Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pomegranate Flowers

It is June, it is June,
the pomegranates are in flower,
the peasants are bending cutting the bearded wheat.

The pomegranates are in flower
beside the high road, past the deathly dust,
and even the sea is silent in the sun.

Short gasps of flame in the green of night, way off
the pomegranates are in flower,
small red flowers in the night of leaves.

And noon is suddenly dark, is lustrous, is silent and dark
men are unseen, beneath the shading hats;
only, from out the foliage of the secret loins
red flamelets here and there reveal
a man, a woman there.

Andraitx—Pomegranate Flowers, by D.H. Lawrence

Dwarf Pomegranate Tree Pomegranate flower

From left to right: The vivid scarlet blossoms of a potted dwarf pomegranate tree in full flower glow against the gray stone of the blind arcade in Bonnefont garden; detail of pomegranate flowers. Both dwarf and standard forms of pomegranate are grown here. Although cultivated for hundreds of years, the dwarf form is not medieval, but it lends itself to pot culture, and can be more easily managed than the full-sized tree. Photographs by Carly Still

Although these photographs were taken just a few days ago on a gray day in Bonnefont garden, this post is coming from sunny California, where I am participating in a panel discussion on museums and gardens at the Getty Center in conjunction with an exhibition curated by Bryan Keene. While I’m here, I’ll be rejoicing in medieval Mediterranean trees that flourish in this climate but that require time and trouble to grow well at The Cloisters: pomegranate, olive, fig, and bay laurel. See “Light and Life” (February 3, 2012), “Figs and Fig Leaves” (September 23, 2011), and “Green Victory” (January 27, 2012). For a general discussion on growing tender plants at The Cloisters, see “Coming in from the Cold” (October 28, 2011).

For information on pomegranates, see “Immortal Fruit” (July 31, 2009), or the 2005 book  Pomegranate: Anatomy of a Divine Remedy, by Hassan Amjad, M.D.

—Deirdre Larkin

Tags: , , , ,

Comments (6)

  1. Ann Cannon Says:

    Deirdre, I want you to know that your posts are a source of joy for me. Please keep up the good work.

  2. Carlisle Hashim Says:

    One remembers Emily Dickinson for her garden and now I will remember D.H.Lawrence for his pomegranate … like friends giving you something from their garden. Thank you.

  3. Polly Moore Says:

    I stumbled upon this blog after my visit yesterday to The Cloisters. Wanting to know more about the herb garden, I searched the website and discovered your blog. I have read several entries. I have found your site both educational and enjoyable, and I would like to subscribe to your blog. However, my attempts have been unsuccessful. Any suggestions?
    Blessings!

  4. Christopher Countey Says:

    Hi Dierdra - I have done a few drawings of plants in the gardens and Gustavo suggested I get in touch with you through the blog. I am not able to cut and past PDF into the comments section. do you have a web address I could send to?
    Thanks

  5. Robert Bornstein Says:

    Nice post! I was pleasantly surprised to see the dwarf pomegranate planted here, and I agree sometimes everything does not have to be authentic, since it lends itself so well to a pot, while the regular pomegranate does not.

  6. Katharine Emsden Says:

    Years in mediaeval history & literature at Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr Grad School, Univ.of Denver, I now live at 7000′ in La Veta, Colorado. Harsh winters,droughts! Could you provide me with a few botanicals known and grown in mediaeval gardens that might adapt to the mountains> Dianthus is happy here.
    I cherished the Cloisters through the Sixties, soent summers under Thomas Hoving in the Met’s Med.Dept. & at American Numismatic Mus. with Lombard coins.’Left academia after my M.A.,but La Veta awaits another program or 2 from me.

Post a Comment

We welcome your participation! Please note that while lively discussion and strong opinions are encouraged, the Museum reserves the right to delete comments that it deems inappropriate for any reason. Comments are moderated and publication times may vary.