Shortly after I came out to British Columbia in early 2006 I had a case of severely high blood pressure. It wouldn't have been fair to an employer for me to work for them until I got my health situation sorted out. I was on medications to lower the blood pressure and it took until early 2007 to find the cause. I finally went to a naturopath who found that a microscopic parasite was the cause for all this.

While getting my health in order, I took up blogging to share my photography. This way I wasn't wasting time and others got to enjoy the photos, not just me and those close to me.

In May of this year I had a mini-stroke cause again by severely high blood pressure. I may end up gong to the naturopath again since the specialist and other MDs can't seem to find the cause. This has only been a problem out here. Before that in Ontario, the blood pressure was only marginally high, not severely high like in BC.

Knowledge is good because being forewarned is forearmed!

All that said, enjoy this blog and all the photos I share with you.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


Roses are one of my favourite flowering shrubs and one that has been written about frequently over the centuries. They have been featured in poetry, given as a token of love to lovers and had numerous photos presented in one article, book and now online. Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759-1840) is a French artist known for his stipple engravings which is the use of tiny dots, rather than lines, and make for subtle variations in colouring. The detail was awesome for a day before modern photography. Redouté was born in 1759 into a family of painters in an area of France now part of Belgium. After his training he was appointed the official court painter to Queen Marie Antoinette (wife of King Louis XVI) and after the French Revolution enjoyed the patronage of Empress Josephine (wife of Napoleon). He died in 1840 at the age of 80.

The image above is of the Rosa gallica officinalis, also known as the 'Apothecary Rose', a rose which I had in my front garden at a house back in southwestern Ontario. The 'Apothecary Rose' has been in cultivation for at least 800 years in Europe. It was often grown in Medieval gardens. When I sold my home, the shrub as over three feet tall with plenty of blossoms and rosehips. A colony of bumblebees was located in the ground nearby to take advantage of all the flowers located in the gardens, both up front and in the back. A colony might have between 100-300 insects. The image below is that of the Rosa gallica 'Versicolor', also known as the 'Rosa Mundi.' This rose dates from 1581 A.D. I had that rose planted in the backyard near the house but in hindsight should have planted the shrub up front where it would have been seen to a greater advantage. I'm sure the bees would have been pleased with that as well.
Then the image below is that of the Rosa rubrifolia which originates from Europe around 1830. This is another rose I had in the garden, also in the back, but in a better placement. I recently found this rose growing in the Green Timbers Urban Forest here in Surrey, British Columbia. I will present photos of this rose in a forthcoming post on this park. Meantime, if you would like to learn more about these engravings, check out Wikipedia or go to to learn more about Pierre-Joseph Redouté. He is also known for the book on his rose engravings called 'Les Roses' and also for the book by Jean-Jacques Rousseau entitled 'Botany: a Study of Pure Curiosity' with illustrations by Redouté. The latter book features engraving of other flowering plants and not just the roses he is known for, so check them out. All the images are from, so check out their site for further details on these roses and many others. There is an adventure waiting for you.


Oran Taran said...

Wow, you're right that's a lot of detail! they look like photoshopped pictures.

Volker said...

I'm always impressed with the amount of detail these artists got in a day before photography. Roses are one of my favourite flowering shrubs. I especially like to older, fragrant varieties that attract the bees and other flying creatures. A bourbon rose I had in the front of the house near the entrance would be visited by earwigs when the roses were in flower, so while they looked great and the scent was heavenly, it didn't bother with bringing the roses into the house so that the earwigs wouldn't come along with them.