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’.
Continue reading “the crimson petal”

bugs and plants

Some readers have noticed that I haven’t been quite as constant, nor, perhaps, as committed to the blog over the last few weeks; I’ll admit that there have been things going on that have distracted me, but hope these are now mostly settling down and I will be able to re-focus.

It might seem likely that not posting as often would mean that when I did eventually sit down to write I’d be brimming with ideas.
Continue reading “bugs and plants”

wallflowers and garden walls

From Tom’s Midnight Garden – the vast country-house grounds held trapped in the memory of a tiny city backyard – to The Secret Garden, which Mary Lennox discovers with the help of the robin, to The Selfish Giant‘s garden where Spring will not visit while the children are kept out, there’s something magical about walled gardens.
Continue reading “wallflowers and garden walls”

busy

As I am too busy to write more than a few words, I thought I’d just post a photograph and this seemed the “busiest” picture I’d taken in a while.

Then I stopped to wonder what the plant was and it occurred to me that if every one of those flowers turns into a fruit of some sort, it must be one of the shrubs that is covered in tiny berries through the autumn and winter. I don’t know many shrub names, but it seems likely it’s a variety of cotoneaster.

My pronunciation of that is something akin to KO-tun-ee-aster, but having written it down, I’ve remembered my mother’s humorous referrals to the cotton-Easter plant. Which makes it almost topical.

educational

I’ve said before that when we used to go on family holidays my parents always found room in the suitcases for a few books.

Specifically, there was always the Collins Pocket Guide to British Birds and the Collins Pocket Guide to Wild Flowers, and I must have spent hours identifying and listing the new species we found. (Perhaps it wasn’t just me who had this task – it may have been a more familial activity, or perhaps we even had a competition to see which sibling found the most – but my memory is only of my own lists.)
Continue reading “educational”

invasion

I re-watched the 1978 version of The Invasion of the Body-snatchers last night and was much taken by this brief dialogue:

Elizabeth Driscoll: I have seen these flowers all over. They are growing like parasites on other plants all of a sudden. Where are they coming from?

Nancy Bellicec: Outer space?

Jack Bellicec: What are you talking about? A space flower?

Nancy Bellicec: Well why not a space flower? Why do we always expect metal ships?

Jack Bellicec: I’ve NEVER expected metal ships.

Continue reading “invasion”

better days…

…and worse.

dying bird of paradise flower

dead bird of paradise flower