Helios 44-2

White Woodland Viola

White Woodland Viola
White Woodland Viola

These clean simple looking faces are among my favourite ones in the garden from Spring through the summer months. They are also known as Sweet White Violet and Viola Incognito and are attractive to bees, butterflies. Yes, they spread and can survive temperatures as low as -40° (both F and C) which is more than I can! They are certainly hated by precise, fussy, ‘just so’ gardeners with velvet striped lawns, who wish only to see displays of flora they have selected and planted. They definitely do not remain where they are put, but spread with delightful abandon. As I am a long way from that kind of a gardener, I enjoy their pure white faces with the pretty ‘whiskered’ blue and yellow pattern. If you look closely at them, it seems that the lines flow perfectly from petal to petal. I confess that I will remove them if they start to overwhelm some less hardy specimens, but generally I love to see them along the edge of the path and between the stones. I wish you all a lovely day, my friends. A Flower a Day #237

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Ground Ivy

Ground Ivy
Ground Ivy

Among the tiniest flowers I have photographed (another one taken with me lying flat on the ground), these spots of blue are pretty much everywhere at the moment as the ground ivy plant can be invasive. By now you probably know that I am not prejudiced against a flower simply because it might be a nuisance in some settings. A flower is, after all, a flower and could be a bright spot in someone’s day, however small. A friend of mine made a tea from it yesterday and said it was delicious. I know that I was intrigued when I photographed it as I had no idea what it was, though obviously I have trodden it underfoot for years, completely unaware of its hardy tenacity. I wonder what other new discoveries I will make in the coming days? When I do, you know I will share them with you. Have a lovely day everyone. I am sending hugs to all. A Flower a Day #235

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Mayflower

Mayflower, Trailing Arbutus, Amercan Ground Laurel
Mayflower, Trailing Arbutus, Amercan Ground Laurel

One of my Nova Scotia Flower Scouts (an honorary title) called and emailed me yesterday. She wanted to alert me to the fact that I had not yet shared a photograph of Nova Scotia’s provincial flower, the Mayflower, which she could take me to if I wanted. As she rightly pointed out, we are a Province that is currently pulling together to get our latest pandemic numbers under control and we all need encouragement. Most of us have done our best to keep to the public health guidelines and for months – nearly a year – we have succeeded. I won’t go into the reasons for which we are now under siege, as I don’t like to play a blame game. I would much rather just focus on getting things back to our ‘normal’ here again and I think we are all working towards that goal. This flower is symbolic for 2 reasons. First, as I said, it is the provincial flower, which is a good reason to feature it. Second, this specimen is looking a little battered, a little the worse for wear, which is perhaps how we are all feeling. But it is still here, despite what it might have weathered. I am late finding and photographing this flower, but at least I have it here to send out to you all as a reminder, wherever you might be, that we will pull through this, despite what we might be going through. A Flower a Day #234

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Purple Dead-Nettle

Purple dead-nettle
Purple dead-nettle

This flower is appearing everywhere at the moment and I now know why. Although it originated in Europe and Asia, it flourishes just about anywhere, even becoming invasive. You can perhaps see from the leaves that it is a member of the mint family and in fact it is an edible plant, though I confess that I have only found that out on researching this just now. Apparently it makes a great tea or tincture to help with seasonal allergies and also makes an excellent ‘spit poultice’ to deal with insect bites or small wounds. (If you don’t know what that is, look it up, but it is pretty much what you would think from the name.) It is also anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory, so it can be made into a good salve for aches and pains and first aid. I wouldn’t just go out and eat it or make a tincture and take it after reading my post as it can affect some people (pregnant or nursing for example) so do your research before trying to use this in those various ways. This post is about the tiny sweet flower, after all, not a medical advice column! After learning all this, however, I have a new respect for this plant. Enjoy your day everyone, whatever you are doing. A Flower a Day #233

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Forsythia

Forsythia
Forsythia

Forsythia’s gorgeous stretches of simple yellow flowers spread along the slim branches are such a cheerful sight. I especially love to see ours behind our magnolia, as the colours are perfect together. This particular forsythia is also not far from the magnolia I shared yesterday, in the garden that used to belong to a good friend of ours in the village. These bushes seem to thrive with little to no care and still give a wonderful display every spring. I try not to regret each round of flowers as it gives way to the next. Though I miss the sight of them all when they finish, I remind myself to just enjoy each day with the beauty it brings. Enjoy this splash of sunlight sent to you all today with a warm hug. A Flower a Day #232

