Meditation on: Clover

5.15.2011




Georgia O' Keefe famously stated that she made her flower paintings on very large canvases because flowers weren't noticed, and to see a flower takes time, just like a friendship takes time. If we have become too busy to notice the tiny beauties around us, that goes double for common grasses, weed flowers and clovers. 


Clovers are often blended with rye grass as feed for pastured livestock. Vigorous clover growth is a great indicator of honeybee health in your area, so it's always nice to see great mounds of it on the waysides of roads and landscaped developments. I planted mine as a cover crop before I started my garden. The clover was turned under feeding the soil with rich green compost.


I often use clover in my country bouquets for the farmer's market. The inclusion of clovers, as well as grasses and ditch flowers, gives them the airy freshness that just cannot be rivaled by commercial floral arrangements. Its the flowers your grandmother had in her kitchen window- or at least the nostalgic idea that she might have, because they have a timelessness to them and are always in fashion. Today I made a bouquet of just clovers. I was lucky to have found a few of the crimsons. The white ones were fading fast, but the pinks were wet and plump and in full glory this afternoon.


To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.

-Emily Dickenson


Clovers smell faintly and purely sweet like babies. And of course the four-leafed kind are lucky (unless you are backed-up on a highway inter-change named for one).



28 comments:

  1. Is that Trout, or Koby? Anyway, that is a precious picture, and my favourite.

    Georgia O'Keefe inspires my flower photography ... to see so closely into the heart, the viscera, of a flower is to see the universe, I think.

    xoxoxo

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  2. Wow, second photo down? BEST photo ever!!! I also love clover. When we had bunnies, I would scour the yard for clover to feed to them and they adored it.

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  3. Fantastic post, the dog about to have a bit of clover is amazing. Wild plants in the landscape are so valued and wonderful, but as you write, often go unnoticed. Thanks for opening pur eyes to the beauty of clover. xox Corrine

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  4. faery: there is something expansive about macro - tiny universes. I am reminded of the bathtub scene in Animal House. (grrherhahaha) It's Koby. :-)

    jenner: Isnt that a lucky catch? Koby would try anything. Horses love clover...chickens will take it but they arent overly excited by it.

    dosfishes: that photo truly captures Koby's sweet and open personality. what in the world did we do before digital photography. I can tell you this blog would have never happened. You might enjoy a clover bouquet - i have mine by by bedside. xo

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  5. That Koby pix is priceless! HA!

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  6. xl: fifth! grherhahhaa. That dog is fast becoming my Wegman Weimereineresque muse.

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  7. Glorious images dear chickory; I love the one of Koby with the clover, she is taking in the taste and fragrance of its sweetness and the white clover is beautiful.
    I love grasses, weeds and 'ditch' flowers as you refer to them, they do possess their own wild beauty.
    They look wonderful in a rustic glass vase on a 'distressed' dresser next to calico curtains. :)
    Have a wonderful week!

    xoxoxo ♡

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  8. Oh, mais non! Fourth!

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  9. i wonder if clover would flourish down here in marshland? i need something wild down here. xoxoxox

    (lovelovelove your photos!)

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  10. I never knew clover flowered like that. I only know the 3-leaf kind (because I'm notr lucky enought to find the 4-leaf kind) that grows in my lawn. I like what you did with the last picture too.

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  11. Your photo captures the inquisitive and silly side that ridgebacks naturally exude. I love the pearly white teeth as he strathces to take a taste of the clover! Thanks for posting and making me appreciate my "boys" even more.

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  12. *sigh* I'm going to plant some clover year because my garden this year will be all cutting flowers and I want include these. LOVE that picture of Koby. Fabulous extreme close up.

    Happy Monday.

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  13. aha ha haha ha ha ha

    koby

    <3

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  14. Love the O'Keefe quote, and all these photos of yours. I had no idea clover blossoms in so many colors. Wow!

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  15. That photo of Koby is so adorable, I want to kiss her nose!

    Clover's scent is very delicate and elusive. They're tasty, too. When I lived in town, I would pluck all their blossoms and add them to salads. Yum!

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  16. I never knew clover had a flower, and certainly not as large as this? My idea of clover is a little clump of green in the lawn ... maybe it blooms there but not here? Beautiful post, love the photos. And that DOG, of course! Thanks for stopping by today!

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  17. Huh? A CRIMSON clover flower? never ever knowed that!

    Lovely peek into yore world.

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  18. Oh thank you for this! You have shown me the beauty of something I've always seen and never appreciated. But no more. I have plans.

