Posts Tagged ‘flowers’

Red Red Rose

Dublin Bay Rose

The first rose is fully out – summer must be on its way.  This Dublin Bay climber was the first rose we planted when we moved in thirty years ago.  It peeks through the front fence and gives pleasure to passers by.

Dublin Bay is one of three roses named after the bays of Ireland by Sam McGredy and is the most well known around the world.  It has been rated as the No 1 climber by members of the New Zealand Rose Society since 1987 and shows no signs of being replaced.  Usually, it has double the number of votes of the next best rose.  I wonder how many of my readers have Dublin Bay in their gardens?

“It seems this rose is just the best
more popular than all the rest.”


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Spring Surprise

Our bay or laurel tree was planted in October 2011.  It has special significance because Stephen’s original heart valve was buried beneath it.  It provides plenty of bay leaves for cooking, and this year, for the very first time, it has flowers.  Apparently these will later turn into black berries which can be dried and used as ‘robust’ spices.  They contain up to 30% fatty oils and about 1% essential oils.

Bay/Laurel flowers

In the classical legend Daphne was saved from rape by Apollo by being transformed into a laurel tree in the nick of time.   Laurel, which is a narcotic and stimulant, was the plant of prophecy chewed by the oracle at Delphi.  It’s a symbol of wisdom, both acquired and intuitive.  Laurel crowns were given to the best poets who were then called ‘laureate’.  Baccalaureate is from the Latin for laurel berries, which were given to Greek students of the classical period.  Placing bay leaves beneath pillows has been thought to bring prophetic dreams.

“This is the first time that our laurel
has shown to us a part that’s floral.”



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Various Violets

Every spring we seem to have more and more violets in the garden.  There are white ones

and pink ones

and purple ones

There is a story about Napoleon Bonaparte and the violet.  While in exile on the island of Elba, he supposedly confided to his friends that he would return to France with the appearance of the violets in the spring.  (Such flowers may have had a special significance for the deposed Emperor, as he had once used them as an amorous emblem of his love for Josephine.)  His partisans rallied around the symbol of his triumphant return and secretly referred to him as Corporal Violet.  To determine a loyal supporter, the question was asked of a stranger:  “Do you like violets?”  If the reply to the query was “Oui” or “Non”, it revealed one who did not know of the plot.  If the answer was “Eh bien”, the loyalty of the person to Napoleon was confirmed.

“With violets blooming everywhere
perhaps he may just re-appear.”


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Peek-a-boo Petals

I’ve encouraged my Naked Ladies/Amaryllis to peep through the fence so passers-by can enjoy their beauty.

There are some inside the fence as well, which we can see from our bedroom window.

“There’s absolutely nothing shady
about this bright pink snazzy lady.”

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Walking south on Colombo Street I spied this pretty mural with nasturtiums.  The name on it is Filigree, which is a jewellery maufacturer at 447 Colombo Street.

“The sign to advertise their shop
was bound to make this writer stop.”



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My oriental lilies have several large flowers, but so far, almost no scent.  In previous years their scent has been strong, and very noticeable as you walk by.  Their stamens are definitely intact, so what can have stifled their scent?  I planted them in 1998, does their scent diminish with age?  Someone suggested to me it might be because they lack water.  They’ve not had a great deal, but it would be as much as in previous years.

“My lilies all have lost their scent
and I wonder just where it went?”

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Busy Bees

Bees are enjoying our flowers on these warm sunny days.

Bee on poppy

Bee on poppy


Bee on Marjoram

Bee on Marjoram


Bee on hollyhock

Bee on hollyhock

Sadly the bees we adopted didn’t survive their first winter, but there are obviously hives in the area and lots of bees foraging in our garden.  I appreciate that they provide a pollination service.

“The flowers’ bright colours and perfume
make bees fly round from bloom to bloom.”

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