Off to Dublin tomorrow afternoon to help hang the Bath Society of Botanical Artists’ exhibition at Glasnevin Botanical Gardens. We’ve produced upward of 60 paintings of plants associated with Augustine Henry, with many of the specimens coming from John Phillip’s collection near Devizes. My effort, Lonicera henryi, was a dark mass of foliage sprawling up the front of his house – we had to hunt for a piece still bearing flowers and my heart was in my mouth as John teetered on top of the steps yanking at the tendrils to pull it into reach. It roots really easily – in fact is a very invasive plant – and I still a piece on the windowsill, its long white roots curled around the inside of the glass jar.

We were invited to exhibit in Glasnevin following our exhibition in Bath last November. Henry’s a bit of a local hero and they have a China section in the gardens and many of his herbarium specimens that he sent back. It was thrilling to hold the actual herbarium specimen of Emmenopterys henryi¬† that he collected over 100 years ago. And another that Ernest Wilson sent back from China a few years later.

I wish that I had had time to paint more pictures for the project, but working full-time made it impossible. I hope to make up for that in China!

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