Thursday, August 20, 2009

Gorgeous Gingko

I have had quite some excitement this week. I have discovered that Marimekko makes a fabric print of my favourite tree. Here it is:

Isn't it exquisitely beautiful. Of course I can't imagine what I would do with it, perhaps cushions for the glass conservatory I don't have. But I am pleased someone out there loves the gingko as much as I do.

In my childhood home we had a gingko tree. It was tall, old and pointy. My brothers and I used to sit in a low branch, swinging our legs like peas in a pod. Sadly when we sold the house the new owners decided that they had to have a tennis court, and out went the tree. It was probably very old, because they grow slowly. I still feel just a little bit sad at the death of that wonderful tree.

Gingko fossils have been found, and it is believed that gingkos were plentiful when dinosaurs were wandering around. They are native to China but believed to be extinct in the wild. They survived only because they were planted by monks around Chinese and Japanese temples.

They are a wonderfully deciduous tree, whose leaves change from emerald green:

To bright yellow:

To blazing red:

When I was 9, in between obsessively reading Enid Blyton books, I used to lie in the sun on the grass and hold a leaf up to the sunlight and admire the beauty of the little variegated lines.

And finally, here is a gingko inspired poem written by Johann von Goethe (1749 - 1832) and dedicated to his lover. It symbolises the duality of love.

I don't think translation from German is required (what can't you read that?) - we can all just imagine the love in the lines.

Images (1) Finnish Design Shop (2) Universiteitsmuseum Utrecht (3) David GNS (4) (5) HiveMind (6) and (7) Kwanten (see 2) (who also runs a gingko blog.


Lee said...

I too have long admired the shape and delicacy of the gingko leaf - I even have a inking stamp of a gingko leaf. Wonderful to hear there's a gingko leaf Marimekko fabric! Lee :)

Laura said...

I LOVE gingko trees! There was a back street in Philadelphia that was (and hopefully still is) lined with them and every fall I would look forward to the delicate snowy effect the falling yellow leaves created. That fabric is really lovely, I do hope you'll be making something fabulous out of it!

Millie said...

There is something quite magical about the Ginko. The shape of the leaf always draws my in. A lovely post Jane!
Millie ^_^

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