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 “Flowers or modified sepals – who knew?”

Pink Rose Gallery

Rosa 'Anne Boleyn'

Everyone was so reassuring about my unseasonal blue poppy / TARDIS post that I’m sharing a few more pictures from earlier this summer – this time of roses. Portraits of roses are still one of my favourite subjects for photography, so I’m a little spoilt for choice (I’m not sure how widely that idiom is known outside the UK – basically it means I had quite a few pictures to choose from). I couldn’t say why I’ve decided on pink(ish) ones: perhaps because if you’re being unseasonal, you might as well be really unseasonable. Red would be much more Christmassy.

Long-time readers may remember I have a theory that some varieties of roses are more photogenic than others. I like the way that each bloom has a different pattern or arrangement of petals. Fresh roses have a purity that I love and a particular type of luminosity. I even find the slightly more battered ones appealing these days, like this little cluster.  Continue reading “Pink Rose Gallery”

Clematis florida Viennetta

Clematis florida Viennetta

This clematis was a head-turner of a plant. I felt like one of the paparazzi as I lined up with jostling amateur and professional photographers at a recent flower show for my chance to take its picture.

The attraction? Masses of white flowers with showy, fully double centres in shades of purple and green hanging gracefully from a compact vine. I captured these blooms open, in their best finery, but if you search online, you’ll discover a rather strange assortment of pictures. They’re testimony to the way the flower changes as it opens from a gawky youngster to something much more regal.  Continue reading “Clematis florida Viennetta”

Wild violets

White violets

Perspective and a macro setting turns these small violets into giants, compared to the tiny chickweed flowers at their feet. I find it really hard to see violets as lawn weeds, even the more common purple ones. For me any patch of grass, natural or cultivated, is made more beautiful by wild violets.

I’m not usually quite so charitable about chickweed, though I can appreciate its delicate beauty in this setting. I know that’s unfair – after all:

A weed is any plant having to deal with an unhappy human.

J C Raulston