June Flowers

The past few weeks have been shaky, but it’s truly spring. Although the outdoors are more forbidding than in previous springs, maybe you’ve found things to do around the house that still foster a little bit of that feeling of being in nature.  Images from the Lenhardt Library of the Chicago Botanic Garden’s  rare books have that perfect balance of spring energy and necessary homebodyness.

If you’ve been gardening, you can see how it and tree pruning was done in the later 16th century.

Giardino di agricoltura, Marco Bussato. 1593.  Lenhardt Library of the Chicago Botanic Garden. Used with permission from Lenhardt Library of Chicago Botanic Garden.
Giardino di agricoltura, Marco Bussato. 1593.  Lenhardt Library of the Chicago Botanic Garden. Used with permission from Lenhardt Library of Chicago Botanic Garden.

Or if you’ve taken a different route and are thinking of some retro interior design improvements inspired by early 20th century wood engraving such as these from Rudolf Koch’s Das Blumenbach:

Das Blumenbuch by Rudolf Koch. 1933. Lenhardt Library of the Chicago Botanic Garden. Used with permission from Lenhardt Library of Chicago Botanic Garden
Das Blumenbuch by Rudolf Koch. 1933. Lenhardt Library of the Chicago Botanic Garden. Used with permission from Lenhardt Library of Chicago Botanic Garden

Watching the blooms, so many people have unearthed their sketchbooks and pencils to work on their nature drawing skills in the prairie grasses. Helen Sharp’s 18 volume collection of watercolor sketches could help inspire the beauty, highlight some long-lost technique, or be the outlet for your stir-crazy, competitive spirit. 

Water-color Sketches of Plants of North America 1888 to 1910 by Helen Sharp. Volume 09. Lenhardt Library of the Chicago Botanic Garden. Used with permission from Lenhardt Library of Chicago Botanic Garden.
Water-color Sketches of Plants of North America 1888 to 1910 by Helen Sharp. Volume 15. Lenhardt Library of the Chicago Botanic Garden. Used with permission from Lenhardt Library of Chicago Botanic Garden.

There are so many floral indulgences in the IDHH .The rare books from the Lenhardt Library are great for browsing with studious intensity, keeping us company while we wait out the storm inside. For everything from Chicago Botanic Garden’s Lenhardt Library in the IDHH  click here.

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