How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!
Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside–
Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown–
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!
Robert Louis Stevenson
This time of year, Dahlias really come into their own. Here are a selection from my neighbours garden. Jim is in his late eighties, but spends all day in his garden growing vegetables mainly, but also has a bit of a penchant for dahlias.
Pom Pom Dahlia
Some facts about dahlias :
- Dahlias were originally grown as a food crop, as they apparently have edible tubers.
- They are native to Mexico, but now grown all over the world.
- There’s no such thing as a black dahlia. They come in just about every shade under the sun, except true blue and black. “Black” dahlias are actually burgundy. You can see from my picture
- Best time to plant tubers is May.
- There are 42 species and about 20,000 cultivars of dahlia.
- In the mid 19th century a London newspaper offered £1 to the first breeder to produce a blue dahlia. The reward has never been claimed and breeders are still striving for the elusive blue colour. There have been several near blue cultivars.
With the Weekly Photo Challenge of “edge”, I was immediately drawn back to the great Terry Prachett..
The disc, being flat, has no real horizon. Any adventurous sailor who got funny ideas from staring at eggs and oranges for too long and set out for the antipodes soon learned that the reason why distant ships sometimes looked as though they were disappearing over the edge of the world was that they were disappearing over the edge of the world.
This photo, which was taken in Prague, to me just looks like penguins disappearing over the edge of the world in an orderly fashion.
I love this week’s Photo Challenge – asking us to look at things differently within a frame.
This little window was actually in a bridge over the river in Bath, just spotted the flash of colour of the red geraniums
Although its technically not rare to see a white peacock. It was certainly the first time that I have seen one. Taken in Prague, Czechoslovakia.
The post is in response to the weekly photo challenge
Over at Ceen Photography – the topic for the black & white challenge is “close up”. Hope that this up close and personal view of my old Kodak camera fits the bill!.
Check out Cee’s photographs and lots of great entries to the challenge here
Snowdrops are known as the harbingers of Spring. This year is seems to be a long time coming!
So here are some things you may not know about these welcome little flowers
- Snowdrop Day is celebrated on March 1st in Russia
- If a girl eats the first snowdrop she finds in the spring, she will not get tanned in the summer. From – “Encyclopedia of Superstitions, Folklore, and the Occult Sciences of the World.” 1903
- Snowdrops are often represented as shy flowers, afraid to raise their heads because of some misdemeanour or other. The real reason for their drooping flower heads is that their dusty pollen must be kept dry and sweet in order to attract the few insects flying in winter. No mean feat in the February winds, snows and rains.
- ‘Snowdrop’ in its modern form comes from the latin ‘Galanthus nivalis’, clearly classified by Carl Linnaeus, the remarkable Swedish botanist, in his pioneering work ‘Species Plantarum’ 1753. Galanthus translates as having ‘milk-white’ flowers and Nivalis as ‘snowy’.
- These perfect little blooms are not wild British natives. It’s thought that the bulbs were first brought to Britain in the 15th century by Italian monks, who introduced the bulbs into the gardens of monasteries.
- In the United States, the snowdrop shares its symbolism with the carnation, as they are both the birth flower for the month of January.
- Medicinal: Galanthamine, an alkaloid found in the snowdrop flower, is currently approved for the treatment of Alzheimer’s in several countries. It may be effective in treating diseases of the nervous system and is being studied for its effectiveness in treating HIV.
- Snowdrop collectors or Galanthophiles can spend hundreds of pounds on some rare bulbs, and seed company Thompson and Morgan broke records in 2012 by paying £725 for a single specimen.
- When Bishop and Grimshaw published their snowdrop monograph in 2002 it included 500 varieties. In 2012 the reprint estimated they include up to 1,500 new cultivars.
- Snowdrops are a pest-free plant. Rabbits and deer won’t eat them and most mice and other rodents will leave them alone.