Favourite Flowers – And Why

Blue poppy
Blue poppy

Many of my favourites are cottage garden flowers, at their best when tumbled together. Some I like for their unusual colours, patterns or arrangement of petals…

Purple and white bearded iris
Bearded iris
Dianthus (pinks)
Dianthus (pinks)

others for particular characteristics, such as pinked edges or a bold, cheerful aspect.

Hardy geranium
Hardy geranium

Hardy geraniums are the garden plants I can least imagine being without. About now, many varieties are developing beautiful leaf tints. I initially found hard to believe that they will not grow in my sweetheart’s Mississippi garden, as they are so unfussy here, but sadly it’s true.

Bluebell wood, Darwen
Bluebell wood, Darwen

The plants that bring me most delight are bluebells and I’m fortunate that they are relatively common in my home town. At a distance, they look like a blue blur. Everything about bluebells fascinates me – their ungainly buds, their elegant shepherd’s crook necks, the backwards curl of their petals, their refined scent.

Wild orchid
Wild orchid

While I took this picture in a garden, we have patches of wild orchids growing in damp, grassy areas around the edge of the moors. This year I panicked because I thought they had all vanished, only to find I had been over-eager and was looking for them too early.

Forget-me-not
Forget-me-not

Forget-me-nots grow wild here too. Their biennial nature gives them a hide and seek quality, but at least I know not to be too surprised if I don’t see them in last year’s spot. I love their sky-blue petals, starry centres, yellow eyes and the hint of pink the buds often have. And, of course, the romance of their folk name.

Campanula
Campanula

Mum’s bearded collie, Moss, used to self medicate with campanulas if he felt off-colour, which makes them a form of forget-him-not for us all now.  How he knew to eat them is one of life’s mysteries. These are a similar kind to his, perfectly content in a large pot, and always prolific. Try as I might, I could not capture their colour (they are more blue) although I tried at various times in the day.

Green and purple hellebore
Green and purple hellebore

Hellebores are another plant I hate to be without, although I am without them as the three fancy doubles I bought to cheer myself up during lockdown all died. Mum has long had a magnificent purple one.

Red Amaryllis
Red Amaryllis

These red amaryllises in my sweetheart’s garden provide one of many consolations for lacking geraniums. I was amazed the first time I saw them growing so prolifically outdoors, having only ever seen them coaxed to grow indoors on windowsills in Lancashire.

Amaryllis at dusk
Amaryllis at dusk
Cherry blossom
Cherry blossom

Mum loves seeing cherry blossom in frothy pink clusters against a blue sky, so this picture is for her. She has taken me to photograph (and admire) her favourite tree-lined street at their peak of flowering several times.

White delphinium in a walled garden
White delphinium

All kind of cliches offer themselves when I think of describing delphiniums – towering spires, quintessential, stately, aristocratic, regal… take your pick. When grown well, they are certainly one of my favourite flowers.

Purple delphinium
Purple delphinium
Rosa 'Peggy Martin' flowering on a balcony in Jackson MS
Rosa ‘Peggy Martin’ flowering on a balcony

Regular readers will know of my love of roses. I’m ending with a small selection. The first is only missing a young Juliet to be perfect.

Rosette-shaped rose
Rosette-shaped rose
Rosa banksiae lutea (Lady Banks' rose)
Rosa banksiae lutea (Lady Banks’ rose)

This Lady Banks’ rose has a literary connection as it is growing in Eudora Welty’s garden in Jackson, MS. Her cottage-style garden is still beautifully maintained and has a long season of interest.

Rosa glauca in a flower border
Rosa glauca

Rosa glauca is grown as much for its chocolatey foliage and hips as for its single flowers. Its airy habit makes it very popular with garden designers who feature it in mixed borders. This is in the huge walled garden at RHS Bridgewater in Salford.

Rosa Grace in a rose border

An early picture of mine, taken at David Austin Roses in Albrighton, shows The Lion Garden at its peak of flower with Rosa ‘Grace’ in the foreground. Mr A‘s house can just be glimpsed in the background.

Rosa 'Olivia Rose Austin'
Rosa ‘Olivia Rose Austin’

You know I could go on, but I think I’ve been self-indulgent enough.

Shared for the Lens-Artists Challenge: Favourite Flowers. I recommend flower lovers set aside a few minutes to follow the link and check out some of the other posts – there are lots of beauties around. 

67 Replies to “Favourite Flowers – And Why”

  1. As I moved through your post I kept nodding my head, yes, yes, yes, so many beauties it is no wonder we all found it difficult to choose. I love the slightly mauve shades found in that blue poppy and the balcony teeming with roses and I could go on. But I won’t, just thank you for all this beauty and your very wonderful talent at capturing it.

    1. Although I don’t have one favourite flower to grow or for enjoying, I do have a favourite for photographing and that’s roses. They make such great models.

  2. It would be impossible for me to pick a favourite among your wonderful selection, but I’m particularly intrigued by your blue poppies. Until seeing your photo and reading the name, I wasn’t even aware poppies existed in this colour. They are gorgeous.

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