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.

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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.

Macro Monday #21

A monster in the garden?

(click to enlarge to full size)

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I spotted this unusual bract hiding in the leaves. I believe it to be a Wild Angelica, (Angelica sylvestris) Common Hogweeed (not to be confused with the rather poisonous Giant Hogweed) found in hedgerows and which grows to 1- 2 m in height. The large, mound-shaped flowers are pink-tinged at first, becoming white. I’ll feature the flowers later in the year.

(Thanks Steve for helping me identify this correctly. If you want exquisite flower photography then please pop over to his wonderful wild flowers of Texas site)

garden photography: Solomon’s Seal

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.)

Solomon’s Seal: (Polygonatum multiflorum)

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Britain has three native species. Polygonatum multiflorum (Solomon’s Seal) is the most common, being found in lowland woods containing Ash and Field maple on chalk and limestone. Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomon’s Seal) is a plant of limestone pavements and cracks, so it is disappearing. Polygonatum verticillatum (Whorled Solomon’s Seal) is an uncommon plant of wooded gorges and river banks, mainly in Scotland.

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Most are two feet high or so (on average) and most have arching stems with pairs of leaves giving rise to another common name Ladder in Heaven.

The flowers, which are most often ivory-white, hang downwards in clusters from the leaf joints and they are often edged in green and slightly fragrant.

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.

garden photography: golden gorse

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.)

Gorse (Ulex europaeus): There are three types of gorse in the UK which are all very similar. Common Gorse is widespread and mainly flowers from January to June, Western Gorse flowers in later summer and autumn and is mainly found in western parts of the UK; whereas Dwarf Gorse, which also flowers later, is mainly found in the south and east of England and is absent from Ireland.

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Gorse is a member of the pea family and can be found in all kinds of habitats from heaths and commons to towns and gardens. It provides a good habitat for many insects and birds, but can become dense and invasive. Many ‘wild’ landscapes are managed by traditional grazing animals such as Dartmoor or Exmoor ponies.

It is easily recognised with its needle-like leaves and distinctive, coconut-perfumed, yellow flowers.

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.

garden photography: wild roses

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.)

Dog Rose: (Rosa Canina) is a scrambling shrub, found in hedgerows, woodland edges, on sand dunes and grasslands. It is the most abundant of our native, wild roses, with sweet-scented pink or white flowers that appear in June and July

roses

followed by glossy red egg-shaped hips in autumn. These are good for rose-hip syrup, or provide excellent bird food in winter.

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.

garden photography: not so sweet violets

It’s May already and here in the northern hemisphere spring is all around us which should mean a lot of wild flowers. Of course the challenge isn’t confined to the northern hemisphere, I am sure there are plenty of wild flowers / natives in the southern hemisphere too. It’s not confined to flowers that bloom in May either so look in those archives. No restrictions on how to present your flowers this month. You can use macro / close-ups, monochrome, flowers with insects or whole landscapes. And remember it can be a single image or a gallery or an entire post about wild flowers such as one I wrote about Rye Harbour.

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.)

Common Dog-violet; this common and widespread plant lives happily in many different habitats including woodland, grassland, heaths, hedgerows and old pasture. It flowers from April to June but its flowers are not scented, unlike those of its cousin, the Sweet Violet.

sweet-violet

Walking along parts of the south-west coastal path at this time of year provides plenty of colour along with the sea view. These pretty violets are in full bloom at the moment.

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.

Cornish Wild Flowers in June

The hedgerows, lanes and fields in Cornwall are awash with colour in the month of June. So here are just some of the beauties I managed to capture, though not all of them have been identified.

Coastal

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Lanes

Cow Parsley and grasses
Cow Parsley and grasses

Fields

Hawthorn Hedgerows and Broom and field of grasses

There are so many colours to be found in the natural world.

Wild flowers in a Cornish spring

Hundreds of different wild flowers can be found when walking in the countryside in Cornwall in spring. Here are a few of the varieties I have photographed recently. I’m not totally confident about all the names so if you spot a mistake then please do not hesitate to correct me. (Please click on an image for more information)

Heath Dog Violet: Similar to the common Dog Violet this plant is found in damp grassland and heath. The flower is very delicate and pale blue has dark veins on the lower petal.

One of the most pungent smells you will come across is the wild garlic or ransoms, which have broad leaves that are edible and umbels of starry white flowers, but you may also come across the three cornered leek (sometimes called wild onion and officially called Allium triquetrum) which is more delicate, and slender than wild garlic, a more feminine version, with slimmer, angular, less shouty leaves and petite flowers. More like a white bluebell. And often found growing amongst bluebells.

Another strong smell as you hike the coastal pathways across the heathland and moors is that of the common gorse. The flowers are scented (variously described as smelling of almonds or coconuts) and are a rich, golden yellow.

common gorse

Some found in the woodland

And a few found along the coast

Wild Rye

Sunday mornings don’t usually find me on the seashore, but this particular Sunday in July whilst we were holidaying in West Kent I noticed that there was a free guided Nature Walk at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. Now being only 20 minutes away AND free  I thought that would be a great way to spend a couple of hours and learn something about specific shingle flora too.

Rye Harbour was once a very busy fishing port, but over the centuries the harbour has silted up and the village now lies two miles from the town of Rye. The Nature Reserve  is quite flat with some wheelchair access to all five of the bird watching hides and many paths suitable for rugged wheelchairs with some paths along a private tarmac road.

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So if you have ever wandered on the shingle shores and salt-marshes of England and wondered about what grows in such an inhospitable landscape then come along and we’ll see what we can find.

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