Hibiscus mutabilis (Cotton Rosemallow)

Pink flower and buds of Hibiscus mutabilis

Hibiscus mutabilis is a very striking mallow that produces huge flowers, similar in form to a double rose or peony. As ‘mutabilis’ (changeable) suggests, the flowers mature from white through pink to red, displaying flowers of all three colours on the same shrub. Well, that’s what Wikipedia says.

We found this plant growing in a cemetery in South Mississippi. In stature, it was as magnificent as its flowers: considerably taller than me, and nearly as wide as it was tall. It seemed to be fending for itself in the full sun with no ill effects other than slightly droopy leaves.

Call me a nitpicker, but this is a ‘plain’ pink double form. It’s the same colour in the bud as in the open flower, as shown here – just one shade of pink. An immutable mutabilis, we might say. Continue reading “Hibiscus mutabilis (Cotton Rosemallow)”

Sarasota Sunset With Silhouettes

Sunset view of Sarasota Bay

Darwen is not known for its sunsets. Now the evenings are drawing in, I get excited to watch grey or lavender clouds pass over a paler blue-grey, pink-grey or silver-grey sky. The effect can be dramatic, often in a glowering, it’s surely going to chuck it down before you get home kind of way.

And on a clear day, it is possible to see the Irish Sea thirty miles or so away, but not from the town. We have to be at the top of the Jubilee Tower, or to have made our way up the cobbles of Donkey Brew and out on to a track through farmland towards Roddlesworth. From the crest of that hill we can glimpse the sun silvering the sea away in the distance. Continue reading “Sarasota Sunset With Silhouettes”

Handpainted Metal Chair

Distressed textures | Painted outdoor chair and firewood

Lichen-encrusted kindling tones perfectly with the colour scheme of this Mississippi-style porch chair. To me, its bright, cheerful design looks just as good with the extra textures heaped on by weather’s rust and flaking.

Its owner hurried to brush away the wood when he learned I wanted to take its picture, but I thought it was perfect as it was. Continue reading “Handpainted Metal Chair”