Helios 44-2

Catkins

Catkins
Catkins

These flower a Day catkins, also called Pussy Willows are described in Wikipedia as slim, cylindrical flower clusters, with inconspicuous or no petals. I didn’t know that about them and wasn’t even sure that they were flowers at all. I so loved the soft beauty of them as they were lit by the evening sun on my walk a couple of days ago that I couldn’t resist including them for you in this project. If you can, I hope you will visit the post and zoom in to see the detail, which is like some creature from outer space. I didn’t see this structure until I viewed it on my computer screen. Isn’t it wonderful? I can’t believe the diversity, intricacy and beauty of plant life in my immediate area, which I am only now beginning to appreciate, thanks to this project of mine. The pandemic has so many downsides for so many people, including us, of course. I have to say, though, that what I have learned as a result of my photographs in this has enriched me in so many ways that I am actually grateful for it. This is my silver lining. I am so glad to be able to share it with you. Hugs to all as I wish you a lovely Saturday. #217

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Pulmonaria

Pulmonaria, Lungwort
Pulmonaria, Lungwort

Now I am getting worried. And maybe you should be too. You see, the flowers are beginning to appear at a rate faster than one a day, and I am racing to catch up with them. I will not be sharing more than one a day (as per our Flower a Day arrangement) but I am now spoiled for choice as to what to share with you. This beautiful little grouping of flowers (whose common name is lungwort – much too ugly a name for it) was photographed yesterday evening on my walk, right in my village. There were only a couple of these plants in what seemed to be a neglected planter on the side of the road. But the flowers are exquisite, at least I think so. I won’t tease you with the other five varieties I photographed during the day around my house and on that walk. You will have to wait for them, if I can fit them all in. In the meantime, enjoy this lovely tiny bouquet and your day, my friends.

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Belarina Buttercup

Belarina Buttercup (Kerbelbut) double primrose
Belarina Buttercup (Kerbelbut) double primrose

This is not a spelling mistake, it is the name as it was on the tag in the garden centre (yes, this is another that is best left where it is with only a photograph taken!). Today’s Flower a Day brings a bunch of sunshine flowers to you all today, looking a lot fancier than the primroses I am familiar with. So if you need the sun today, be my guest and use these to help supply it. If it hadn’t been for the tag I wouldn’t have guessed what it was as it really looks like a pot of roses. Well, as they say, a rose by another name…. except that this didn’t smell at all. So, as I say, the colour is the treat today and with it I send a big hug to all

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Interstella

Interstella Lily of the Valley shrub
Interstella Lily of the Valley shrub

Aren’t garden centres wonderful places? They show us what our plants should look like when they are being expertly cared for, in ideal conditions and at their peak. We bring them home to our conditions which are far from ideal, look after them as best we can and see them through the whole of their life cycles. Probably at least for some of us and at least some of the time, these fulfil our expectations. They grow as expected (neither too much nor too little) bloom with glorious colour and without too many pests and then gracefully pass into their winter state to begin the whole thing all over again with renewed vigour the next Spring. But for me, I appreciate most of them as they are in the garden centre, leaving them to be planted in someone else’s garden. I know I can’t fail them when the only thing I have taken is a photograph. Like this beautiful Pieris Interstella Lily of the Valley shrub – Japonica – for Flower a Day today. This beautiful bundle of tiny pink and white flowers will never fade, never break in a storm, never dry out and need watering, feeding or weeding. So I hope you all enjoy this gift of perfect flowers for you all today, my friends. And if you fancy your chances with the real thing in your garden, the full name is there and maybe you can find one in your own local garden centre! Until tomorrow, friends.

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Blue Scilla

Blue Scilla
Blue Scilla

These tiny scilla in today’s Flower a Day are ones that I look forward to seeing every Spring. They make a carpet of blue under the bare trees before the leaves are even out on the trees above them. They have spread so thick and far that it has made it really hard to walk to my clothes line or compost area without treading them underfoot. I know it seems silly but I can’t stand to step on them as, though they are such a strong blue colour, they are actually very small and fragile. Zoom in on the main flower and you can see the little trumpet shape inside those main petals. Enjoy your day, my friends, appreciating the little joys in our lives.

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Coltsfoot

Coltsfoot
Coltsfoot

The very first sighting of wildflowers of the Spring 2021 for me is this beautiful grouping of coltsfoot (should that be coltsfeet?). I have been keeping my eyes peeled looking for these since a reader from Ontario (Jim, you know who you are) alerted me to them a couple of weeks ago when he posted a photo of one. I spotted a grouping along the side of the road when driving by a few days ago and had to go back to take this photo. It is a very busy road, but as these were (and still are) the only ones I have seen, I had no choice but to take my life in my hands and cross the road, dodging cars as I went and to crawl into the wet and muddy ditch to get this for you all. (A bit of poetic license has been used there but I felt a bit of drama was called for.) Below in the post you get a behind the scenes look of me photographing them in the ditch, thanks to Steven who was with me. This is, I confess, the first time I have ever noticed these Coltsfoot flowers – also members of the Aster family. That’s an example of how this project has opened my eyes to new flora in our area. So happy WWAD for all Flower a Day viewers! I hope you have a day filled with wonderful discoveries.

Ellie photographing flowers
Ellie photographing flowers
Caught photographing
Caught photographing

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Purple Crocus and Visitor

Purple crocus and bee
Purple crocus and bee

Today we have some deep purple crocuses that are just a couple in a thick patch growing under the magnolia tree. Although the flower is of course the subject (it is for A Flower a Day, after all), I was specially happy to get this little bee also in focus, with his tiny head speckled with golden pollen as he took what he needed from this bloom. I am told that bees will not sting you in this situation when they are so busy foraging, that you can even stroke them and they wouldn’t be distracted. I didn’t want to test this theory on this little fellow, but was just happy that he, along with many others was finding something to take back to the hive so early in the season. I wish you all a happy Sunday and send a hug out to all who read this.

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Pink Kalanchoe

Pink Kalanchoe
Pink Kalanchoe

We are back indoors today for Flower a Day, featuring – by special request for a special friend – a Pink Flower Day. I am hoping that it cheers and warms more than just that friend – in fact I hope it has that effect on all of you seeing and reading this. These little kalanchoe flowers are so delicate with their tiny yellow centres, the varying values of light to dark pink and the accents of green setting everything off to perfection. We can learn a lot about how colours work together by simply observing the natural world around us. I hope your day is filled with beautiful colours and light, my friends!

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Dried Blue

Dried Blue and Brown
Dried Blue and Brown

I did manage to produce a sunny day (well, maybe I wasn’t entirely responsible for it 😉 but it happened anyway, for which I was grateful) and so there will be a lot to do in the garden, preparing for new growth. In the house the flower arrangements of dried hydrangeas still give us pleasure, even the ones that seem to have dried less successfully. This beautiful display features some fairly intense blues, along with the paler, gentler ones and the soft, warm browns are a lovely compliment. I know this is possibly pushing you to your hydrangea appreciation limits but please indulge me for now. We will have plenty of time for fresh new flowers and I do want to share some of my favourite ones here before then. We will be back to crocuses and other spring flowers again before long, don’t worry. I hope you enjoy the lovely tones and textures in this, to give you a pleasing floral start to your day.

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