Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Plants and herbs

Monday Poetry : Wildflowers by – Deb Jones

Wildflowers
By Deb Jones

Wildflowers
Every year I get a gallon
Of wildflowers seeds
Just imagine!

February is when I toss them
Into the wind
In an ever widening circle

Irish wild flowers
Sheeps bit
Slate quarry’s
County Kilkenny

The moisture laden breezes
carry them over 10 acres.

And the field I leave the most seeds in
is actually a pasture.

Violets, yellows, whites and blues
They come in such beautiful coloured hues

A field of wildflowers grow
And I let them grow unknown
Until they bloom no more

A pleasure to look at
A treat to sit in the middle of

Sometimes we need color in our lives
For no other reason
Than “Why not?”


Sheeps bit – Wild flowers at the old slate quarry

Irish wild flowers
Sheeps bit
Slate quarry’s
County Kilkenny

Sheeps bit – Wild flowers

The Slate Quarry at (Ahenny, Windgap, Co. Kilkenny) is one of our best local locations for wild life and wild flowers – at this time of year. There are three or four old open quarry pits most of which now form small lakes, along with many heaps of slate that remained in place after all the good slate in the area had been removed. In the summer the lakes are used for swimming in.

I often visit and today I captured these blue sheep’s bit flowers at lunch time and they cover most of the tops of the old slate heaps. Natural blue wild flowers are one of natures rarest finds so it was a true pleasure to see such a large amount growing in one place.

Here are some details about these very special little plants ….

Sheep’s-bit

Scientific Name: Jasione montana
Irish Name: Duán na gcaorach
Family Group: Campanulaceae

Also known as Sheep’s-bit Scabious, the books say this is a rather variable plant and can easily be mistaken for a composite or a scabious, but theAlso known as Sheep’s-bit Scabious, the books say this is a rather variable plant and can easily be mistaken for a composite or a scabious, but the florets have a 5-toothed calyx and not a pappus. Also the anthers in this plant do not project – unlike those of Devil’s Bit Scabious. I hope this helps. It is a pretty little downy biennial which grows in rocky places, cliffs and heaths up to 40cm high. It has bright blue rounded flowers aggregated in a compact head (15-25mm) which is borne on a slender stem. Its leaves have wavy edges and are hairy, grey-green and short-stalked. The plant is on flower from May to September. This plant is a native and belongs to the family Campanulaceae.

I first identified this flower in Laragh, Co Wicklow in 1976 and photographed it in Glenmalure, Co Wicklow in 2006.
florets have a 5-toothed calyx and not a pappus. Also the anthers in this plant do not project – unlike those of Devil’s Bit Scabious. I hope this helps. It is a pretty little downy biennial which grows in rocky places, cliffs and heaths up to 40cm high. It has bright blue rounded flowers aggregated in a compact head (15-25mm) which is borne on a slender stem. Its leaves have wavy edges and are hairy, grey-green and short-stalked. The plant is on flower from May to September. This plant is a native and belongs to the family Campanulaceae.

I first identified this flower in Laragh, Co Wicklow in 1976 and photographed it in Glenmalure, Co Wicklow in 2006.

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre


Image

October on the Forest Floor 1…. fungus

One of the most amazing sights at this time of year is one of all the Wild Mushrooms that appear in our local forests and fields, Ireland has some approximately 5,500 known species found throughout the country, some very common and some very hard to find.

I just love finding them as they appear on the woodland floor and on the dead wood alone with the lower parts of trees.


Images from the Garden , Clematis

Images from the Garden
Clematis
Nigel Borrington
2018

Each May and June the Clematis planted in our Garden flowers and produces some of the best colour during the early and mid summertime , I love just how full of flowers it becomes. My mid July most of the pink flowers have gone but the leaves still offer a full canopy above pergola and give some great shade on warm and sunny days.

Description

Clematis is a genus of about 300 species within the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae. Their garden hybrids have been popular among gardeners, beginning with Clematis × jackmanii, a garden standby since 1862; more hybrid cultivars are being produced constantly. They are mainly of Chinese and Japanese origin. Most species are known as clematis in English, while some are also known as traveller’s joy, a name invented for the sole British native, C. vitalba, by the herbalist John Gerard; virgin’s bower for C. viticella and for C. terniflora; old man’s beard, applied to several with prominent seedheads; leather flower for those with fleshy petals; or vase vine for the North American Clematis viorna

Etymology

The genus name is from Ancient Greek clématis, (“a climbing plant”). Over 250 species and cultivars are known, often named for their originators or particular characteristics.

