the plant products to produce images of spring, summer, vegetables, flora and more. His complete works are worth a look athttp://www.giuseppe-arcimboldo.org/the-complete-works.html but a quick look is available currently at the Desert Botanical Garden. Inspired by Arcimboldo, artist Philip Haas has created representations of the four seasons as freestanding heads.
These giants rise 15 feet in the air and allow you to walk all around them exploring the creative use of vegetables, fruit, fungi, flowers, moss and more to illustrate the faces.
The range of colors, textures, shapes and line that our plant life provides us influences all aspects of our life. The more we peer in closely to see the shades of green and ruffles of leaves in lettuces or cabbages the more beauty we will find. The rainbow chard planted among the flowers and glistening with rain sparkles like jewels. Notice the shades of green edging from yellow to pink in a ripening grapefruit, see the curve of the peppers as they hang from their stem and you will see art in the garden.
In the agriculture exposition hall at 2012 Floriade the fine art inspiration of plants continues in a recreation of Van Gogh’s famous sunflowers using acorn squash, yellow peppers, persimmon, pomegranate, wheat and pineapple.
Dutch painter Piet Mondrian known for his geometric paintings is honored in a recreation composition of black, red, and white done with apples, dark berries and white plates.
Interior decorators suggest to their clients struggling with color choices to browse the produce department of their local market to find colors that are most appealing. All the colors, lines and textures that make the world beautiful are in our plants. More and more floral designers incorporate fruits and vegetables into their designs for resort hotel lobbies and high end boutiques.
The more closely we learn to see this beauty the more easily the eyeful of nature’s bounty will inspire us to make a plateful of fruits and vegetables in their most beautiful state. This in turn will keep us working toward the goal of growing a basket full of beauties in our own garden. This could make all our resolutions easier to keep.