Sheeny Petals

Close up of a double apricot rose with sheeny petals
Rose

I loved these petals with their soft, complimentary colours and mix of light and shade. I took the picture at Farmer’s Branch, Texas a couple of years ago and know that someone is going to ask me which rose it is, which gives me a problem. The form reminds me of Rosa ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’, and the colour of Rosa ‘Jubilee Celebration’, but I believe it’s Rosa ‘Lady Of Shalott’, which was looking so good during our visit that I later persuaded my sweetheart to plant one in his garden. Continue reading “Sheeny Petals”

Woolly Cobweb Houseleek: Sempervivum arachnoideum ‘Clärchen’

Sempervivum arachnoideum 'Clärchen' has pink flowers and cobweb rosettes

You don’t need me to tell you how the cobweb houseleek (hen-and-chicks, or in botanical terms, Sempervivum arachnoideum subsp. tomentosum) got its folk name. Those with a fear or spiders or a compulsion to dust might find this plant unsettling. If it looks on the creepy side, try to imagine the leaves are playing cat’s cradle.

Delicate webbing covers each chick from infancy, stretching out as the evergreen rosette swells to maturity. Continue reading “Woolly Cobweb Houseleek: Sempervivum arachnoideum ‘Clärchen’”

Pulsatilla vulgaris: an Easter Treat

Purple flowers with yellow stamens
Pulsatilla vulgaris (Pasqueflower) has furry, feathery foliage that catches the light

This garden plant stopped me in my tracks on my walk to the local park. Purple, silken flowers were lit up by a golden boss of stamens; the foliage throwing a silvery mist into the mix.

I’ve never seen pulsatilla growing wild in the UK, and perhaps I never will. This increasingly rare wildflower must be a magical sight. The young, emerging foliage is covered in long hairs creating a halo effect around the buds. Continue reading “Pulsatilla vulgaris: an Easter Treat”