The Commelina has been niggling and niggling at the back of my mind. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. I didn’t get the same little thrill of pure joy I get when I look at Gerda’s designs or the best ones of my own. I knew the plant needed to be bushier, but I didn’t want to clutter up the design.
On a walk this morning, hoping to get a better photo of some Palafoxia I saw last week but couldn’t get a good shot of because it was windy, I serendipitously found a patch of Commelina and sat down for a good look. Hmm. The spathes (folded bracts under each flower) are much narrower head-on than I’d drawn them, and…well, will you look at that… Each spathe-and flower is subtended very closely by a leaf. You almost never see just a flower and spathe by themselves. And many of the leaves are not flat, they are slightly folded along the midrib. Though the midribs are lighter, with the sun out, usually half the leaf is in a bit of shadow.
Inspired, I opened up my file again and did some free-hand editing. I lengthened the bracts opposite the spathe and put leaves under to of the flowers where they could be put in without cluttering the design. I changed two of the leaves from a single color with a midrib to two-toned. I darkened the filaments of the stamens to make them stand out more. I am much, much happier with the result.
(This was screen-capped from my large monitor, so ignore the weird brown color at the nodes. And remember, the darker shade of green will not be quite so dark.)
I think it will let me rest now.