sea holly by Blossfeldt

Sea Holly by Blossfeldt

December has almost come to an end, and it’s time for our last garden art choice of 2022.  We’ve been sharing images by the wonderful German photographer Karl Blossfeldt.  As you know, his closeup plant photos show us details we wouldn’t normally notice.  As we’ve just had Christmas, we wanted some festive imagery.  For that reason we hoped to find an image of holly leaves or berries.  Sadly, however, Blossfeldt doesn’t seem to have photographed any Christmas plants.  We’re having to cheat slightly, so here is sea holly  by Blossfeldt – similar to Christmas holly in name only!

What is sea holly?

Sea holly belongs to the eryngium family, unlike traditional holly, the ilex family.  Sea holly is so named due to its spiny leaves and the bracts around the flower cones, which slightly resemble the spiky leaves of traditional holly.  You can find out more about growing eryngiums on the Royal Horticultural Society website by clicking the link to their  Sea Holly Page.

In all his photographs, Blossfeldt focuses on the structure and texture of the plants that were his subjects.  His images tend to concentrate on these aspects as he originally intended them as teaching aids for his sculpture classes.  When he published a book of his plant photos in the late 1920s, he became famous almost overnight as a photographer.  If you look back at our first Blossfeldt post back in January (January Blossfeldt post) you can read more about this.  The sea holly image here shows the flower cone from above, emphasising the layout of the bracts at its base, so you can see the structure clearly.

If you’ve enjoyed looking at this image, you can look back through our blog posts for 2022 and see lots more.  Next month we’ll begin a new set of pictures of art for garden-lovers.  In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the festive season and have a happy new year!