Saturday, 7 April 2012

Some "mundane" beauties

One of my favourite blogs is Lucy Corrander's Loose and Leafy. She has the knack of seeing the beauty and artistry in some things that people often consider too mundane to take notice of - paving-stones, steps, drain-covers, weeds, brambles etc. This post of mine is therefore a show of solidarity with Lucy, demonstrating that I am heading in the same direction.

Is this villain or hero, for instance? Those with manicured lawns will see it as an enemy, but the gourmets will recognise its food potential (have you tried blanched "Pissenlit" as the French call the Dandelion?). By any measure it is a very striking flower.

Talking of lawns, the other major threat to them is the humble Daisy. Here again a close look reveals a really beautiful flower.

This one is a bit more delicate - sometimes cultivated as a garden plant, though this particular specimen lives in the verge at the side of a public road. The diminutive but picturesque Violet.

Observed closely the flowers seem like a mix between the Iris and the Pansy.

Here's another photo from the same group:

Does anyone know what the little succulent plant in this picture is?

Just a few inches away is a clump of Anchusa (often confused with Borage). In some places round here it is a prolific "weed", but it looks great.

This one is Pulmonaria, aka Lungwort. It too grows all over the place, as a "weed". I think this plant must be one of only a few to have flowers of at least three different colours on the same plant simultaneously.

This is Groundsel. It looks as if it is related to the Dandelion...

This one is a type of Dead-Nettle...

And finally, lest we forget...

The Forget-Me-Not, of course!

All these are in their own right beautiful flowers, but because they are a bit "pushy" and dare to grow where you may not want them to, they have been deemed undesirable weeds. Is that fair?


  1. Beautiful pics Mark. Dandelions are delicious deep fried in batter. They taste very buttery!

  2. I love the dandelion, but how could I not? I actually love them in lawns too. I have yet to eat them, but love them for their early flowers. The bees love them too. And I plant forget-me-nots on purpose in my garden. I couldn't get them to grow in my last one. They did overwinter this year, so I'm hoping for flowers and having them self seed. I'll see if I still love them after they do. Both flowers I fell in love with as a kid. The forget-me-not were in the alpine meadows in Colorado. The meadows can be really spectacular when they go into bloom.

  3. I have been trying to promote dandelions on my "lawn" because I love the flowers fried and the greens as well. We don't have many (I think the person who lived here before us tried very hard to eradicate them)but I have spread seeds from a friends yard and we are getting a few now.
    We used to have tons and tons of violets but I notice we don't have quite as many now. I used to make violet jelly from them. I believe since the chickweed is taking over now that it is harder for the violets to compete.

  4. Very nice pictures. I have never eaten dandelions but I know several people who informed me how delicious they were.

  5. your succulent is a stonecrop, a sedum, but I'm not sure which variety. Your pictures are lovely. M

  6. Love thie violets. I remember them in Ontario when I was a child. Ahhh, memories.

  7. Hi Mark, I think dandelions are just fine, and in the depression era, it wasn't uncommon for folks to make a dandelion wine. (can't personally vouch that it was worth drinking). Forget Me Nots are a personal favorite, possibly because I'm a bit pushy as well :) Cheers, Jenni

  8. And we all know why its called pissenlit don't we?
    I create a video from some similar photos that I took a while ago here
    They have lost some definition through the video rendering on YouTube and was with a much older camera but I thought some of you photos would make good videos too - note to self take more photos of dandelions! I hadn't noticed the fine detail 'til I photographed a head

  9. The pulmonaria is wonderful with it's different coloured flowers on one plant, and I love the humble daisy. It brings back memories of sitting on the grass banks at school making daisy chains.

  10. I walked past a patch of waste ground this morning and it was covered with HUGE Dandelions, they looked so sunny on a grey day.

  11. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. This wet season I have decided to make peace with the weeds, Dandelions and Oxalis in particular. Your succulent looks so familiar I was sure I would identify it, but even with my nose in my books half the day I am still not sure.

  12. Hi Mark - on the succulent question, I think this is Sedum Acre otherwise known as Biting Stonecrop or Common Stonecrop. In Summer it should have tiny yellow flowers. Hope that helps. x

  13. I for one am trying to get rid of the violets. But they are pretty.

  14. You and Lucy have inspired me to see things a little differently :)


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