Friday, May 30, 2008

Violas, puzzled and snoozing

While doing a bit of weeding, a startled viola suddenly looked at me, a little puzzled.

Later, I came across this one, snoozing in a bed of chive flowers.

What are your violas up to?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Faerie names of flowers

I was over at Blackswamp Girl's blog, A Study in Conrasts earlier today, where she talks about the names of her plants, and how well they all fit together as a theme. It got me wondering about my own plants, if indeed I also choose plants by their names to suit a certain theme.
My roses include "Blythe Spirit"
"Celestial" "Dark Lady" "Mirthful" "Scintillation" and "Teasing Georgia".

For this year, I bought seeds of viola "Sweeties" and a flower mix called "Fairy Mix" I have a runner bean called "White Lady", swiss chard "Bright Lights" and radish "Rainbow mixed"
I'm thinking, these could be the names of faeries that inhabit my garden. It seems colorful and light. Slightly naughty and playful. Could it be that we as gardeners choose plants by certain names to suit our personalities?
Am I slightly naughty??? *giggle*

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hawthorn heaven

Sceach geal (Irish name), fairy bush, Mayflower, Hagthorn... all are names for the May flowering hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna.

Arriving home to Ireland from my Mom's a few days ago, I was thrilled at the sight of the hawthorns in bloom from the air. It was so unexpected, it was almost a shock to see them all with their white blossoms. When I left, it was still spring, now I come home to the start of summer.

The flowering of the hawthorns begins the warm season, the season of brightly lit evenings and early morning sunshine.

Everything is lush and green, frothy white trees, shrubs, and cow-parsley waving in the wind.

It is said that cattle kept within a field surrounded by hawthorn will thrive.

There are rows and rows of these white flowered trees everywhere, it makes the landscape quite magical for a few weeks.

Like entering a dreamworld almost...

In Celtic folklore, it is said that faeries inhabit these "May Trees". One must be careful not to pause too long under a hawthorn, or you could be transported into the land of fae for a few moments. On coming back to the land of mortals, time will have passed for several years.

I guess I better hop back on my bike, and move on, hm? Is it still 2008?

It is also said that it's bad luck to bring in the branches or flowers of the hawthorn into your home, as it will bring illness or death. Also, it's not a good idea to injure one or chop one down, for it will incur the wrath of the faerie folk who inhabit the tree.

If you tie a colored ribbon on a branch of a hawthorn, it will be viewed as a gift to the spirit, and will bring you luck. Yellow for friendship and happiness, red for love, green for wealth, and blue for health.

A pink hawthorn between two whites. Isn't it a beautiful sight?

I'm posting this for the June Festival of the Trees, hosted this month by Wrenaissance Reflections.

columbine and lupines

The first thing I see when I come home, just peeking over the front wall, are the lupinus arboreus, the tree lupines. I plant them there to hide the unsightly wall.

Columbine are also in bloom, self seeding themselves here and there. The older ones are very tall this year.

Although I have only pink ones seeding themselves, suddenly a purple-blue one has appeared. How lovely!

Lupines in the morning light, the tops of the flowers glowing in the early sunlight.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

oriental poppies

Back home in Ireland, my garden had changed from a spring garden to an early summer one. Oriental poppies welcomed me the evening I returned, overwhelmingly bright red!

The poppies were simply glowing.

I'll post more flowers soon, there are lupins and columbine blooming like crazy.

Mom's garden and village

I'm back from visiting my Mom. Here in her garden is a lovely bushy lavender, taken from a cutting of my one in Ireland. And the rose is just starting to bloom. My brother and I found the rose shrub in a building site years ago, we were afraid it would get plowed under so we dug it up.

Her front garden, a view from the upstairs window:
She picked out several of the most lovely geraniums, and had me put them all in a row along the pebble path. She likes to sit in her rocking chair by the window, doing her needlework, and she has a good view of these geraniums from there.
Here's a panoramic view:

One day a balloon was drifting by, there's an elderberry in the public shrubberies just coming into bloom.

A short distance from her house are farms, I thought these ponies were so sweet.

And from the upstairs window again, at night you can see the church tower. I thought the clouds and moon looked eerie this night.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

early May garden

So, I've not been here on my blog for quite a while, very busy with my artwork. But I do go out and garden almost every day, and listen to the songs of swallows and blackbirds.

My Salix Caprea greeting dawn in the early morning light.

This group of daisies in the grass had pink edges before opening.

Mickey Mouse tulips close up for the night, opening every morning.

The weather stayed cool for quite a long time this spring, so this year the tulips stayed lovely much longer than usual.

Wallflowers blooming with forget-me-nots underneath.

By the back door are oxalis and flax growing in a broken half of a bonsai pot. Succulents in a pot I made long ago. And parsley for easy picking for sandwiches and cooking.

In front of the house, a self seeded stock has decided to wedge itself into the tarmac.

Soon, the columbine will be blooming.

This columbine sits in a bed of woodruff.

In the peppermint woods at the bottom of the garden grows a lovely telima. Hopefully it will soon be joined by some field poppies.

A dark cloud appeared one day, giving the landscape an eerie atmosphere. The contorted hazel adds some mystery.

Some early poppies have appeared during the warm weather of late. A yellow Welsh poppy opens its first bloom.

An oriental poppy arising from its winter slumber.

A laughing pansy grew itself in the strawberry bed.

And violas in the rose and herb garden outside my kitchen window. They grow themselves there just for my pleasure. I let violas and pansies grow wherever they like, they are my favorite flower.

I'll be gone for 2 weeks, it's time to fix up my Mom's garden for the summer. I need a nice break, and will catch up on my needlework too. Below is a cross-stitch by me, called "Silvia Gardens"

Unfortunately, I won't be home to do Carol's Monthly bloomday for May. I'll take pics of my flowers as soon as I'm back though. And I'll have a chance to visit everyone's blog then too, sorry I haven't visited lately... See you!