The Latin name of Eranthis has its roots in Greek and combines spring and flower, a very nice and welcome combination. The common name: winter aconite, is slightly malicious as it refers to the poisonous sap of a summer blooming plant called Aconitum napellus, whose usually blue flowers resemble majestic inflorescences of larkspur. But in no way do they have the look of bright yellow Eranthis, whose buds appear unimaginably early like... February. Yes, they are poisonous, but nobody wants to eat them. Flying insects are probably of a different opinion for the flowers secrete sweet nectar and offer some tasty pollen, so the winged creatures must be very happy to find a place to eat after long winter months of starvation. As we enjoy observing their busy lunchtime we can also satisfy our eyes with golden yellow flowers, the forerunners of far more busy moments to come.
All begonias are unsurpassed, but this one is The Unsurpassed. Tuberous begonia- as the name suggests- grows from tubers whose appearance does not indicate nothing near the overwhelming beauty of the flowers they bring into the world. Being a fortunate result of multiple hybridisations this unusual plant has produced so many and so different cultivars that leafing through a catalogue - where they are portrayed- can cause uncontrollable but fruitful dizziness. Inspired by that aesthetically shocking experience, we should not wait any moment longer and order a lot of magic tubers. Time flies and quite soon they will have to be planted into pots to trigger the sleeping forces hidden inside.
Do not go to the garden of flowers!
O Friend! go not there;
In your body is the garden of flowers.
Take your seat on the thousand petals of the lotus, and there
gaze on the Infinite Beauty.
The shortest days in the year have come- at least in the Northern Hemisphere- bringing along a lot of bleak and gloomy moments. Unfortunately, the so called "moments" seem to last far too long, which is sheer torture leading to physical and emotional deprivation. We all need extra energy to endure the dark, merciless hibernation and finally survive. Hoping for lighter and longer days, how about a sip of healthy infusion of red petals and fruit? Why red? You will know the moment you have finish watching the slideshow below. Just give it a go...
A yellow flower
(Light and spirit)
Sings by itself
A golden spirit
(Light and emptiness)
Sings without a word
Let no one touch this gentle sun
In whose dark eye
Someone is awake.
(No light, no gold, no name, no colour
And no thought:
O, wide awake!)
A golden heaven
Sings by itself
A song for nobody.
A helpless question. First frost bites are merciless and do not leave room for any hope. When you see your beloved dahlias without life, anger is usually the instant reaction although we were prepared for such an unsightly sight. Suddenly, the perspective of long dreary winter months becomes almost tangible. On the other hand, the idea of perpetual repetition of life-cycles seems incredible, hence childish indignation. But poor dahlias can help here. Their tuberous roots need to be dug up and this very physical activity forces us to concentrate on more down -to -earth thoughts and actions. I am positive that not only dahlias can give us a helping hand and save a lot of energy we might squander on depressing divagations like...the idea of passing. I know, I know, it is all unavoidable. OK, I understand, but before I accept it, I want to deceive myself and enjoy the last happy moments when the world looked definitely more colourful, however vulnerable. Just before the unwelcome thrusts of inevitable and ruthlessly cold nights. Why not accompany me?
And both treacherous! Can't be? The truth is merciless: colchicums are very poisonous being really beautiful. The combination does not seem to be uncommon, though. Fortunately, we do not have to eat the colchicum tubers nor colchicum leaves. And the sight of rosy-lavender colchicum flowers is not venomous but only a little addictive. You can not stop admiring them.
Colchicums are surprise plants. Not because of the chemical content of their tubers but because of the sudden way the appear in the garden, literally out of nowhere. It is a good idea to have a lot of "nowhere" locations in the garden so that we can enjoy one of the last autumn flowers before long and dark winter months.
Even rational individuals can go crazy about plants. Well, even empresses could behave in a way we might find a little odd or very odd. That was the case of Empress Josephine and her flower garden at Malmaison where she kept her collection of dahlias. She was totally head over heels in love with her beloved plants. Unfortunately, it was a poor case of blind love. She was so jealous of her plants that she had not let anyone look after them (which was very wise on the other hand, because taking care of any plant in the garden is a very healthy physical activity). But the reason was different, Josephine did not want anyone to possess any of the precious tubers whose price was comparable to the price of diamonds. Of course, some of the tubers "leaked out" and Josephine having learned that had the whole collection destroyed. Today it would meant a lot of work as there are more than 20 thousand cultivars of this Mexican beauty and the number is growing.
I was destined to be born gardener. In order to become a professional one I had to enjoy years of studying at various schools and universities... read more