A Floral Fantasy
August 15, 1845
Today is the birthday of the illustrator Walter Crane, who was born in Liverpool.
Today, gardeners fondly recall Walter thanks to one of his most stunning works - a book called "A Floral Fantasy in an Old English Garden," which was published in 1899.
Walter's book was intended to be a children's book, but as I like to say, it became a beloved book by children of all ages. For gardeners, it is really something of a graphic novel telling the story of the secret life and society of flowers.
In Walter's world, the flowers are personified. For example, the Dandelion is portrayed as a bold knight - his shield is made of a large dandelion blossom. And, the Foxgloves are a lively group - comprised of cousins and brothers and sisters.
The book continues to appeal thanks to Walter's beautiful artwork and the allure of the enchanted realm he created, complete with Fairies, the Four Seasons, Old Man Time, knights, and other creatures.
There are 46 illustrations in this little book. Original copies of this rare book sell for over $1,000.