Smell the flowers

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Poppy time is my favourite time of the summer. First the buds swell, then split. Papery petals unfurl and stretch. Like butterfly wings emerging from its chrysalis.

Poppies are my favourite flowers, to see their cheery heads waving in the breeze in a cornfield, or along the grass verges of motorways. Their lovely flowers help feed the bees, and their pepper pot seed heads spread thousands of seeds everywhere. I love breaking the dried seed heads off and scattering the tiny grains of seed all around the garden. They don’t always grow where they are sown, but like disturbed ground and can lie dormant in the soil, which is why they can appear on building sites and why they bloomed in Flanders fields.

Poignant reminded of war. Pretty flower, or even narcotic. Poppies have power.

Thistle do?

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Thistle, old flower,

Magenta and green,

Sharp and green,

Sparkling with spikes,

Shunning the soft,

Not needing likes,

But waiting to shed

Your seeds all around,

Soft thistledown

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Work in progress on a painting of a thistle against old brickwork. It’s good how life can spring from cracks in the pavement or up from old guttering. The world tries to take over for our concrete and brick….

Thistles do remind me of punk and spikey hairdos!

Roses

Roses are red

Violets are blue,

This doesn’t rhyme

I dont know why!

Roses have such an important role in life, they are a symbol of love, lijd red roses for valentines day. They can be sent to patients in hospital, and are a beautiful addition to a garden. Roses are used as an image on greetings cards and can also be found as part of traditional canal art.

People always seem to want to retire to a cottage where roses grow around the door. I tend to think you might get spiked on the thorns if you are not careful.

Roses are red, but they can also be in many other colours, from palest white to almost black. Some roses have sweet scent, others are without perfume. Some flower continuously through spring, summer and into autumn while others bloom only once a year.

I am interested in trying to paint or draw them, their convoluted petals are a real challenge. How they intertwine, whether they are simple flowers like the dog rose, or more complex like hybrid tea roses.

The plants can be used formally, for instance in a rose garden with box hedges , or scrambling or climbing up trellises and trees. They will grow up a pergola and give scented shade in the summer. They can also be used as ground cover.

Don’t ask me about pruning, black spot, aphid attack or other problems because I don’t know….