While the yellow rose yesterday was the brightest thing in the garden, this hawkweed flower (along with its many fellows) was the brightest thing in the rough bit of ground next to the garden.
I’m always amazed by the number of blooms to be found this time of year, and most of them are weeds.
But what are weeds?
A well-known definition is ‘a plant in the wrong place’, but what exactly is the wrong place? Sometimes so-called weeds are exactly in the right place!
Beautiful wild flowers can be dismissed simply because they’ve got their feet under the table.
Sometimes it pays to look at them one at a time, just for what they are.
Our house has, quite literally, 360-degree views.
Sometimes I’m hard put to decide which prospect is best.
Clive’s favourite, a row of distant blue mountain peaks beyond the gulf of the olive grove, is actually my least favourite.
As I swim the length of the pool, I’m not sure which end holds more interest.
My point is this: we already had a lily, so why did I try to gild it?
We could have just had a lawn (doubtless not a very nice lawn in the hot summer) but somewhere to put deckchairs and for the dogs to play.
Why did I plant roses, lavender etc and why do I spend hours extracting thistles and bindweed?
Looking at the garden now, shining as it is after recent rain, I know why.
Poppies are one of the only ‘weeds’ which I positively encourage in the garden.
I was preparing to photograph a clump with the light on them when I realised that Taylor had obligingly provided a white background.
But after the rain it was red on red – shining rubies on delicate silk.
If the gurus of perfume manufacture haven’t used wallflowers yet, they ought to.
Wallflowers must have the sweetest, strongest, least cloying of all scents in the garden.
I suppose the connotations are unfortunate.
Imagine a new fragrance being marketed ‘scent of wallflower’. It would hardly be the most popular thing to buy for a party!
The flower isn’t shy and retiring in any of its habits, though, least of all the colours in its petals.
This part of the garden is my very favourite but it came together by accident.
I planted the wisteria half way up the steps in the picture imagining it would grow both upwards and downwards.
Naturally it only grew up, so to channel its ebullience when it reached the top, I made an arch for it to twine over.
The white balustrade, rather than a romantic feature, was conceived originally as a safety barrier round the roof of a water tank which should have been buried underground.
It all happened as if an artist had taken charge and was turning our mistakes to advantage.
But with the green hills and blue mountains beyond we couldn’t have gone very far wrong – everything we created made a frame for them.
The problem with the arrival of Spring is that you realise just how much there is to do in the garden and are forced to accept there’s no time to do it in.
The weeds seem to have had a good time this winter; there’s more greenery in the gravel of the courtyard than I’ve ever seen before.
There are clumps of couch grass in the flower beds that bring up more soil than I can lift.
Groundsel, of which there is masses this year, is easier to pull up.
However its seed heads, beautiful though they are, just mean more work further down the line!
I’ve been prowling around with my x 10 magnification lens again.
It’s extraordinary how much more detail the camera picks up than the naked eye, making it a process of discovery when downloading the photo.
I wonder if the lace pattern on the petals was made by the tiny black insect at the base of the bud.
I hadn’t seen it when I took the photo!
Wallflowers are one of my favourite flowers because of the lovely mass of colour they create.
Not the least important is their scent – possibly the strongest in the garden and absolutely heavenly.