Monday, July 13, 2009

Delphiniums, blueberries and the haunting scent of milkweed!


For the longest time I thought I didn't like delphiniums and I have to admit it was a prejudice against the name....I made the assumption that the name alluded to some kind of leafy aspidistra looking Victorian foliage-y plant in a big heavy urn in a darkened overly wallpapered room...was I wrong or WHAT!! I am now in love with delphiniums...they are so beautiful, regal and gorgeously coloured in the white, blue, lavendar and lilac pallette. Admittedly my poor delphiniums have been labouring sadly to grow this season what with the unending rain, drizzle, mist, mizzle, fog, thunderstorms and torrential downpours we have been experiencing here in Maine for the last six weeks...yes that does say SIX weeks...very little sun has been glimpsed until about 4 days ago and as a result my plants are leggy and bendy and generally well behind where they should be at this time of the year. I was beginning to think the 'delphs' had no chance at all but they sallied forth and turned into these beauties you see above...they are a little thin and spindly but they are still breathtaking..... and I will never assume again I don't like them because of their glum sounding name...naughty moi!!
The blueberries have not faired well either...I just took this photo on the barren next to our house today and as you can see there are some absolutely full and ripe berries right next to ones which have barely begun to grow...the weather has caused them to ripen very unevenly...they are still beautiful though aren't they?
Now here's a happy bunch..............
...and look at this for textile design inspiration, I did design a blueberry t-shirt for a company here in Maine a few years ago...they were a delight to paint but quite a hard colour to capture because of their bloom...again you can see the uneveness of the ripening.
And here we have milkweed, an unassuming little weed (except that it is toxic and monarch caterpillars dote on it!!!).....quite pretty in it's subtle colouration and beautiful globe like flowers...what is special about this plant is the scent...I have left a whole pod of it to grow around one of James' sculptures and the scent wafting through the house is gorgeous...heady and old-fashioned and very evocative, reminds me of the Yardley scents I grew up with...do any Brits know what I am talking about?? I wish we had smellorama here on the blog!!
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