Monday, March 29, 2010

Celebrating the beauty of Nature...

Our Spring this year was long overdue but finally, after much dreariness, it arrived with a bang, with much-missed birdsongs and much-welcomed sunshine and daffodils.

The beautiful weather also finally got me motivated to start on my spring cleaning this weekend (I had been meaning to do it at the beginning of March rather than at the end, but it was far too cold and miserable earlier this month). Chief tasks included the sowing of seeds and bulbs I got before and after Christmas (in addition to the usual herb seeds, I shall also attempt to grow salad leaves and tomatoes this year), the re-potting of the new plants that I got -- Lily of the Valley, two Gooseberry Invictus, Chinese Lantern and Japanese Pink Peony -- as well as re-potting my existing herbs (chillies and basil, both of these have been a little sickly) and my trusty calla lilies (these have been showing lovely green leaves by themselves despite my almost complete lack of attention over the winter months, reaffirming themselves as my truly most loyal plants).

I finally got myself enough new pots and planters for my greenery (though it baffles me why planters very seldom come with drainage holes these days, requiring the use of plasticky planter pots or my scrounging around for pebbles), but as always with gardening, I tend to dream up new things I "desperately need" each time I set down to work, and at the present time that translates to a good pair of gardening gloves. I would LOVE a good pair of gardening gloves like these gorgeous pink ones in support of Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

Will be posting pictures of how my old and new plants get on later on once I got them all nicely tucked in their little pots. In the meantime though, you have all got to watch this, the below video is absolutely inspiring:

If any of you have read Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, you would remember the Fibonacci sequence being a key to solving one of the murder puzzles. Here, rather than cheapening the mathematical sequence as a mere plot device in a third-rate popular novel, the glory of the Fibonacci sequence is properly presented in this short movie as one of the central keys underpinning nature's designs (along with the Golden Ratio and the Golden Angle, the mathematical theories behind which are clearly and helpfully explained on the film's website complete with even more elegant graphics!).

This short puts me in mind of one of my favourite places in the world, Barcelona, a city famed for its Gaudi architecture, which is in turn inspired by the beautiful geometry of nature. I remember being strangely moved by the amateurish-but-painstaking, Blue Peter-like quality of the hand-made exhibits showcasing nature's influence on Gaudi's work in the museum located at the Sagrada Familia, the huge Roman Catholic cathedral that is a big tourist trap and remains to this date a huge construction site (it is to the city's credit that, despite bureaucratic wrangling, financial troubles, and differences of architectural opinions, it perseveres, for more than a hundred years since the cathedral first started, to complete Gaudi's masterpiece, and aim to have the Sagrada Familia completed by 2026, the 100th anniversary of Gaudi's death).

(Below are some photos I've taken of Gaudi's architecture from a trip a good few years back, including the Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, and Casa Mila. My favourite photo was of course this one I took at Parc Guell).

It is therefore no surprise to me that it is a Spanish artist, Cristobal Vila, who is behind the above mesmerizing video, as the inspiration is all around him in the modernist Spanish architecture exemplified by Gaudi's work. The music in the video is Wim Mertens’ “Often A Bird”, a very springy tune in its own right, and melds perfectly with the beautiful visualisations realised by Vila at his Eterea Studio. This short film is released earlier this month (13th March 2010). I can't wait to see what else he would be coming up with next :)

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