garden photography: red valerian

In May I’m looking for Wild flowers

(This month I want to see native wild flowers found in the hedgerows, woodlands, farmland, meadows, by the coast, up a mountain, on the heath and even in your own garden. Basically those plants that haven’t been planted, but occur naturally, although specifically planted wild flower meadows can be included. Wild flowers provide food for humans and wildlife and are usually hardy, resilient and well adapted to the climate and soils, and yes sadly often referred to as weeds.)

Red Valerian: (Centranthus rubra) is a woody-based perennial, sometimes grown as a biennial, with grey-green leaves and dense clusters of crimson, pink or white, slightly fragrant flowers from late spring to autumn.


Although sometimes grown as a garden plant it is usually found growing on walls, sea-cliffs, rocks and waste land and brownfield sites, especially near the coast. It can be difficult to eradicate as its roots are very long, and although very attractive it can cause substantial damage to walls.

If you would like to join in with Garden Photography then please take a look at my Garden Photography Page. No complicated rules 🙂

  • Create your own post and title it MayWild Flowers
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Add the tag “GardenChallenge” so everyone can find the posts easily in the WP Reader
  • Get your post in by the end of the month, as the new theme comes out on the first Sunday in June.
  • Please visit the sites in the comments to see what others are posting and thank you all once again for such a pleasurable month of photos from around the world.

This is the last week for wild flowers so please post your contributions soon. I actually think I could have carried this particular theme on for the rest of the year, but next Sunday we move on to June and The Essence of Summer – what does summer mean to you? Keep it within a garden / park environment, but this is your opportunity to share your favourite summer photos. This might be gardens, butterflies, bees, particular flowers, picnics or barbecues, or even children running around in the garden sprinkler or dipping their toes in a favourite fountain. No restriction on the type or style of photo.


39 Comments Add yours

  1. Beautywhizz says:

    I have seen it growing in the cemetery.

  2. I love seeing drifts of flowers like this. They make such a pretty display.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I love them in huge drifts as you say, from dry stone walls.

  3. There are so many beautiful wild flowers around.. Have a wonderful day Jude. Sue

    1. Heyjude says:

      There certainly are Sue, I am discovering more each day.

  4. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I’ve always liked Valerian and wondered why pink Valerian and pink Campion are both called Red!

    1. Heyjude says:

      I must admit I have wondered the same!

  5. Sue Slaght says:

    They are very beautiful Jude. I like the description in the comments about them being drifts. The drifts I am familiar with are snow drifts. These are far lovelier. 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      No Valerian in your neck of the woods then Sue? Time for an British cycle ride I think. What about Land’s End to John O’Groats?

  6. pommepal says:

    Such a pretty colour Jude. Like you say this theme could go on forever. Next month will be interesting. Half the year gone already and I am still at home!!! I’m in the mountains this week.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Yes, all change next week. Get looking for those summer memories 🙂

      1. pommepal says:

        I think I can find a few!!!

  7. Becky B says:

    Was delivering in my neighbourhood this morning and came across a somewhat wild garden that had these. Looked wonderful in the long grass

    1. Heyjude says:

      En masse cascading from a stone wall they look magnificent.

  8. DailyMusings says:

    What a beautiful color- and the setting is perfect near the water.

    1. Heyjude says:

      My previous home. I feel a certain nostalgia for it now.

  9. So pretty, Jude. Love the colour. Here’s my last wildflower entry, photo-bombed by our local Iggy family. 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Your Iggy family is getting bigger Sylvia, I am imaging your place looks like a mini Jurassic Park!

      1. I was thinking the same thing when I looked out there this morning. 😕

  10. restlessjo says:

    If and when Summer gets here I shall do my very best to capture it’s essence and hang onto it, Jude! May was a lovely mixture 🙂 Enjoy your company! Feet up time soon?

    1. Heyjude says:

      Fabulous summer day today Jo. Hectic, noisy and a bit sunburned. Helped the granddaughters bake a cake for Granddad’s birthday tomorrow, did some gardening, took kids swimming on the beach, cooked two lots of dinner, drank too much wine, and birthday celebrations tomorrow. Feet up would be nice! (And we have been threatened with another visit in the summer)

      1. restlessjo says:

        Sounds wonderful! Enjoy every second 🙂

        1. Heyjude says:

          We may need a holiday after this week…

  11. Nice shades of colours in that ‘red’ Valerian. Coming travelling in England soon so it’s great to see your varieties of wildflowers. Have added some Namaqualand colour – Though it’s got cooler here the essence of summer still lingers ….

    1. Heyjude says:

      Both you and Australia appear to becoming much hotter, hardly any winter at all, whilst we just get wetter! So whereabouts in England are you visiting?

      1. Yes, this whacky weather – climate change is a big wake-up call. Already seeing the second tropical storm ‘Bonnie’ of the season there in the north Atlantic. Visiting in July and going to be based near Oxford. Have Kew and Wisley gardens on the wish list – perhaps you may have other recommendations, Jude?

        1. Heyjude says:

          Oxford has a lovely botanic garden and if you have transport then head to Hidcote and Kiftsgate gardens in the Cotswolds, not too far from Oxford. All these feature on my garden blog if you want a preview ( )

        2. Jude, thanks for these suggestions; had a look at both – look full of promise. Your list is a great resource – will dig into it as we travel – thanks.

  12. DailyMusings says:

    Your flowers are beautiful- shape and color. here are my last ones for May

    1. Heyjude says:

      May is a wonderful month for flowers, both wild and tamed varieties!

  13. Sherri says:

    Hi Jude. I hope you had a lovely weekend! We went camping in the New Forest and had wonderful weather…but a few mishaps as usual, including but not limited both tyres of my new bike bursting!!! I laugh now… ha! I am so out of the loop with blogging, I want to get back to sharing nature pics but I am finding it hard doing that while trying to get this book written. And everything inbetween. I hoped to get a wildflower post in but it didn’t happen. So I’m sending you a pic here since I’ve missed the cut off, hope it shows up. I took it when last in Lewes especially for you 🙂 xx

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you Traudel 🙂

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