Tag Archives: plants

My grandpa’s gift

My grandpa is a retired fisherman and one of the many things he liked to do was to collect sea conch shells that were caught in his fishing nets. He would then proceed to dry them under the sun, then he would clean them thoroughly and display them on shelves. He is very proud of his big collection and he happily gives conch shells to family and friends as a gift.

grandpa

At first, we didn’t know what to do with the numerous conch shells that he gave us but in the end we realized that we could repurpose them  instead of keeping them as decorative pieces only. And therefore we transformed them into pots for small cactuses and other succulent plants.

Needless to say that my grandpa is very pleased that we found a creative way to use his gifts instead of  keeping his conch shells hidden in a drawer.


This post is part of the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Repurpose

Wild garlic

In a cactus pot in our garden a wild garlic has sprouted and its beautiful white flower drew my attention. I had to shoot it several times because it was windy for a few days but since I knew what I was looking for, I could gather up information easier.

Allium ursinum is a wild relative of chives native to Europe and Asia. It is known as ramsons, buckrams, wild garlic, broad-leaved garlic, wood garlic, bear leek, or bear’s garlic.

Wild garlic leaves are edible and they can be used as salad, herb,  boiled as a vegetable, in soup or as an ingredient for a sauce. The bulbs and flowers are also edible.

The leaves are also used as fodder. Cows that have fed on ramsons give milk that tastes slightly of garlic.

Despite the fact that I don’t like eating or using garlic in my cooking, it is a beautiful plant and beautifies our garden.

Wildflowers in our garden

We have a garden full of seasonal and non seasonal plants and flowers and I still get surprised with the random flowers that happen to sprout – courtesy of the birds, I am sure. This fall I was intrigued with these small wildflowers that bloomed in different places throughout our back yard. Don’t be misled from the close up photo below, they are so small that someone might not even notice them.

Muscari Parviflorum, Autumn Grape Hyacinth - wildflower

I had a hard time, not only shooting them because they are so tiny, but also figuring out what they are called.

Muscari Parviflorum, Autumn Grape Hyacinth - wildflower

Autumn Grape Hyacinth is the common name of Muscari Parviflorum which is a very fragile and delicate plant that moves with the slightest breeze. I tried several times to photograph them but with no success. At first it was my fault; I was always in a hurry or occupied with other things and I wasn’t able to focus on them.

Muscari Parviflorum, Autumn Grape Hyacinth - wildflower
This time was different. I decided to devote my attention to them, but  even though I was at it for two days, few photos came out well. Despite my disappointment, I won’t give up. I will  try again another day!

A microscopic world

While I was trying to write a new post, I decided to organise my photo archive and found the photos of an artichoke flower that I shot last summer. I recall that I didn’t like them back then. There was something about it that was bothering me and I felt that its purple color was too bright. Maybe it just wasn’t what I was expecting at the time.

artichoke_flower_dsc_0044

That day a  family friend from Slovakia came to visit us and we went for a walk outside in the fields by the house. We stumbled upon this artichoke flower which looked really compelling and I took several shots. The next day our friend who was anxiously awaiting for the pictures, asked me if they were ready but I disappointed her by saying  that I didn’t like them.

When I came upon them this time, I changed my mind.  The color seemed just fine. I also noticed that there were tiny bugs and insects on the flower which I totally forgot they were there.

artichoke_dlower_dsc_0037

A whole microscopic world was gathered in that attractive purple artichoke flower!

raw_artichoke_flower_dsc_0001_square

This post is part of the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Tiny

Garden stories

Every afternoon I take my daughter outdoors in her stroller for a walk in the garden. She enjoys it very much.  I usually take my camera with us so I can take some photos of the flowers, plants and, needless to say, my daughter. While we were enjoying the fresh air and the birds tweeting, I noticed this pink flower, called Tulbaghia violacea (or society garlic or pink agapanthus), sprawled on a stone wall and underneath it there was an old plank. The composition was so beautiful that even though I didn’t have my camera with me, I decided to use my mobile.

ulbaghia violacea, society garlic or pink agapanthus

As you can imagine, I returned there to shoot it again…twice! My poor little baby was very patient. At the end she fell asleep so I took her home and quickly grabbed my camera to go get some proper pictures of what held my fascination.

Tulbaghia violacea, society garlic or pink agapanthus

Even though I shot this flower several times before, this time it seemed different, so, being the inquisitive person I am, I looked closer to try and figure out why! And there it was, on the flower there was a creeper all over it which caused the pink agapanthus to sprawl on the stone wall, making it look like a pink jasmine.

Tulbaghia violacea, society garlic or pink agapanthus

The pictures below are from another shooting day and that it’s how it should look like.

Virginia creeper

Quite recently, on our trip to Kakopetria village, I spotted this creeper on a house wall.

Leaves of Virginia creeper
Virginia creeper | by karafc

I have to say that, as much as I love shooting plants and flowers, I don’t know much about them besides the common ones. I thought it would be hard to find information about this creeper because I only had a picture and no clue what is called. So I searched for it  as a red creeper in the web and I found it quickly.

Parthenocissus quinquefolia, known as Virginia creeper, Victoria creeper, five-leaved ivy, or five-finger. It is a prolific deciduous climber. It is grown as an ornamental plant, because of its ability to rapidly cover walls and buildings, and its deep red to burgundy fall (autumn) foliage.

Virginia creeper
Virginia creeper | by karafc

An important information is that its berries are highly toxic to humans. On the other hand they are not toxic to birds, which provide an important winter food source for many bird species.

source: Wikipedia