Macro Monday #81

(click to enlarge to full size)

Abutilon vitifolium

A large deciduous shrub with grey-felted shoots. Grey-hairy leaves, flowers: pendent saucer-shaped purple-blue on long stalks. Commonly known as: Chinese lantern, Flowering maple, Parlour maple.

garden photography: a rose garden

June is all about ‘the essence of summer’

(This month I want to see what summer means to you. Still focussing on the garden or parkland let your photographs tell me your story of summer-time wherever in the world you live. )

My first thoughts about this month’s challenge was that summer in a garden is all about scent. The long sunny days and warm evenings draw out the fragrance of scented flowers and always take me back in time to my childhood when summer was always hot and trying to sleep with the windows open was impossible while neighbours mowed their lawns and the smell of newly mown grass filled my room. I can’t replicate the fragrances on the blog so I shall seek out my favourite scented flowers this month starting with roses. Old fashioned English roses.

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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 JuneThe Essence of Summer
  • 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 July.
  • 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

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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.

Psoralea pinnata

Seen in New Zealand along the unpaved coast road to Ruapuke Beach, North Island.

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These shrubs were just growing alongside the road and caught my eye because of their beautiful violet-blue flowers. On getting closer I noticed that they have a very sweet honey-like subtle perfume. I thought that maybe it was a tea-tree / mānuka/kāhikatoa species, but my search has not found anything with this colour or shape of flower. The flower shape reminds me of the yellow gorse flower.

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And this is where it was growing, alongside the edge of the road.

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 Any ideas?

Update: June 2015  identified at last! this is a non-native plant (it originates from South Africa) and a pparently smells like ‘Kool-aid’ a N. American grape flavoured drink. Also commonly known as African scurf pea.

Heaven Scent

A romantic seat in the walled garden at Mottisfont Abbey where the scent of roses hits you before you even enter. Go there during one of the late evening openings in June. Enclosed here, in three rose gardens covering four acres, are 700 varieties. Their combined perfume is extraordinary.

Commandant Beaurepaire

Commandant Beaurepaire 2An old rose (Bourbons) with large double, fragrant light-pink flowers striped and flecked with deep-pink, purple and scarlet.

This Bourbon rose is named for Nicholas Joseph Beaurepaire, a retired colonel in the French army who, after the Revolution and on the invasion of France by Prussia and Austria, was called to defend the town of Verdun with a few hundred untrained conscripts against 60,000 Prussians. Refusing all calls to surrender, even from the town council and his own officers, the Commandant declared “I prefer death to life under despots” and promptly shot himself.

Verdun surrendered, but Beaurepaire became a national hero. This glorious striped rose was dedicated to him in 1874 after another war with Prussia left France in need of her heroes.