Name The Colour Of These Flowers

While visiting the flower shows this year, I was drawn to a colour thread represented by the flowers I’m showing here. I’d filed the pictures as Clarets thinking ‘Anyone for claret?’ would be a good post title, but reluctantly concluded that claret was stretching things too far…

Heads of small bright pink flowers with lighter centres

Achillea ‘New Vintage Violet’

though not quite so far as the liberties taken in naming this ‘New Vintage Violet’…

Hydrangea flower and foliage with a lime green fern

Hydrangea ‘Dark Angel Violet’

or this ‘Dark Angel Violet’. Plant names are a minefield at the best of times, even before you add colour into the mix.  Continue reading

Flowers or modified sepals – who knew?

Hydrangea flower

My blog (like many others) is mostly a collection of ‘Ooh, shiny!’ moments. That’s Andrea’s term for “diversions, distractions and delightful detours”. Things that make me pause to pay more attention that I photograph and share, hoping you’ll be willing to pause for them too.

Like these hydrangea flowers. I’m not talking about the pink bits we think of as petals that are, technically, modified sepals, but the tiny blue flowers I hadn’t really noticed until they were pointed out. While the modified sepals (a catchy term – I can’t think why it never caught on) are long lasting, the small flowers only open briefly. Even more of a reason for us to miss them.

Lacecap hydrangeas, such as the star striped beauty below, have a cluster of small flowers in the middle, with a few more in the centre of the florets that seem to float on their outer edges.

Hydrangea flower in a flower Continue reading

RHS Hampton Court’s Plant Marquee: Details

Viola perennis 'Elaine Quin'

Plant breeders are fascinated by details. Me too. At the recent RHS Hampton Court Flower Show, though time was tight, I spent a good hour checking out the displays and selling stands in the Plant Marquee. The ones that caught my eye did so because of the details. Did you notice that each flower of Viola ‘Elaine Quinn’ is a slightly different mix of violet and white with unique speckles and stripes?

Individually each is beautiful, together they give me pause: one minute I like the lighter ones best, the next the darkest ones. My eye alights on one flower then another like a human butterfly.  Continue reading