Sunday, December 22, 2019

A Very Merry Christmas!



Saturday, December 14, 2019

A Garden on a Windowsill: Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera) Has Bloomed

I showed you the very small Christmas cactus, it has only 4 branches. Bright amazing flowers have bloomed on each branch. Few buds fell down when I inadvertently turned it, it's a pity. 
What a pleasure to see Schlumbergera blossoms before Christmas and New Year.
Do you have a Christmas cactus? Does it always bloom?

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Saint Petersburg at Night, December 2019

Today I want to invite you for a walk along the Neva River embankment in St. Petersburg. Winter is here, the temperature is 0 C + 1C. There is no snow, but days are short and darkness begins at 6 p.m. All buildings in the downtown are lit.
The first thing I want to show is the building of the State Mining University. It was built in the 18th century.  Many engineers graduated University since that time.  
The building's facade and the main entrance is decorated with 12 columns, and a coat of arms of a two-headed eagle is located above them.

The sculpture of two struggling men is located near the main entrance. Here is the hero of Hercules and the giant Antaeus, who kept earthly treasures.

We go further along the river and see the domes of the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. In 19th century the monastery church in honor of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin was founded in the pseudo-Russian style.

I showed you this church in my previous post, this is a view inside:

In the 1920s, all values ​​of the church were removed by the authorities, and the rest of the monks were arrested. The priceless wall paintings were simply painted over. Restoration work began in 1990, which is still going on.

Let's look at the Neva river. The Palace bridge and the Winter palace (Hermitage) is seen in a distance. It was snowing last night, the embankment of  the Neva river got white. 
Our walk is over. To be continued...

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Picturesque Trays from Zhostovo

daisies, pond yellow lilies...

I am always amazed at the beauty and brightness of metal trays from the small town of Zhostovo, on the Klyazma River. I think these trays were not used at home, especially such beautiful ones. Most likely, these were interior items. And every time I walk past a gift shop, I see amazing trays.
Zhostovo workmanship is a handicraft of painting on metal trays, preliminary coated with a few layers of priming and oil varnish. The most widely used motif of the Zhostovo painting is a simple bunch of mixed garden and wild flowers.

dahlias, daffodil, lupine...

apples, plums, grape...


The trays were made by a blacksmith according to the old craft tradition: the shape and size of the tray depends on his work. The image usually lies on a smooth background, which may be black, white or other color. I show you different types of these items painted with flowers, fruits and vegetables.


pears, grape, apricots, cherry...

a Jag, a basket and a bowl with fruit 

The image looks voluminous, it seems as if it comes from the depth. Light patterned lace from various "herbs" surrounds the bouquet around the edges, fitting it into a smooth background.  
I like trays on a white background with wildflowers or berries. What tray would you buy for your home?

a bird and pomegranates


cornflowers, daisies, poppies...


The hand-forging of a base for future tray started from 1830. The exact dates of manufacture were stamped on the backs of trays. They were popular in St. Petersburg, Moscow and other cities. Not only flowers were depicted by artists of Zhostovo but fruit, veggies, berries, birds,  landscapes and folk scenes. 
As I said up to these days the art stays purely decorative.

a waxwing and rowan berries

a bird and cherry

The appearance of Zhostovo craft is associated with lacquer miniature on the papier-mache boxes, which was manufactured in a near-by village of Fedoskino. 
To know more about lacquer miniature you could in my another post Russian lacquer miniature


Friday, November 15, 2019

The Prague Botanic Gardens

When I've been to Prague I decided to see the Botanical Garden. It's an oasis of peace and tranquility. There are greenhouses, open-air expositions with various gardens, and a vast territory with vineyards.
Open expositions occupy a huge area. I walked along a beautiful stony trail watching the plants of the Mediterranean basin and Turkey. Then I came to the section of North American semi-desert plants.

The garden is located on a hill and many paths go up and down the hill. It reveals beautiful views of the Botanical garden landscape and plants.

The tropical greenhouse Fata Morgana is located in the southern side of the Botanical garden. The greenhouse covers more than one 1700 meters, there is a unique botanic exposition.
The largest part is occupied by wet tropical rain forests with beautiful orchids, water plants, palms. I loved to be there: orchids, warm air, water and fishes in the pool.

The other sections of the Conservatory are dedicated to flora typical for mountain territories, tropical and subtropical plants of America, Asia and Africa, the Australian bush and Madagascar.

In the park I found a gazebo on a hill and after sitting in a shade and having tasty lunch in a restaurant I continued along the paths up and down the park. 

Then I went up to the Japanese garden. I like to see Japanese gardens in every Botanical garden I visit :-) I imagined how wonderful this one looks in spring with a murmuring stream between stones, maples and blooming rhododendrons.

Flowers, shrubs, conifers grew along the paths. I liked the corner of the garden where conifers and plants with different foliage were combined.
It's all for now. If you're interested in Vojanovy sady in Prague, visihere.


My videos about Prague gardens: