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Three random things I learned, or remembered, today

Archive for Flowers

Flowers at the bedside



Just remembered I took a photo of the bedside table last time I was in messy mode.

It was the only dusted part of the house at that time!


Love-in-a-mist flowers



Here are the flowers of Love-in-a-mist




Most summers I plant seeds of Love-in-a-mist in the garden for their seed pods as much as their delicate flowers and foliage.

Love-in-a-mist or Nigella damascena is a close relative of Nigella savita. Both are members of the buttercup family – (Ranunculaceae). The seeds of Nigella sativa are used as a spice. There seems to be a lot of confusion over the name of this spice. Sometimes, it is loosely called “black cumin” or “black caraway” or “black onion seed” “black sesame seed” but it is none of these. There is no botanical relationship between any of these plants.

In the USA, it is often known as “chernushka” and in Indian recipes, the seeds are referred to as “ajwain” but I don’t think they are that either.

All very confusing.

Kalonji seed may be a more accurate name. Peshawari naan bread is generally topped with these seeds.

More legumes



I was a bit fascinated by the fact that lupin flour (lupin or lupine being a legume) could cross react with people who have peanut allergy (peanut being another legume).

Here are some more legumes. I wonder how many of them cross react too.

Soya beans

I wonder if there are any more that we eat.

I wonder if an individual who has peanut allergy might react after handling lupins or sweet peas?

All the more reason to wash your hands after handling any kind of flower or plant, I suppose.

And to cover any cuts on the hands too.

What’s wrong with wild flowers?



I love orchids at my kitchen window. I love wild harebells by the roadside or in my garden.

But the two don’t mix well.

Sometimes I get so, so mad at people!

The Scottish countryside is beautiful. Some of the less invasive native wild flowers are now becoming well established at the side of the country roads again as farming becomes gentler.

But there is a new kind of herbicide. The wealthy townsfolk, the “incomers” who buy up the country cottages and farms and turn them into manicured mansions, take over the roadside also.

I saw this happening this morning. The wild verges up and down the road outside the new ostentatious gate of the cottage-come-mansion had been claimed by the incomer. Not owned by the incomer. Just claimed. “I am a wealthy man, therfore I have a right to claim the roadside too!” The bluebells, the wild roses, the meadowsweet, the thistles were all hacked out. Kerbs were being put in place, grass was being sown, garish plants all in full bloom were being put in by a posse of workmen. No expense was spared.

Many of these plants will not survive the frosts.

No taste, no sensitivity, no knowledge of nature.

The arrogance of the the incomer.

I think I might gather dandelion clocks and thistledown and willow herb seeds and sprinkle them all around this travesty of a roadside in the middle of the night.

Neglected orchids



Here are some of my orchids that have been living at the kitchen window fifteen years or so. They flower year after year.

I tidied them up a bit today, because they were a bit of a mess.

None of my friends can get their orchids to re-flower again.

They just throw them out after the first flowering now, because they have had so little success.

This is because they don’t believe me when they ask me how I get mine to flower year after year.

I tell them: “Put them at the kitchen window near the kettle and then leave them.”

They never follow my advice.

They water them, feed them, prod them, trim them, stake them.

Their orchids die.

You see, they have not yet learned that sometimes neglect can be kinder than nurture.