Garlic Flowers and Big Bear Cafe

AlliumBulbFlower.1Robinson.Gilead.2013-05-27“This is an interesting planet. It deserves all the attention you can give it.” (Marilynne Robinson, Gilead).

Memorial Day weekend was especially wonderful this year, as unseasonably reasonable temperatures have continued in the DC area, letting us spend a lot of time outside. One of the places we spent some time at was Big Bear Cafe’s patio, enjoying a late afternoon cortado.

Big Bear has a wonderful garden, much of it with edible plants for their kitchen. This plant, the allium flower plant (aka “garlic flowers”), got my attention right away. At about 5-feet tall, and approximately 6-8 inches in diameter, it’s hard to ignore.

I took a few photos and went home right away to try to paint them. The first couple of alien-looking ones are the “before” photos, before the flower petals burst forth. The last one is a blooming allium, probably a Mt. Everest strain of the flower, with its crisp white flowers.

I painted the last two, with Robinson’s quotation broken up between them, as a pair that I have framed together.

Thanks Big Bear for the lovely inspiration!




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