Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Harris Museum and Art Gallery Dandelions

I spent a day last week in the archive at the Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library here in Preston.
I was looking for dandelions in their collection of books and prints. The trip was quite successful and I found images and information in a number of old botanical books, plus on a couple of old prints too. 

Here is an image of a dandelion plate in a copy of Curious Herbal by Elizabeth Blackwell published 1737-39. The full title of the book is "A Curious Herbal containing five hundred cuts of the most useful plants, which are now used in the practice of physick, to which is added a short description of ye plants and their common uses in physick"

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Moldova Dandelion Stamps / First Day Cover

More dandelion stamps!
It seems most countries have used a dandelion for their postage stamp designs and I found this one from Moldova issued in 2016. I got a first day cover and it's part of a set showing wildflowers: chicory, yarrow, annual everlasting (i had to look that up - we don't get it here naturally in UK), scented mayweed, balkan clary (again i had to look that up as we don't have it here) and of course a dandelion.
This first day cover is now in the Dandelion Archive.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Allergy Forecast

I found this yesterday on twitter - it's an accidental find as i wasn't especially looking. It is the allergy forecast for Southern Colorado with the headline "Now, weeds are at a high level! :/ "
Trees - None
Grasses - High
Weeds - Very High
Mold - Low

The background image is of dandelion seed heads, which is really unfair as they don't cause allergies. It's a common image to use, but as the seed head doesn't have any pollen you can't be allergic to it. Here is an interesting blog post explaining it :

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Pin Mail Dandelion Stamp

I found another postage stamp with a dandelion motif on the other day. It's from a German postal company Pin Mail and shows a dandelion seed head, stamp value 52 cents.
The Dandelion Archive has a few dandelion stamps from different countries: Iceland, Estonia, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Austria and Polish. Please see posts from 2015 on the blog if you want more details.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Dandelion Seeds part 2

Talking about dandelion seeds... I received a packets of seeds the other week from a friend based in Berlin. She got them when she was working in China (she's a composer / musician). These Pu Gong Ying (dandelion in Chinese) are apparently 'High quality speeies'. The back of the packet is lovely with red and black Chinese text on pink and yellow blocks of colour. The packet is now in the Dandelion Archive along with the other packets mentioned in the blog post below.

Dandelion Seeds

Following on from the post below, I sent off for some packets of dandelion seeds to grow in my back yard: Taraxacum pseudoroseum and also a packet of Taraxacum rubifolium, both from Chiltern Seeds based in Oxfordshire. It's not especially the best time to plant them, but i'm going to have a go.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Taraxacum pseudoroseum

I've not updated the blog for a few weeks - even though i've got lots that can be added, but i've been so busy i've neglected it a while.
I was watching a gardening programme on the tv the other week and I spotted this fabulous dandelion Taraxacum pseudoroseum with pinkish and yellow flowers. I'm going to order some seeds to grow them in my back yard, although I might be a bit late for this season.
The image is of the tv screen - hence the odd lines across it.

Friday, 21 April 2017

SF Dandelion Mural

I was in San Francisco the other day exploring the streets, taking in the sights and generally having a great time. While on the 9 mile wander I saw this mural on a wall in the city with a girl blowing on dandelion clocks. It's by artists Lady Mags and Amanda Lynn and according to their blog it took only 5 days to paint. The full artwork is much bigger - this image only shows one end of the piece. It's on 8th Street between Mission and Market streets.
Amanda Lynn blog

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Desert Dandelion

I am currently in California for 2 months on an art residency at Montalvo Arts Centre and i've been looking at changes in climate and the effects of extreme weather. While here i've had the opportunity to travel to see how different ecologies are changing or being managed etc. One of my trips took me to Death Valley National Park - the most incredible landscape, harsh, stark and very beautiful. While there I was thrilled to see desert dandelion Malacothrix glabrata. Native to the western United States it's in the Asteraceae family and although quite different to the dandelions this blog is dedicated to, i'm happy to include it.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

The Poor Dandelion

A couple of months ago i was contacted by Dr Lena Struwe, an associate professor and the director of the Chrysler Herbarium at Rutgers University in the USA. She had found my blog while researching weeds and the symbolism of dandelions in contemporary popular culture. We have emailed a couple of times and she's written details about her research looking at the evolutionary biology of weeds - it's fascinating. Lena also sent a few items for the Dandelion Archive: the image here shows an advert from a magazine.

The poor dandelion! Being used as a metaphor for cancer. The unwanted weed in an otherwise perfect lawn. "The challenge is to identify and attack the genetic flaws of each cancer". I suppose as a marketing idea it's saying what the company intended - but it isn't helping the negative reputation the dandelion continues to have.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Arthur Hughes Dandelion

I've been so busy this last 6 weeks i haven't had time to put anything new on the blog. 
Anyway, here is another dandelion I found in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford (see post below) earlier this year.
Home from Sea is by Arthur Hughes and is oil on panel. The landscape was begun in 1856 in Chingford churchyard and the painting was first exhibited in 1857 as The Mother's Grave. Hughes altered the painting in 1862 by adding the sister figure. There are a few small dandelions, both in flower and seed, at the bottom of the painting in the grass. The label for the painting says: 'The details reinforce the pathos of the subject, so that the ephemeral nature of the spider's webs, dew drops, dog roses and dandelion seeds emphasise the theme of transience.'

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Frederick Sandys Dandelion

I was in Oxford last week and had some time to visit the Ashmolean Museum: a wonderful place with fantastic collections and it's free to enter.
I saw a few dandelions in the collection and got some photos for the blog. This painting Gentle Spring was painted by the English Pre-Raphaelite Frederick Sandys.
Painted in oils, it was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1865. The figure represents Proserpina on her annual return to earth from the land of the dead in springtime. Lots of flowers are depicted in the painting: snowdrops, crocuses, anemones, violets, poppies and dandelions. The dandelions are in seed and are on the lower left of the painting.