My TropicalBirds of Paradise

Muffy Clark Gill "Bird of Paradise"

I have always been enchanted by the flower called “The Bird of Paradise”. it’s what most people think of as a tropical flower if they don’t think of the other popular flower, the Hibiscus. Growing up I had only seen these flowers in table arrangements. When I started traveling with my family to the Caribbean as a child I fell madly in love with them! After Hurricane Andrew in 1993 , my husband and I would travel to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami to aid in plant rescue and evaluation-it was there where I became very familiar with tropical plants and their botanical names. It lead us to collecting plants during their annual plant sales and boy, did we collect them in all kinds of sizes and varieties–

bright yellow bihai,

and red lobster claw or parrot beak heliconia, torch gingers,

and even fussy little birds of paradise  called psittacorums!

My favorite variety that we have never been able to grow(we are too far north) are the sexy pinks!

We transported them to Naples and grew them in abundance in our own yard. Sadly, we decided to downsize our home a few years ago but we then brought a few of them with us–plus the new home had a few white birds of paradise that had grown into trees!

My White Bird of Paradise” in my front yard

I bring this all up as my most recent painting in progress is being created for an exhibition of five women fiber artists who  are featuring their artwork for-the Naples Botanical garden titled “Woven:Fiber Arts Now”. The piece I am creating here is a Heliconia Caribe that was lit up during the recent “Johnsonville Night Lights In The Garden “ event. It will be called:”In the Pink”. You can now see how I have been progressing and I am almost done! take a look at these pictures!

Ready for steaming!


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