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Mini Pink Magnolia

Mini Pink Magnolia
Mini Pink Magnolia

Nothing is anticipated more around here in the Spring than the appearance of the magnolia flowers. The scent that pervades the air is intoxicating (and it is so poorly imitated in scented products) The exotic petals are such an unlikely sight, too, sitting as they do on bare branches so early in the Spring. There is a reason, apart from the obvious that I call this Mini Pink Magnolia. It is a small magnolia flower, much smaller than those on our tree and the magnolia itself is not much bigger than a large bush. It’s not really mini, more ‘small’ but that didn’t work for me as a title. However I have to differentiate between flowers as I will share similar ones and we need to be specific (to keep the links working). So at last the first ones are out in the village, and here is my first share. Our own are soon to be fully out and if we can avoid a heavy wind and rain – like yesterday and today – we will have a wonderful week or so with this delight right outside my kitchen door. Although it seems hard to find joy at this time, a simple flower can do it for me. And I hope it does the same for you, my friends. A Flower a Day #231

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Boxelder Maple

Boxelder Maple
Boxelder Maple, Acer negundo, Manitoba Maple

A gardener friend of ours calls these trees “Frenchy’s trees”. That has nothing to do with the French, but refers to everyone’s favourite second hand store – Guys Frenchy’s. He says those trees are ‘good for nothing’. There have, in the past, been many wonderful second hand bargains to be had in the Frenchy’s store in days pre Covid, when there was a certain prosperity for some south of our border. Those rich people bought expensive clothes with designer names and wore them a few times. Then they gave them to charity, or so we were led to believe, as they got tax relief on the value of the clothing they donated. Being well heeled, they needed tax relief. We Frenchy’s shoppers were able to dress as well as the rich, in clothes that were barely worn, paying a few dollars for clothes that cost hundreds new – and US$ to boot. Now, though, it seems that there is not the same incentive to give away their barely worn party frocks and designer jeans in support of whatever charity or perhaps they are wearing their clothes for longer in an effort to reduce waste. That is a good thing, though disappointing for us who are still wearing the beautiful clothes they discarded years ago. We can’t any longer find any decent second hand clothes that don’t look as if they are already ready to be thrown out. Even though it isn’t a tree of great value, it does have beautiful flowers, I think. They are almost like fancy tassels you might find on a party dress, or a lovely tasseled pendant. Enjoy your day, my friends and make the most of whatever you find that brings you joy this day. A Flower a Day #230

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Japanese Pieris

Japanese Pieris
Japanese Pieris

Remember that I went into a garden centre and took photos of the Interstella, Lily of the Valley bush? Well, the other day I looked out of my own window and saw these hanging there! It seems that I have a Lily of the Valley shrub or Japanese (or Andromeda) Pieris right here! Although this is not as colourful as the previous one, the delicacy of the white blooms are set off by tiny yellow caps – you will have to zoom in to see them, but it’s worth it. Our own one is quite large now, reaches almost to the top of our window and is full of these white bunches hanging like grapes, so is a very cheering site right here at home. I send this photo out to all my friends, wishing you all a peaceful Thursday. A Flower a Day #229

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Pale Scilla

Pale scilla
Pale scilla

At certain times of the year members of the aster family keep turning up and dominating these posts. In the early spring it seems that it is the Scillas that take centre stage repeatedly. It is just as well that I got out to catch them when I did because yesterday, all of a sudden, the brilliant blue carpet I mentioned before is closing up and going back to sleep until next year. The Glory-of-the-Snow that looked as if it had been frosted had, in fact, just decided to do the same (in such a beautiful swan song kind of a way, though, which was why I photographed it at that stage). Today’s photograph is a memory of the fringes of my blue carpet where there were several of a very lovely pale blue striped variety. I hope you all have a day as free from stress as possible. Remember to breathe. And for those of us who are, once again in a lockdown state remember that this, too, will pass. A Flower a Day #228

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