Monday, 29 December 2014

December Birth Flower - Poinsettia

Poinsettia © Louise Jolley

Poinsettia © Louise Jolley
In the last of my series of  Birth Flower photography, is the birth flower for December the Poinsettia. This plant is synonymous with a gift given at Christmas and signifies good cheer and success.

The cheery red flowers, give a wonderful warm glow in the gloomy mid winter light and this specimen is English grown, which makes it all the more special.

I hope you have enjoyed my birth flower project this year and if you haven't seen any of the other plants photographs, here is reminder in month order.

Birth Flowers - January - April © Louise Jolley
             January - April

Birth Flowers - May - August © Louise Jolley
May - August

Birth Flowers - September - December © Louise Jolley
September - December

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Birth Flower November - Chrysanthemum

Green Chrysanthemum © Louise Jolley Photography
Green Chrysanthemum

Yellow and Orange Chrysanthemum © Louise Jolley Photography
Orange and Yellow Chrysanthemum

Yellow Chrysanthemum © Louise Jolley Photography
Yellow Chrysanthemum

Yellow Chrysanthemum © Louise Jolley Photography
Yellow Chrysanthemum

When you look at the Chrysanthemum close up, you see the beauty in something which is often thought of as a boring garage forecourt flower.

Chrysanthemums have the most beautiful markings and have such vibrant colours, that the birth flower for November should be welcomed with open arms and not shunned to the back of the cheap and nasty pile.

It represents cheerfulness abundance and love and the ancient art of Feng Shui say that Chrysanthemums brings happiness and laughter into the house.

From a flower that is not only beautiful but represents all these wonderful attributes, I can't think of a better flower to bring love and light into the house at this time of the year.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Birth Flower For October - Marigold

Marigold © Louise Jolley Photography
 Pot Marigold or Calendula

Marigold © Louise Jolley Photography
Pot Marigold or Calendula

Marigold © Louise Jolley Photography
Pot Marigold or Calendula
Although summer is well and truly over, with this warm weather, many of the flowers of summer are still in bloom. The Pot Marigold or Calendula is one of those still gracing our gardens, which is just as well, as this is the birth flower for October.

With its wonderful rich orange or there is a yellow version, this flower has wonderful healing properties for the skin and is used by the Hindus in their ceremonies, which take place this time of year.

The flower represents warmth, elegance and devotion and looks fabulous in the low autumn sunlight.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Birth Flower For September - Aster

Lilac Aster © Louise Jolley Photography
Lilac Aster

Aster Seedhead ©Louise Jolley Photography
Aster Seed Heads

The birth flower of September, the Aster, represent to me the changing of the season and the bringer of Autumn.
The meaning of the flower is love, passion, wisdom and magic. With the name coming from the Greek word for star, when the flowers are over and the seed heads are left, you can see how they got their name.
I think they look even more beautiful, twinkling in the morning sunlight as seed heads.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Birth Flower For August - Gladioli

White Gladioli
White Gladioli

Cerise and Red Gladioli Flowers
Cerise and Red Gladioli Flowers

Say the word Gladioli and images of Dame Edna and Morrissey spring to mind, plus words like brash and masculine, describe Gladioli to me, until I gave them a closer look, when photographing them for my birth flower series.

Gladioli represent strength of character, moral integrity and sincerity and since my birthday is in August, it's the birth flower for me.

When I was looking for Gladioli to photograph, they always seemed to be planted singly, rather than in a group, which makes them look a bit standoffish and haughty and I therefore found it difficult to find the right composition, apart from a beautiful white one with a splash of raspberry in its throat. It reminded me of raspberry ripple ice-cream.

I remedied this by buying a couple of bunches from the supermarket. A gorgeous clash or red and cerise.
I think on reflection, I judged Gladioli far to harshly, rather than taking the time to get to know them.

Whether you like the bold colours or the soft hues, I think the key is to plant them in a group, something we gardeners don't always get right, when planting bulbs.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Birth Flower for July - Delphinium (Larkspur)

© Louise Jolley Photography

© Louise Jolley Photography

This month the flower in the spotlight for birth flower of the month, is the Delphinium or Larkspur as it is also known as in the US.

The Delphinium represents levity and lightness, feelings of love and an open heart.

Delphiniums, despite their stature, are quite delicate in nature. Their perfume is subtle and their blooms can be easily marked by the lightest touch of rain.

I think plant breeders love them, as this one with its iridescent flashes of purple on the blue is quite striking but looks quite unnatural.

Apart from my love of them, they are also adored by slugs and snails and need to be protected from them, from the minute they appear in the soil in spring right through until they finish flowering.

After visiting this beauty in a garden this year, I have been inspired to buy a couple from the garden centre. I shall have to be on my guard though next spring, if I want to see them in all their glory next year but it's definitely a plant worth the trouble and slug pellets.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Upton Country Park Walled Garden

Since a child, I have been enthralled by walled gardens. I loved the paintings in the Ladybird book Rapunzel, of the fabulous rows of flowers and vegetables in the forbidden garden and I loved the children's programme The Herbs and all the goings on behind the gate.

Upton Country Park, a 100 acre award winning woodland and garden, is not 10 minutes from where I live in Poole and has the most wonderful walled garden. Restored in 2012, it originally provided fruit and vegetables for the house, an impressive Georgian grade II listed building.

Around two sides of the parameter, are two avenues of herbaceous borders and inside the sides are lined with more herbaceous borders and a tea room.

I've yet to see the fountain in the middle in use but it looks fantastic fun for the children to run through.

Early this morning, not long after it had opened, I had the joy of walking in solitude and to photograph the plants - a simple pleasure, although I could hear the faint sound of school children visiting the woodland in the distance, they gave me long enough on my own, to get up close and personal with the plants and to enjoy and photograph their beauty before the moment was gone.

© Louise Jolley Photography

© Louise Jolley Photography

© Louise Jolley Photography

© Louise Jolley Photography

© Louise Jolley Photography

© Louise Jolley Photography

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