Plant life by public transport

Now on my desk, a box of Pomegranate notecards, originally posters by Emilio Camilio Leopoldo Tafani for London public transport in 1915, now in the London Transport Museum. Art, plants, and advertising.

From the website:

Day trips to the ancient forests bordering London remain a popular poster theme. Landscape artists, such as Walter Spradbery and Gregory Brown, set new standards in the depiction of trees and woodland scenes. Many of the posters feature Epping Forest, originally reached by motor bus until the extension of the Central line in the 1940s.

In a previous posting, I looked at posters, by various artists, exhorting people to take public transport to the London zoo. Now it’s plants. But still public art for advertising purposes.

Four colorful and elegant poster notecards in the set I bought, from a larger number by Tafani: (#1) Epping by bus, for the wild roses; (#2) Kew by tram from Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush, for the laburnum and lilacs; (#3) Harrow Weald by bus and tram, for the honeysuckle; and (#4) hay-making time in Sudbury, with meadowsweet. (Kew and Harrow Weald are now suburban districts within London; Epping and Sudbury are further out.)





I assume that roses, lilacs, and honeysuckle are familiar to my readers. Very brief notes on laburnum and meadowsweet:

Laburnum, commonly called golden chain, is a genus of two species of small trees in the subfamily Faboideae of the pea family Fabaceae. … They have yellow pea-flowers in pendulous racemes 10–30 cm (4–12 in) long in spring, which makes them very popular garden trees. (link)

Filipendula ulmaria, commonly known as meadowsweet or mead wort, is a perennial herb in the family Rosaceae that grows in damp meadows. It is native throughout most of Europe and Western Asia (Near east and Middle east). It has been introduced and naturalised in North America. … Meadowsweet has delicate, graceful, creamy-white flowers clustered close together in handsome irregularly-branched cymes, having a very strong, sweet smell. (link)

I haven’t found much about the artist, beyond that he lived from 1885 to 1963, was educated in Florence, Livorno, and Milan, and designed posters for the Underground Group in 1915-20.

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