I reached down to feel the soil, and I touched the outreaching roots of the trees that bore horizontally and vertically hundreds of feet through the forest. I stroked the earth with my palm, and I could almost feel that invisible network of capillary roots that sucks moisture and nutrients out of every inch of the soil I was standing on. I breathed in and out. I was part of the forest. I was alive.
― Ned Hayes, The Eagle Tree
A little while ago I came across some beautiful botanicals, fine in their detailing of the plants, flowers and trees, beautifully hand coloured but also providing a wealth of information on that particular botanical.
One of my drives and love is selling wall art that will withstand the test of time, fashion and trend. Each piece tells a story of an era, a particular time but is also incredibly beautiful in design and skill. Today I wanted to share these botanicals with you.
In the 18th c botany was a fashionable activity in England, genteel and one that women exercised, they collected plants and flowers, categorised them, drew them, gave them names and would share their knowledge with their children and friends.
Mary Ellen Best, York art galleries, 19th c famous watercolourist of interiors
In the 19th c. botany saw a real boom and it became one of the most popular sciences. Men, women and children loved collecting and documenting what they found - it was a cheap healthy hobby as you were outdoors and seen as a good thing to study nature. There was an increased interest in gardening particularly in the middle class. Interiors also showed this new craze, as carpets, wallcovering, tableware, china and artwork were a medium to show “flower themes”.
The development in the later half of the 19th c of book design and making, made books available to a wider portion of society. Periodicals also flourished.
An increase in travel with the development of the railways also helped this trend. The development of glasshouses to house specimens and the opening and creation of public botanical gardens also did. The Royal Botanical gardens at Kew opened to the public in 1840.
The 19th c saw British horticulturists develop a passion for orchids and ferns and illustrations were made. In the early part of the century most printing was done in monochrome and colour was added by hand. It made the piece “more true” to nature and also made the publication more expensive to sell. Engraving created much finer pieces too and is particular used in botany to produce really fine details - such as you can see in our botanicals.
Displaying Botanicals - the versality is endless, they make the perfect decor to a hallway, kitchen, bedroom- on their own or as a series they have tremendous wall power. I truly believe that these pieces will never go out of style.