Art depicts landscapes and plants in so many different ways.  There are the highly detailed botanical drawings that are breathtaking in their beauty and skill through to abstract images of nature.  Sometimes the landscape/flowers are the background, sometimes they are the main event.  Art has been capturing nature since art began.

Today I have been reminded of one of my favourites; 'Tiger in a Tropical Storm' by Henri Rousseau (1891), which was first displayed under the title 'Surpris!'
I first saw this painting on Blue Peter, yes I was an avid Blue Peter watcher as a child and many things I saw on that programme have stayed with me.  What I remember most about the painting was that Rousseau had never left France when he painted it, he painted what he imagined to be a tropical jungle from visiting botanic gardens.

This makes me think about jungle/exotic planting in general.  I do not have what would be termed an exotic garden, but I do have bamboos and I did have a tree fern.  I grow bananas, dahlias and cannas and a host of plants not native to the British Isles.  I am not aiming for a jungle look but many do and the results are often amazing.
We create landscapes in our gardens that are not necessarily accurate but they make the best of the environment/climate/soils that we have.  Like this painting they might not be exactly what the tiger would have lived in but they are pleasing to our eyes and bring happiness to our souls.

(photo of Austin pretending to be a tiger, not.)


  1. I love Austin's impersonation of a crouching tiger !


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