The third in my series of easily confused plants features some of the UK’s favourite spring wild flowers with a long heritage of lore.
While our native species of primula are well-loved, they are not as familiar and useful as they once were. Farmers are too busy to rub primroses on their cows’ udders on May Day to encourage milk. Most people who grow primroses near their doorway have forgotten the idea that they encourage faeries to bless the household. People no longer make tisty tosties from cowslip flower heads tied into balls, stems inwards, and hang them from sticks in their dozens to tell fortunes or wave in celebration. Few people have recently tasted cowslip wine. Cowslips are not common enough, and like all UK wild flowers, they are now protected.
But these wild flowers have such a dainty, delicate look, no matter how vigorously they grow, that they are rarely dismissed as weeds. Continue reading “Variations on a Theme: Primrose, Cowslip or Oxlip?”
I often walk by this sweet cottage garden and pause to take a picture. I don’t think it is ever prettier than in spring when the bluebells are out in force, mixed with daisy type flowers I’d say were osteospermums were they not so early, and classic wildflowers such as forget-me-nots. Continue reading “Bluebells of Different Colours in a Cottage Garden”
Over the last few months I’ve been paying attention to lichens. The trouble is, the more closely you look, the more questions arise.
After a while the boundary between stone and lichen seems to blur. Are some of these decorative patterns the stone itself, or are they all lichens? Continue reading “Lichens on Stone Walls in Darwen, Lancashire”
Let my first be a warning to expect rather a mixed bag as a hail and farewell to two challenges that have brightened and pinkened our April. Continue reading “Assorted Brights And Pinks”
The Missouri Botanical Garden (MOBOT) staged a 30-piece exhibition of fused glass sculptures by Craig Mitchell Smith a few years ago. I recently promised to share some pictures from the glasshouse, so here they are. Continue reading “Craig Mitchell Smith’s MOBOT Garden Of Glass Exhibition”