Flower of the Day: Echinacea

Echinacea with drooping petals

This group of four echinacea flowers (purple coneflowers), silky in the sun, caught my attention.

While the pink petals are wriggling upwards, the flowers appear to be a different species. Opening gappy and straw-like (as seen in the smallest flower, centre left) the petals broaden, lengthen, deepen in colour and droop back under the expanding centre of the flower. 
Continue reading “Flower of the Day: Echinacea”

Spanish Bluebells with Japanese Azalea

Spanish bluebell with azalea

Some plants are so companionable, it’s rare to find one growing wild without the other. Daisies, clover, dandelions and buttercups would be one example from Lancashire; nettles and blackberries, another.

While azaleas and bluebells can flower together, it’s not considered a classic pairing. They remind me of a friend who, on learning that my sweetheart and I were a couple, observed that was “a cosmic joke on the universe.” Continue reading “Spanish Bluebells with Japanese Azalea”

The Last Days of Ebullient Ralph Sowell’s Daffodil Collection

Small flowered daffodils

My sweetheart was sorry to hear that his affable gardening friend Ralph Sowell of Jackson, Mississippi, had died and, because his printing company’s property was to be repurposed, his raised beds brimming with many dozens of award-winning daffodils and hybrid daylilies had to go.

It turned out that the garden needed to be emptied more quickly than expected, and unfortunately the daffodils were at the peak of bloom or just about to flower. Bulbs physically empty out when they produce flowers and need a few weeks of sunlight energy hitting the growing leaves to re-fatten for next season. The size and diversity of Ralph’s collection added an extra challenge. Continue reading “The Last Days of Ebullient Ralph Sowell’s Daffodil Collection”