dance of death

Despite the supermarket’s conservative estimate of a mere five-day lifetime, the same bunch of tulips has kept me entertained now for a full two weeks.

Last weekend I wrote about how they are more expressive than some cut flowers, struggling to escape captivity in the vase and writhing in torment as they die.

It was a mixed bunch, of which the variegated flowers seemed to be the least repressed, stretching wide open, then folding back on themselves, scattering the sooty powder from their stamens and eventually shedding their petals.
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floral personality

I never used to like tulips. The colours were pretty enough in the park flowerbeds of my childhood, but the neat rows of tight scarlet blooms perched atop rigidly straight stalks reminded me too closely of redcoat soldiers. I was never much of one for the military or for regimented discipline and precision.

Then, some years ago, I read a poem that made me look at tulips afresh and see that they express more personality and attitude than many cut flowers.
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up and down

At this time of year, there are flowers everywhere.

Whether you look up…

white tumbling rose

Or whether you look down…

purple flowers

Despite the apparent difference in light conditions, those two photos are actually of exactly the same corner. Now I’m wondering whether the two plants will eventually meet in the middle.

predictable

The problem with taking pictures of plants is that they tend to be the same ones every year. Especially as we are creatures of habit and we take the same routes to and from the same places on a regular basis.

But even though I see these yellow fields from the train window in spring and early summer every year, as I travel from Gloucester towards south Wales, they never cease to impress. So here they are again.

Yellow field. Rapeseed flowers. Canola

At least I suppose the light reflections and the stains on the train windows are probably different each year.

the crimson petal

I keep looking at the photos I took of hellebore flowers the other day and the only thought that comes to mind is about Byron swimming the Hellespont. Surely there should be some connection?

But, no. It seems that the Hellespont is the sea of Helle, who fell off a flying golden ram into the sea when trying to escape death with her twin brother Phrixus. Hellebore, on the other hand, although also derived from the Greek, combines ‘to injure’ and ‘food’.
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reading not writing

I really thought that I would do better today and actually find something to write about, especially as it’s midsummer’s day.

It would have been my grandmother’s birthday and Grandpa always gave her a poetry book. But I have no new summer poetry and I’ve been too busy reading this weekend to do any real writing.

As the reading hasn’t all been for pleasure, I did slip out for a short walk this morning, so I will once more fall back on posting pictures instead.
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morning after

I went for a walk in the park the other morning before breakfast. It was early enough that the only other people out and about were dog-walkers and joggers.

The light wasn’t very special and the grass was decidedly damp. We have had some lovely weather recently, but also some tremendous storms, so I’m not sure the plants actually know what season it is, but there were still plenty of flowers and blossoms worth taking pictures of.
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