In recent years I’ve been particularly inspired by ‘stories’ relating to plants. This ranunculus has a special story relating to a Canberra family, so I decided to paint it, and also tell the story. As well as completing the painting, I now have prints and cards depicting these beautiful blooms, and on the reverse is the following text:
"Horrie (Horace) Cleaver lived for 70 years in the Canberra suburb of Barton and at 94 won the ACT Heritage Garden Award. He was a pioneer in the Canberra Hire Car and Taxi service and lived to 100 years. Horrie was well known for his fruit and vegetables which he gave away regularly. Among his flower collection was a beautiful old ranunculus which became known as “Horrie’s” ranunculus. He gave some to his friends and neighbours and so “Horrie’s” ranunculus lives on.
Who can help keep this old beauty alive?"
I'm happy to report that members of the Horticultural Society of Canberra have taken on the propagation project.
If you would like to read a little more about Horrie, there is a chapter about Horrie and Alice Cleaver (page 47) in “Past Images, Present Voices” – follow this link: https://www.library.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0014/210146/kingstonbook.pdf