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

Monday, 30 June 2014

Birth Flower For June - Rose

© Louise Jolley Photography
Pink Rose
© Louise Jolley Photography
Lemon Rose
© Louise Jolley Photography
Soft Pink Rose
© Louise Jolley Photography
Vintage Roses
© Louise Jolley Photography
Pink Rose
© Louise Jolley Photography
Salmon Pink Rose
Just snuck in on the last day of June, as this month it is the turn of the Rose as the birth flower.

As you can tell by the amount of photographs, roses are one of my favour flowers. Full of nostalgia for long summers days past, when as a child I would collect the petals and put them in water, thinking I could make perfume.

The rose symbolises love and affection. Red roses mean love, passion, beauty and perfection and white roses mean innocence, purity and remembrance.

I love pink roses, which have to be scented. I can't understand the purpose of a rose without scent though.
It's impossible to walk by a rose without first having a sniff and it's so disappointing when there is no scent, however beautiful the bloom.

Over the next few weeks, is the best time for the beautiful, graceful rose. Keep dead heading them, to keep them going as long as possible and enjoy them whilst they're here.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Birth Flower For May - Lily of the valley

Lily of the valley

With a very wet spring, Lily of the valley have been in very short supply, so I had started to wonder if my project of photographing the birth flowers, would come to an abrupt end.

Luckily, whist out on a job, my client had some in her garden.

The Lily of the valley signifies humility, chastity and sweetness. In Victorian times, a gift of Lily of the valley counted as a romantic message and it also signifies a return of happiness.

This delicate, sweetly scented flower, was indeed rare this year but that made it all the more special once found.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Birth Flower For April - Sweet Pea

© Louise Jolley All Rights Asserted
Sweet Peas in a vase
© Louise Jolley All Rights Asserted
Sweet Pea

I'm not quite sure why Sweet Peas were chosen to represent April as a birth flower, as it's going to be a couple of months before they are flowering but there is no mistaking why they were chosen, for their beauty and fragrance.

The Sweet Pea represents pleasure or goodbye and the Victorians used them in their bouquets, to show their gratefulness.

My summer garden wouldn't be complete without Sweet Peas, for me the most quintessential summer flower.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Birth Flower for March - The Daffodil

© Louise Jolley All Right Asserted

© Louise Jolley All Rights Asserted
Nothing says spring is here, like the humble daffodil. After a mild but very wet winter we've had, it's the shot in the arm we all need to rescue us from the dark nights and into the light evenings, now the clocks have moved forward.

Daffodils being the birth flower for March, signifies modesty and simplicity and those two words pretty much sum up the daffodil. There are always lots of new cultivars but I'm a bit of a purist, I don't like my daffodils tampered with and love the yellow ones the best.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Birth Flower For February - Violet

© Louise Jolley Photography All Rights Asserted

© Louise Jolley Photography All Rights Asserted
Violet Bud

As February draws to a close, I had started to get into a lather about not photographing the birth flower for this month, the beautiful if understated violet.

I've just ventured out to the bottom of the garden, between showers and I spotted a little clump growing amongst the scrubby grass.

The violet symbolises faithfulness, wisdom and hope.
A beautiful flower which truly heralds the coming of spring.

Friday, 17 January 2014

The Birth Flower For January - Carnation

© Louise Jolley Photography

© Louise Jolley Photography

© Louise Jolley Photography
One of my many photography projects for this year, is to photograph the birth flowers. I have photographed some of them already and have the images in my archive but I don't have images for them all, so it's with great excitement that I wait for some of them to either be in flower in the garden, or wait until they are in the florists.

The flower for January is the carnation. A carnation signifies, love, pride, beauty, distinction, fascination and loyalty.

I hope you agree, they are a gorgeous splash of colour in the otherwise gloomy light we have been living in, of late.


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