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Posts Tagged ‘flowers’

Colourful anemones are popping up in Council flower beds all round town.

I love these flowers with their bright red and blue shades but have never had success growing them.  Luckily bunches are usually cheap to buy a little later in the year.

In the language of flowers anemones represent anticipation.  When they close their petals, it’s believed to be a sign that rain’s approaching.

“Once we have had a shower of rain
the petals open up again.”

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Floral Friday

This lone larkspur is out-of-season as are many flowers in my garden currently.  Today is supposedly the first day of winter, but some plants seem to have had winter and spring already.  I never planted larkspur, the original seeds apparently arrived with a load of horse manure kindly brought by a friend at least twenty years ago.

A Roman legend says that Neptune was enraged when men were chasing a dolphin and he turned the dolphin into a larkspur thus protecting it from capture.  In Europe, the plant was used in many protection spells such as hanging bunches of the flower in stables to prevent the animals from getting attacked by predators or from being stolen.

“This pretty flower is out of time
it has mistook the current clime.”

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Floral Friday

Camellia ‘Setsugekka’

These camellia flowers are especially welcome.  The shrub has significance because it was given to me two years ago as a leaving present from the Network of Volunteer Cantres Aotearoa.  It didn’t flower at all last year, but this year it’s got lots of buds and I hope it may still be flowering on Suffrage Day.  In 1893 New Zealand suffragists gave their supporters in Parliament white camellias to wear in their buttonholes, and it’s remained a tradition to wear this flower on Suffrage Day (19 September).

Camellia sinensis is used to make most green and black teas. The leaves and petals of the camellia plant are dried and are known for their high levels of caffeine.  Green tea is made by drying the camellia leaves and black tea is made from the same process, with an added fermentation stage.  Green tea in particular is known for its antioxidants which have many health benefits including lowering cholesterol, reducing heart disease, and boosting metabolism.  According to legend, tea was discovered when an early Chinese emperor ordered all the water in the land to be boiled before drinking to prevent disease.  Some dried camellia leaves fell in his cup and began to steep. He was so taken by the flavor that camellia tea was born.

“I hope this flower that blooms in May
will still be here on Suffrage Day.”

 

 

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Floral Friday

This is the first of next season’s sweet peas.  When the old plants die I scatter the seed pods in the earth, and this one has grown and flowered in anticipation of next summer.  It reminded me of the 1966 song by Tommy Roe.  I wonder who else remembers that?

“Its colour bright and lovely scent
make this a welcome new event.”

 

 

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Floral Friday

The first narcissus has flowered, very early.  Usually the snowdrops come first, but not this year.  The seasons are all mixed up these days.

“They miscontrue the time of year
it’s early for these to appear.”

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Yesterday was perfect weather for the Autumn Garden Show in the Botanic Gardens, and there were many interesting things to see.  I liked the nostalgia of Bill and Ben, the Flower Pot Men.  Didn’t see Little Weed.

Ben and Bill

Jenny Gillies’ floral creations were on show:

Fuschia and Poppy

Watering can and Iris

Many groups had displays, including the Christchurch Community Gardens’ Association

Christchurch Community Gardens’ Association

The Canterbury Horticultural Society had a stall where you could buy an attractive posy for just $5.  Next to them was this collection of teapots with teabag trees.

Teapots with teabag trees

“So much to see and all for free
some open air, some in marquee.”

 

 

 

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Floral Friday

The first cyclamen flower has emerged.  I love the way its petals unfurl.  This sign of spring is especially welcome as temperatures have been low this week.

In times past the cyclamen signified maternal love.  Perhaps that’s why potted versions are often on sale just before Mother’s Day.  I’ve read that the cyclamen, together with the columbine, was one of the flowers of choice for Leonardo Da Vinci at the beginning of the 16th century, and he covered the margins of his manuscripts with it.

In antiquity the cyclamen was recognised for its therapeutic virtues, due to the presence of cyclamine, a bitter substance with purgative powers.  Its root provides a basic remedy in homoeopathy for depression and feelings of guilt.  The roots which are enjoyed by pigs once earned the European cyclamen the nickname of ‘pig bread’ or ‘sow bread’.

The name cyclamen, which is identical in Latin and English, is transcribed from the Greek word kuklaminos, derived from kuklos, meaning “circle”.  It refers to the round and flattened shape of its tuber.  There may also be an allusion to the nicely curved shape that the flowers take.

“This flower unfolds all in a round
as it emerges from the ground.”

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