Nature at Work

This is our third summer in this house, and still the garden brings surprises!

For the last two years, at the back of a busy-ish mature flower bed next to the back fence, two small mystery plants with strange whorls of green leaves along the stems have grown to a height of about 18 inches or so. The first year they produced some leaves but nothing much more.

Last summer the plants returned to a similar height as before, and at the top of their stems this time there were a couple of strange little buds that initially showed some promise but eventually gave up and came to nothing of any note.

And as my nascent gardening knowledge is based mainly on working out which plants are which retrospectively, generally from their flowers (once they start to bloom), I’ve been a bit stuck with successfully identifying this one to date.

But earlier this year I deliberately reduced the volume of some of the other older, mature plants that seem to have taken over this particular flower bed and to my surprise although one of my mystery plants has repeated its half-hearted will-I-won’t-I response from last year, the other has grown well beyond its previous 18 inches and is now a good four feet in height.

As well as the impressively large whorls of leaves along the lower length of the stem, there are also a few single leaves higher up leading to what seem to be individual upside down hanging flower buds, single and separate – there are 13 buds on this one plant stem.

And yesterday the first lower bud has finally opened up to produce this little gem… According to an image search on Google it seems this is actually a Turkscap Lily, and apparently the petals should curve completely back on themselves, so we’ll wait and see what happens next.

Nature never ceases to amaze me, and as I slowly change things in the garden with my cautious trial-and-error approach it feels like nature is happily rewarding my well-meaning efforts with delights such as this little beauty…

Flower of the Day

Photo a Week Challenge

Selfie

This week’s Photo A Week Challenge is ‘Selfie’ and today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt is ‘a picture from wherever’ so here I am with a kind of amalgamation of both… It’s a selfie of me taken last Saturday, sitting in my back garden.

I used to be far too self-conscious about seeing photographs of me, but as I’ve got older it doesn’t bother me nearly so much. I’m 58 years old, turning 59 towards the end of the year, and I am what I am. I used to worry about my hair and my skin and my weight and my clothes, about looking acceptable to the world by what I perceived to be the world’s expected standards of appearance.

And now? Now I see how image obsessed social media has made us all with its fancy portrait filters rubbing out every potential skin blemish, and I worry about my three lovely young granddaughters growing up in such a surface-judgemental environment. So here I am trying to live up to what I tell them about life – always be yourself, you’re beautiful just as you are, and don’t ever let the world tell you otherwise…

And in my selfie I’m sitting in my back garden, in my own little oasis of nature, wearing a flowery dress while relaxing on a traditional-style wooden steamer chair and enjoying the sunshine while it lasted… Oh, for me it’s definitely the simple things in life that make all the difference 🙂

Flowers in the Rain

It was already raining heavily when I woke up early this morning, now it’s almost 5pm and it has rained on and off all day – sadly way more on than off so far.

The skies have stubbornly remained a heavy, dull rain-cloud grey for the duration and sadly the sun has been totally missing in action today, leaving the garden plants happily saturated but my mood damp and dismal, feeling miserable and chilled to the bone.

Still, I nipped out quickly between the rainstorms and took a couple of pictures to see how they turned out – actually not bad in such poor light 🙂

Flower of the Day

Photo A Week: Something Missing

Caledonian Canal: Clachnaharry Sea Lock

One of my favourite walks close to home in Inverness is to tramp along to the very end of the Caledonian Canal where it finally meets the sea at Clachnaharry Sea Lock. I’m a creature of habit so walk here a lot, sometimes with my camera and sometimes just my phone, and tend to take very similar photographs every time I go. I’d really struggle to choose a favourite image out of all I’ve ever taken because I genuinely love them all in different ways. The scenery remains pretty much the same every time, but the weather changes along with the seasons and the tides. This morning it was dry and cloudy with intermittent sunny spells but OMG it was really windy – my hair was whipping about in all directions and was in knots when I got home! 🙂

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Starts with ‘Cal’

Photo A Week Challenge: All About the Scenery