Random Ramblings

Random Ramblings: Personal observations on a wide variety of subjects. Photographs of creatures and things that are taken on seeing the unusual as well as everyday things.

Wonderful weather - merry May

Golden poppy
Golden poppies come in a variety of shades from pale yellow to deep orange. I first obtained the poppy seeds for these plants whilst on holiday in Scotland. There were so many growing wild on the roadside verges and around the various lochs that I thought I would pick one seed head to take back with me. The seed head was green and nowhere near ready to release the small package of seeds it contained. Several months later it eventually broke open and tiny brown-black seeds poured out. I sprinkled them in the borders but only had a small hope that they would grow. They did, however, and after two to three years I found that I there were not just yellow flowers but clumps of gold, pale orange and a deeper orange. Whenever I look at them - I think of Loch Ness ..... did I see the beast? Well to be honest it's a very large still loch and when you look across - shielding your eyes and squinting at each lick of the water it would be difficult to say whether what you were seeing was a 'monster,' a seal, a drifting log ..... who can say. I did see something - but on such a stretch of water that is not difficult. :)
Garden Bluebell
I was given my bluebell bulbs many years ago and they are now very well established and smell as sweetly as hyacinth. I was recently saddened to learn that many people are planting similar bulbs - usually called Spanish bluebells in gardens near to natural bluebell woods. The English bluebell, a protected species, has less flower bells on a rather fragile stem that has a gentle stoop. Although it is called a bluebell the colours very often are much deeper with a slight violet tinge. In cases where the Spanish bluebell has been planted in close proximity to the English bluebell a hybrid version takes over and the original plants have begun to die off. (Bluebells develop seeds where each bell has flowered on the stem. The seeds swell up and fall to the ground during the summer where some of the seeds will set and grow into new plants. If you have bluebells in the garden either wait until the seeds are ready to fall before placing them in new areas of the border or alternatively split the bunches of bulbs in late Autumn.)
Ramsons or Wild Garlic
I don't know why but I have a soft spot for wild garlic and have a few small patches in my flowerbeds. It is a useful little plant - years ago it was used extensively for flavouring in place of onion or garlic - though it is very mild. The plant belongs to the lily family and in the North of England many people call this plant 'stinking lily' because of the pungeant smell it produces if accidentally trodden on when it overhangs canal banks and country walks
Wild Primrose
now is a protected species
We are in the midst of a mini heatwave this May. The spring flowers are at their best ... but in a couple of days with the heat they will begin to lose their flowers.

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