Wildflowers and birthdays

My flower obsession is growing. I was just thinking about a book presenting a different flower each day and here you are, I found it! It is “The floral birthday book” by Bernard F. Carter published by Bloomsbury Books in London. Charity shop find for £3. Beautifully illustrated month by month, with a flower, tree or a plant illustration and a little poem for each day. IMG_3969   IMG_3971     IMG_3990 My birthday flower (27th of March) is peppermint which symbolises cordiality. And today’s flower is speedwell which says “You are my divinity”. We all know the language of flowers, right? IMG_3974 My another latest purchase was a box of 100 flower postcards from Royal Horticultural Society. It is a beautiful set of botanical images from the RHS Lindley Libraries, the earliest dating from the late 17th century.

IMG_3976      IMG_3977      IMG_3989 My last week cycle to the woodlands happened on the sunny and breezy day and here are the flowers I snapped away.

Tulips and dandelions
Tulips
Pink honesty
Pink honesty
Periwinkle oxyloba
Periwinkle
Dusky cranesbill
Dusky cranesbill or mourning widow

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Bleeding heart
Bleeding heart aka lady-in-the-bath
Borage
Borage or starflower
Lily of the valley
Lily of the valley
Cuckoo flower
Coralroot
Herb Robert
Herb Robert aka Death came quickly
White dead nettle
White dead nettle
Red campion
Red campion
Barrenwort aka horny goat weed
Barrenwort aka horny goat weed

Again, credit to Keith Jones from www.seasonalwildflowers.com who helped me to identify epimedium known also as barrenwort, bishop’s hat, fairy wings and mentioned already horny goat weed. Just love those names!

Another thank you goes to Jim Gardner from thatscurious.com  for correcting me on the coralroot flower which I mistankenly named a cuckooflower.  Both plants come from cabbage family but differ in flower and leaves shapes. Coralroot flower is quite rare in UK so I am very happy it grows here in my local neck of woods.

I have bought a couple of books about wildflowers identification, full of info and beautiful botanical illustrations. It is “The Wild Flower Key” by Francis Rose and “The Wild Flowers of the British Isles” by David Streeter. I grew up in the country so I recognise a lot of plants and flowers but either forgot their names or never learnt them at all. Those books make a perfect bedtime read for me and there is so much to learn and I am so up for it.

Wild flowers spotting in London

Another sunny and breezy day in London. I went for a quick look around in my favourite woodlands once my boyfriend was having a haircut. I entered through the All Saints church gate to walk through the cemetery and what was my joy to discover lilies of the valley growing in the shady spot. I must have missed them before as I walked there many times. They have got their flower buds still closed but looking very promising. Sadly, didn’t get a good shot with my phone.

Here are today’s discoveries.

Wild strawberry
Wild strawberry
Lily of the valley
Lily of the valley
Wild garlic
Wild garlic
Lords and ladies
Lords and ladies or cuckoo pint
Greater celandine
Greater celandine
Primula
Primrose
Cow parsley or Queen Anne's lace
Cow parsley
White honesty flower
White honesty flower
Garlic mustard
Garlic mustard
Cleavers aka sticky willy
Cleavers aka sticky willy
White narcissus
White narcissus
White fritilaria
White fritillaria
Lesser calendine
Lesser celandine
Red campion
Red campion
Very pretty, couldn't identify
Spring starflower
Tortoiseshell in the nettles
Tortoiseshell in the nettles

I have contacted Keith Jone after looking at his website www.seasonalwildflowers.com and he helped me to identify the spring starflower. His website is filled with all the info and beautiful photos of wildflowers month by month. Please, have a look at it if you like wildflowers and want to know more.

I just ordered some books about identifying wild flowers and can’t wait to start reading and taking them with me on my park walks.

Today’s flower star. Bluebell, the national treasure.

I am just sitting at my desk with the window widely open and listening to birds’ chirps and singings. It has been the warmest day so far reaching scorching 25 degrees in London, in April. Tomorrow, is however back to normal.

I went on another cycle to the beautiful woods of  Wimbledon Common thinking Londoners are so lucky to have those green areas on their doorstep. Trees are slowly getting greener but still lots of bare branches make birds spotting much easier. There is a skylark protection area with lots of black crows residing there as well.

Wildflowers spotting included cowslips, red dead nettles, dandelions and our today’s star, bluebell. It has been UK’s favourite wild flower for years. Violet-blue or white bell shaped flowers with gently curved up petals are hanging gracefully on the long stems. They are very popular and grow even in our little communal garden. The most spectacular are bluebell woods with the carpets of flowers indicating the ancient woods.

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Thinking of my favourite spring wildflower, I’d probably say, violet.

Do you have a favourite?

Looking for violets in London

I have read on someone’s Facebook wall that violets have flowered. They are one of my favourites of the early spring. They usually appear in the same place every year so I went to check on the last year spot near home and there they were, beautiful, tiny, purple flower heads. Then, off on my bike I cycled across the River Thames towards Bishop’s Park. I found few more violet spots just before entering Fulham Palace area. There they were, popping dots of colour in the greenery and the shades of bushes and shrubs. I really like their round green leaves complementing the flowers which smell sweetly and somehow fleetingly.

Violet is known to have a ‘flirty’ scent as its fragrance comes and goes. Ionone is present in the flowers, which turns off the ability for humans to smell the fragrant compound for moments at a time. (Wikipedia)

Aren’t they pretty little things?

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So nice to see more colour and people appearing in the nature. Plus, you can always take a nap on the sunny bench, just like me and some other older man who actually have taken my favourite bench. I found another one outside the Walled Garden. Funnily enough, when unlocking my bike on my return home, I saw him leaving the premises with kind of hazy look on his face.

Are you enjoying any spring nature outings? Even in the city you can find little green oasis where you can escape and recharge your batteries. Reach out.

Spring, summer and colour analysis

Today was talking make up with my sister. We both agreed we wanted some inspiration in terms of colours . As colour analysis theory says only those colours closest to your face, will affect your look. Meaning colours may highlight your beauty or simply ruin your look. That’s why it is so important.
After reading an article about colour analysis, it was clear to us that she is more or less summer type, more specifically pure summer, and me, more or less, spring, warm spring.

I always like orange, yellow and red which make me feel and look fresh and energetic. I love deep navy but it makes me look a bit stern. My sister loves grey and torquise and blue. She looks good in white, cream and silver.

Spring type is fresh, bright and radiant just like in nature, spring starts and likes it bold. Spring type has blonde or brown hair going ginger, gold. Blue or green eyes. Freckles in the sun. Colours for spring type are yellow, orange, red, light green. Gold accessories. In make up dark brown mascara, light coloured eye shadows like apricot and a natural looking foundation, a bit rosy. It’s all about looking light and fresh, anew.

Summer type brings soft, muted and feminine colours. This type has got pale complexion but tans easily. Blonde or brown hair with ash tone. Blue, grey or green eyes. Colours for summer type best are in cool tone, like blue, grey, whiteish, but also pink and mint. In make up black mascara, defined but not too dark eyebrows, pastel eyeshadow. Silver accessories. Summer type doesn’t suit looking too bold; summer smoothers in full relax.

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Which colour type are you?