Botany

The genus is composed of mostly vigorous, woody, climbing vines / lianas. The woody stems are quite fragile until several years old. Leaves are opposite and divided into leaflets and leafstalks that twist and curl around supporting structures to anchor the plant as it climbs. Some species are shrubby, while others, like C. recta, are herbaceous perennial plants. The cool temperate species are deciduous, but many of the warmer climate species are evergreen. They grow best in cool, moist, well-drained soil in full sun.

Clematis species are mainly found throughout the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, rarely in the tropics. Clematis leaves are food for the caterpillars of some Lepidoptera species, including the willow beauty (Peribatodes rhomboidaria).

The timing and location of flowers varies; spring-blooming clematis flower on side shoots of the previous year’s stems, summer/fall blooming clematis bloom only on the ends of new stems, and twice-flowering clematis do both.

Taxonomy

The genus Clematis was first published by Carl Linnaeus in Species Plantarum in 1753, the first species listed being Clematis viticella. The genus name long pre-dates Linnaeus. It was used in Classical Greek for various climbing plants, and is based on κλήμα (klēma), meaning vine or tendril.

Gallery


Images from the Garden : Chives

Chives are one of the Herbs I love seeing in our Garden each year, I use some of them for cooking but also just love leaving some as a plant in their own right, they flower all summer around and are great plants for borders ……

Description

Chives are a bulb-forming herbaceous perennial plant, growing to 30–50 cm (12–20 in) tall. The bulbs are slender, conical, 2–3 cm (3⁄4–1 1⁄4 in) long and 1 cm (1⁄2 in) broad, and grow in dense clusters from the roots. The scapes (or stems) are hollow and tubular, up to 50 cm (20 in) long and 2–3 mm (1⁄16–1⁄8 in) across, with a soft texture, although, prior to the emergence of a flower, they may appear stiffer than usual. The grass-like, leaves, which are shorter than the scapes, are also hollow and tubular, or terete, (round in cross-section) which distinguishes it at a glance from garlic chives (Allium tuberosum). The flowers are pale purple, and star-shaped with six petals, 1–2 cm (1⁄2–3⁄4 in) wide, and produced in a dense inflorescence of 10-30 together; before opening, the inflorescence is surrounded by a papery bract. The seeds are produced in a small, three-valved capsule, maturing in summer. The herb flowers from April to May in the southern parts of its habitat zones and in June in the northern parts.

Chives are the only species of Allium native to both the New and the Old Worlds. Sometimes, the plants found in North America are classified as A. schoenoprasum var. sibiricum, although this is disputed. Differences between specimens are significant. One example was found in northern Maine growing solitary, instead of in clumps, also exhibiting dingy grey flowers.

Although chives are repulsive to insects in general, due to their sulfur compounds, their flowers attract bees, and they are at times kept to increase desired insect life.


County Kilkenny , Nature photography – Deep in the Springtime woodlands


A Decembers Frost – A winters photo Gallery.

A Winters Frost
December 2017
County Kilkenny
Ireland
Nigel Borrington


The Natural colours of winter, The Purple of Herb Robert

The natural colours of winter
Purple
Herb Robert
Nigel Borrington

Herb Robert
Geranium robertianum
NL: Robertskruid
F: Géranium Herbe à Robert

Geranium robertianum grows spontaneous and abundantly in many gardens. Some people keep wondering about its edibility, since there is not much to be found about it in books on edible wild plants. Its less than appealing taste seems to be at least partly responsible for its absence in culinary creations. In survival situations, where one would need to live on what’s available, this plant could be a real asset, since it is rich in essential nutrients such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamins A, C, etc. It is also rich in the element germanium, which has antioxidant activity, helps to strengthen the immune system and is essential to providing energy and oxygen to the cells.


5 Images for the week, Friday.

Evergreen trees
Holly tree berries
Nature photography Nigel borrington


5 Images for the week, Wednesday, Wild Woodbine with a poem by – Joan McBreen

Wild flowers
wild woodbine
nigel borrington

Wild woodbine was beyond my reach
in the thick hedges round Lough Gill.
The heavy scent filled the house for days
when my father brought it in
and it stayed fresh far longer
then meadowsweet.

Because I loved the delicate
pink and white wild rose
he picked it too, cursing the thorns, muttering
“it dies too soon,
you’d be better leaving it alone”.

Yet once, when my mother
swept its petals from the floor
I saw him rescue one
and place it carefully
in the small wallet
where he kept her photograph.