Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"...the first picture of summer, seeing the flowers scream their joy..."

A slight flight of fancy with the title of this post, as it's as cold as the back end of a March day here but having heard the song this morning, the lyric has stuck with me.

Nevertheless, the flowers are, if not screaming, at least resolutely singing in a slightly shivery voice.

I've currently got a bit of a 'thing' for herbaceous clematis, which are enjoying scrambling around the front garden (I did mention I garden inelegantly, didn't I?). The photo below is of a herbaceous clematis (cultivar now unknown since 'the great label removal'* but I remember buying 'Juuli' at some point); I've managed to persuade it to grow through a smoke bush (cultivar known: 'Royal Purple')

SomeBeans has been redesigning the bottom of the garden to make it more 'sitting' friendly - he's getting into this gardening lark! Looking directly up from the bench there, you get this view:Here is a close up of Campanula which is the proud new hairdo of Myrtle - the photos of Myrtle herself didn't come out very well, and besides, she deserves a post all of her own.

It's not my incompetent fault that the next photo is of an un-named rose cultivar - I bought it very cheaply as a weedy looking specimen. It now sprawls over the three huge (previously very cheap and tiny and bought at the same time as the rose) lavenders of unknown cultivar.

The weather gods have a sense of humour when it comes to the blooms of the peony. These huge tissue paper balls of petals are so delicate, but seemingly every year are weighed down to the ground by the weight of the weather gods' spite. Below is a peony inherited with the garden, presumably Peony officinalis Rubra Plena

And finally, to avoid the suggestion that I care only about flowering plants, below is a representative of the bryophytes - some moss, with fruiting body (sporophyte? - it's a while since I studied botany). The lawn is mossy, but not qute that mossy - the photo is from a weekend walk in North Wales. Close up, as gorgeous as any flower!

* I'm rubbish at writing down what plants I buy, and tend to try to leave labels inconspicuously on the plant. However, SomeBeans is of the label removing garden variety (and quite right too - I should be more organised & keep a journal, so it's entirely my own fault) and so I have a range of unidentified plants in the garden. This probably tells me that I shouldn't consider a career as a curator of a botanical collection.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Botanical underwear

I had a thought last night - it's actually a bit strange to go around taking photos of flowers. It's the botanical equivalent of the centrefold of certain 'gentlemen's' magazines.

And so, pandering to the voyeuristic amongst us, a couple of 'full frontals' of Aquilegia currently out chez Mouffetard.

Above, a rather classy model, perhaps adorned with a silk camisole.

And left, the frilly knickered cheap & cheerful look (self sown, from mongrel parents).

Is there a botanical equivalent of the grungy grey, washed too many times, M&S staples? Or is that just me :-(

Saturday, May 17, 2008

"Fwing" went the fronds of my plants

Obviously, "fwing" is the noise that certain plants would make if their flower or foliage were to unfurl at a more rapid pace than they really do.

Alliums are also plants that "fwing", but it will be a week or so until their firework display lights up the garden.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Thanks to Titania, who commented on my entry on lilac blight. She mentioned the poem 'Lilacs' by Amy Lowell, about whom I was ignorant. It's a lovely poem, which perfectly sums up my feelings towards the lilac flower in this excerpt:

"You are the great flood of our souls
Bursting above the leaf-shapes of our hearts,
You are the smell of all Summers,
The love of wives and children,
The recollection of the gardens of little children..."

The rest of the poem can be found here:

Titania's blog can be found here:

Monday, May 12, 2008

In the garden at the moment...

Tulip 'Carnival de Nice'

Tulipa 'Recreado', with the silver foliage of a cardoon behind

A frothy confection

Spring hedgerows, that is. A frothy confection of cow parsley, hawthorn, new grass, bluebells, jack-in-the-hedge, and so on.


'Oh! roses and lilies are fair to see; But the wild bluebell is the flower for me' - Louisa A. Meredith

Aided and abetted by all manner of small creatures, such as shield bugs, orange-tip butterflies, weevils, hover flies. What's not to like about spring?