Wordless Wednesday – Furry flowers and spiky seedheads


My annual pilgrimage this week to see the wild Pasque flowers on Church Hill, Therfield Heath, Herts. turned out to coincide with the end of their flowering period. They are a bit early this year. Luckily Pulsatilla vulgaris seed heads are as delightfully attractive as the flowers.


And there were still enough flowers to enjoy in any case.


I spent some time admiring their furry stalks and involucres


Most of the flowers on the heath are short and the bowl of purple petals seems to float over that fuzzy ruff


And it is not often that you see such hairy petals.


Many of the plants were well advanced in seed production (16/04/2019)


A freshly revealed seed head is a thing of beauty


Nevertheless, there were plenty of pollinators visiting the remaining flowers, so there will be plenty more seed heads to come.


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Wordless Wednesday – Sun Bliss and the Wild Tulips


Gazing into the dazzling face of a wild tulip, Tulipa sylvestris (and friend)


The pointy yellow flowers have a tendency to cowlicked petals when closed, while their outer spines can be feathered with green or sometime red.


They appear strangely mobile, typically hanging their heads as the wait for the warmth of the sun.


With a little solar encouragement the flowers open to full, scorching effect.


Tulipa sylvestris is fairly short (~25cm) and naturalizes well in rough grass. The flowers are scented (lemons apparently). When the grass is dry I’ll give them a sniff!

Posted in Flowers, Spring, Wordless | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Six on Saturday – Catch-up


We’ve been away for the last week, lodging in a small, quaint seaside town (an old smugglers’ haunt) called Beer in East Devon. The weather was mixed to say the least,


Our holiday weather included various amounts of sun, wind, rain and hail. The snowmen lasted for 24hrs.

but we had good fun. Today’s prowl round the garden to check-up on all the changes at home has easily provided Six things on Saturday, so I’m joining The Propagator for his fast and furious, garden-related show-and-tell meme.

1) Coronilla valentina glauca

This was the label on one of my bargain buys from a Fullers’ Mill Garden visit last year and I although I had a notion in my head that I knew what I was buying, I really didn’t. When I looked the shrub up at home I was worried that I’d got the strident yellow version. The plant in the pot was tiny, so I wasn’t sure when I’d find out. However, in spite of its size, before we went away the plant was on the cusp of flowering and now, on return, I can breathe a sigh of relief, because the flowers are pale lemon with flashes of yellow tips. I mostly probably have Coronilla valentina subsp. glauca ‘Citrina’. Hurrah!


Coronilla valentina (likely subsp. glauca ‘Citrina’)

2) Fritillaria persica

My Fritillaria persica sits in front of the white stems of a Betula utilis var. Jacquemontii along side the driveway and has coloured up from green to dark plum while we’ve been gone. It is looking weaker than normal this year, so I must make a point of feeding it now.


Fritillaria persica has escaped the ravages of slugs and beetles so far, but is looking a little underwhelming this year.

3) Blossom

One of the first things we do whenever we return is to cut the grass. Then everything feels right with the world and order is restored, isn’t it? Well that’s how my OH feels anyway. It’s been done and now we are watching the falling damson petals gradually carpet the lawn in a floral snow. Elsewhere in the garden, the silver pear (Pyrus salicifolia) is just coming into full bloom. The flowers are so neat and regular. They remind me of looking down a kaleidoscope, especially with the way the stamen float over the petals seemingly unconnected to anything.


Silver pear (Pyrus salicifolia) in flower 06/04/2019

4) Spring vetchling

Early spring flowering Lathyrus vernus is putting on a fantastic two-tone show now. It is a perennial pea and grows to about 30cm, so it can be a bit lost in the plot unless it is sited towards the front of the border. I love the colours and am following the same pattern with my sweet peas: Cupani, Beaujolais and Twilight.


Lathyrus vernus is a prolific, front of border, flowerer

5) Cercis

Like many gardeners I am an inveterate seed collector. I over-buy new packets every year, I collect from my own flowers and veg, but I also confess that when I see an abundance of pods anywhere a few will tend to end up in my pocket (I especially like fir cones – never mind the sticky mess they make). Well, this cercis has been grown from a pod collected from somewhere, but I have no record. I was surprised at how easily the seeds germinated. The tree is still in a pot and is a few years old. It is flowering for the first time this spring. Now I just have to find a space for it in the garden.


Celebrating the first flowering of my home-grown Judas tree

6) Ducks and Daffs

This was the name of one of the boards presented to me by Pinterest this morning, so it seems only fitting to finish this post with Narcissus ‘Widgeon’. I’ve not figure out why they used this particular name for this large flowered daffodil, but see what you think:


Narcissus ‘Widgeon’

It’s got a distinctly apricot tinge inside its trumpet and pale lemon radial markings on its petals and round the base of the trumpet. I’ve grown them in pots for now and must decide whether to plant them out in the garden. Not sure that I like that apricot throat though???

That’s my six … Now to check out some other contributions for #SixOnSaturday

Posted in Flowers, The home garden, Trees, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Wordless Wednesday – A sinusoidal snake dance

Snakes head fritillary

Snake’s head fritillaries look wonderful naturalised in grass

Fritillaria meleagris

Fritillaria meleagris has bashful bells in what looks to be an old-fashioned printed maroon chequered pattern

It is the county flower of Oxfordshire, where it was once abundant. Now, with the loss of hay meadows it is only found in quantity in a few places, such as Iffley and Ducklington.

Posted in Spring, Wildflowers, Wordless | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Wordless Wednesday – Siberian squill and other ocean blues


A plant with a great aegean-sea colour (and a wonderful name): Siberian squill (Scilla siberica)


The much put upon, but always giving crested waves of grape hyacinths (Muscari)


Roman hyacinths (Hyacinthus multiflowered blue) gently lapping the foreshore

Posted in Flowers, Whimsy, Wordless | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

In a Vase on Monday – Blossom and Polyanthus


The Worm Moon (March 21st) and damson blossom

Well, with all the jam trees (old Chivers damson trees) in the garden bursting into flower over the last few days I couldn’t resist cutting a few branches to bring inside. I noticed the first blossoms opening when I went out to observe the full (Worm) moon on the night of the vernal equinox. What a lovely start to spring!

So I’ve put some of the flowering twigs in a vase to join Cathy for her weekly floriferous meme ‘In a vase on Monday’. Hop across to her blog for a chance to enjoy a host of beautiful spring blooms as like-minded folk link to their own vases through the comment section.

Here’s mine:


A vase containing damson blossom, daffodils and polyanthus:

I’ve used a generous amount of a red polyanthus in the vase, because over the weekend I needed to move a large clump and I took the opportunity to cut all the stems rather than watch them flop over in their new positions (I decided to divide the patch while I was at it).


The silver-edged cherry red polyanthus is a favourite I watch out for each year

To link the blossom and primula I’ve added three different white daffodils to the mix. Narcissus ‘Cheerfulness’:


Narcissus ‘Thalia’:


Plus a couple of stems of N. ‘Paperwhite’.

The pretty bronze leaves are fresh growth from a small spirea shrub in the front garden.


Spring vase with blossom, primula and white daffodils

And another nice thing about this vase is that is smells lovely.

Which flowers are you bringing in to enjoy?

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Wordless Wednesday – A tropical spring show


Crown Imperial (Fritillaria imperialis)

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