Sunday, June 26, 2011

Some things from the garden in May

Going back through the stuff salvaged from the old computer.  Can't seem to find the photos from Winchester cathedral, must be somewhere.

But this is a Winchester cathedral rose anyway.

Blue geranium and red wallflower, the latter now over, the geraniums still going, as they do.  I like them very much and so do the pollinating insects.

Those big loud yellow flowers again, whose name I still haven't established.  They behave oddly like dandelions in their habits of flowering and seeding.  French lavender in the background, whose flowerheads have since died off, but a second lot seemed to be waiting, so I've snipped all the old ones off to give them some encouragement.  We've not grown the French lavender before.  I can't quite get sorted out between French lavender, spike lavender, lavandin, or whatever.  I've always thought of this one with the tall flowers with the long bunny-rabbit ears of a more reddish purple and the rather turpentiny scent as French lavender anyway.  Googling didn't make anything clearer, but if you want a feast for the eyes, just enter 'lavender' into a Google image search.  There, I've done it for you.  Which led me incidentally to discover that you can now drop an image of your own into the search box, and it will find you 'visually similar images'.  I did it with the above pic and got lots of pictures of stage acts with wacky lighting.  Very strange.

Oriental poppies, growing under some dogwood bushes which threaten to swamp them, but which make for some interesting light and shade effects and whose variegated leaves do set the red off nicely.  There were pink ones too, but I made a collage with those which I'll put up another time.

These are also now over, the annual self-seeded, double-petaled, opium-type (how's that for a row of compound adjectives?) cultivars are just beginning now.

Allium.  Not quite sure that I took this in our garden, as I can't think how I'd have managed to get the white background, but if not then where they were escapes me, we had them here too.

 And a red red rose.  When I was a kid there was a box of greetings cards in the sideboard drawer called 'The Rose Bowl', with photos, self-evidently, of bunches of brightly lit, blowsy, typical roses, in china vases or silver rose bowls.  For some reason  I hated these cards, they seemed insipid and pointless, I liked naturalistic pictures of horses and elephants and lions and such like, later perhaps I cared for landscapes.  I liked real flesh-and-blood roses, loved their scents and colours, and one year when I was about ten made a cordial from the petals of the Elizabeth rose by the drive, I don't know where I got that idea from, had no recipe, I think I just thought the perfume was so delectable one ought to be able to eat or drink it, which is a principle I've been working on ever since.  But pictures of flowers, especially photos, left me cold or worse. Now I do enjoy photos of flowers, taking and looking at them, and try to do it in such a way that might offer some drama or surprise.  But a small part of me thinks it's a bit of a cop out, somewhat bland and simpering, that I shouldn't just be fobbing my camera and blog off with gifts of flowers.

Still, I expect I'll get over myself.


Zhoen said...

The Allium looks like it wants to give a great big hug.

I agree about roses, I prefer wild roses over the over cultivated ones.

julie said...

I love your flowers, Lucy. They are quite dramatic and beautiful - no simpering blandness here!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely lovely photos of a gorgeous garden, Lucy. These were in bloom in May!? My roses and peonies are only just opening now, late a month or more and still getting battered by rains.

Joan said...

Is the unknown flower some sort of Gazania?

William Wood Field said...

Once again, Lucy, what scintillating and lovely pictures you post on your blog. Thank you.

Lucy said...

Thanks all.

Z - oh I like just about all roses really, wild and cultivated. I love the wild sweet briar with the leaves that smell of apples, and the rugosas that that smell like Turkish delight and have beautiful big juicy hips, and all the garden ones too. Even this red one, which is dismally unperfumed, I like because it's such a generous profusion of colour. The only ones I'd rather not know are the intensively, commersially grown florists' kind, which generally exploit the environment and the people who grow them, but even then, on the rare occasions I'm given them I even enjoy those as it seems churlish to both flower and giver not to.

Julie - nice to see you! Thanks

Anon - I feel we know each other! Everything was quite early this year, following a hot spring. Then we've had a cold drizzly May and June which has done nothing to pierce the drought of March, or indeed February or April, to the root - a day's heat today and it's all wilting again.

Joan - Hello, yes yes yes, that's what it is, I remember now. Thanks.

WWF thanks kind sir!

Dave said...

Photos of flowers do seem too easy, and I tend to shy away from them unless I can make the whole photo an interesting composition. So often pretty things (or people) are the hardest to photograph.

I love your statement about wanting to eat or drink delectable fragrances!

marja-leena said...

Oops, sorry, Anon is me! I should add that I really don't dislike any flowers. Some annoy when they seed themselves everywhere too generously, like some yellow poppies and wild daisies that are like weeds in my garden, pretty at first then needing to be yanked out til next year.

Plutarch said...

Flowers are tempting to photograph, and can result in a viewer sees a flower differently as a result of the compostion or the lighting or both, it is worth while and you should feel no need to apologise.

The Crow said...

I came back after my first viewing, to ask if it might be a Gazania, but I see Joan rmeminded you already.

Beautiful photos, Lucy. You do these blossoms proud.

Anne said...

I am always grateful for gifts of flowers, on blogs or in the garden. Your pictures are superb.

Lucy said...

Thanks again.

It occurs to me that I often feature flowers in conjunction with insects, which I feel makes them a bit more dynamic.

I always liked Iris Murdoch's quote about 'anyone coming from a world without flowers would thing that we must be quite mad with joy to have such things about us.'

the polish chick said...

funny, as soon as i saw the last picture i had a thought process very similar to the one you went on to describe.

love the allium.

in my living room, on the coffee table, i have a glass vase full of chive flowers.

Lucy said...

Hi PC - yes, I wasn't sure about that last, but it's kind of quite satisfying of its kind, all dewy and very red... Your chive flowers sound lovely, I would probably be torn between putting them in a vase or using them as a garnish... Which French guts was it said he wanted to eat every part of the living world he could? I'm not with him on birds and mammals but I am a bit with plants. I do like eating and drinking flowers, though funnily enough I've never eaten courgette flowers, stuffed or fried. I mean to, one day.

marlyat2 said...

Poppy! Allium! Those are my favorites. I really like the glowing light and the shadow on the poppy.

That yellow thing is certainly a show-off. No wonder it brought up stage sets with strange lighting!

flower envy said...

I like the picture of flower posted by you ... thanks for posting