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  19. dianne: that dog will try anything. recently i gave her a taste of whipped cream. now anytime i get an electric mixer out she is in that kitchen so fast. Koby loves cream! Im with you: an old vase, distressed table and clover. simple grace.

    xl: only if you devalue my awesome comment. grherhaha

    savannah: of course it would! it thrives all over this worl, but it loves north america most.

    buzz: thank you! I just pushed the bright level up for that last image. The reason I have clover flowers is I have let my field get very high so the grass can make its seeds and i get the wildflowers. If you keep your lawn nice and trim as I am sure you do, you wont see the clover flowers.

    onelitteldeer: you know, i thought i was a labrador retriever person. But i now know that I am a Rhodesian Ridgeback person. Best breed ever. I love this dog so much. And my Trouter is part RR. thats where this started. I loved that chilled out personality. but you are right. Goofy and cute is RR too. Now, it wasnt an easy path. I have two completely eaten chairs, 7 destroyed dog beds, and one full year of training her to stay on this unfenced property. It meant driving and crying in my truck, looking for my dog. But now, shes home all day. she knows where she is supposed to be.

    boxer: thank you - wasnt that a lucky shot? if you cant find the seed - let me know I will ship you some.

    /t: isnt she something?

    Eggy: there is a yellow clover too, but it is not native to my area. The pinks and whites are - I planted the crimson.

    Moi: they are good...that fragrance smells like something to wash the baby with. no wonder the bees love it. glad you liked your bang bang ice. grrrhahahaha

    pam: like I told Buzz, to see clover flowers you cannot have a tidy lawn. these are in my field which I am letting get quite high. I have buttercups and oxeye daisy too. soon, there will be native phlox and black eyed susans.

    aunty: thanky. the crimsons add a bright shock of color to the mix as well as a longer flower. a bouquet of clovers is truly a charmer. I took one to my hostess for sunday dinner and she was delighted.

    nina: i have a hard time believing you are not very aware of the little beauties everywhere. however, if i have brought your attention to clover then I am thrilled. If you gather them, I will hope to see them painted!

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  20. I'm so glad Koby's learned to stay home. It's not easy having a happy wanderer pup. Wish I had a dollar bill for all the times I've spent driving and crying in my vehicle, searching the hills for Ivan. I never could break his happy wanderings, so I finally just let him be. But he gradually scaled back and now that he's a full-on old feller, he sticks by our side on our treks and doesn't jail break the property.

    The gun ice cubes are hilarious. I'm going to make popcicles out of them, too.

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  21. RR's for life, I think! If they could only walk on a leash without making me look line I'm waterskiing behind!
    I feel your pain regarding the training, but it is really wortheverything when you see the joy in their faces when they play outside. Nothing like watching a ridgeback run as fast as they can across a big grassy field! we get to run at the beach here in RI!

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  22. a smile of delightfull
    braid of star beams
    rye grass and clover
    high meadow streams
    motions of sunlight
    sublime summer scent
    dreams of the flowers
    natures present
    deep stirring vibrance
    harmonys waves
    melodys verse's
    lift and engage
    embracing the moment
    climbing in essence
    flow deep within
    rising the presence

    ..peace..

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  23. Beeuutiful post! You must have squeezed this photo shoot between the 5 minutes of dry weather we've had lately. I just taught a unit on O'Keeffe's flowers, btw. So this is real timely. I love clover. Our old yard was mostly all clover. Have you ever sucked the bottom part of the tiny clover petals, btw?

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  24. oh, that's a great photo of your muse and clover, btw :)

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  25. Well Georgia's girl,
    you did Clover fine!

    Remember this:
    One clovered acre,
    White tracery smiles by threes
    Not a fourth in sight

    With you showcasing the joy of clover
    who needs luck?

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  26. moi: wonder if thats how the band "drivin and cryin" got their name? out lookin for a dog. Ivan in old age stays on the farm. I love that. leave the wanderlust to the pups. Im sure if a critter gets in the yard all bets are off.

    onelittledeer: when boxer came to visit she said watching Koby run was like watching a thoroughbred horse run. she is so fast and runs for the pure joy of it. Trout is almost as fast, but usually catches Koby by outwitting her nor out running her. I have a friend with an enormous Great Pyrennes dog who is never off leash. She never runs. I keep trying to get her to start working on off leash training so she can run but she is afraid of losing her. Makes me sad.

    neil! this might be my all time favorite now. Your words evoke such images for me. Its always a treasure to receive a poem from you. thank you!

    foamy: no i havent sucked on clover. But I will today and report back to you. We used to suck the honey out of Hibiscus as children growing up in Florida. This weather is the worst. Im cold everyday i took all the winter clothes to ATL and it never left the forties yesterday. overcast, gray. I pressure washed the cabin and deck and cleaned out the barn since the garden was too wet to mess with.

    fishy: I dont understand this saying? can you flesh this out a bit for me? Im glad I did clover proud. Its a fine flower and a field do-gooder.

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  27. I love clover. When I mow the back 40, I always leave 'fairy rings' of it for the bees. I refuse to pull it out of my pots on the deck, and in the garden. I love the smell, and I love seeing bees up close and personal. :) xox Pam

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  28. Photos are amazing, dear. I love to mix up things unexpectedly in my bouquets too, esp. the flowers of tropical palms. I love the fat bumblebees that flock to clover flowers that I remember from back in Michigan, don't think we have bumblebees here in Florida.

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