Tuesday, June 12, 2007

mondays flowers

sneaking in a vegetable picture first, I just got round to putting in supports for the growing sugar snaps and peas. they are sharing a bed with onions and leeks.
in 'close up' you can see all the wee beasties that you didn't notice. . .
another monarda with a welcome visitor
astrantia major in red
astrantia major in origional
amazing patterns inside the foxglove flower. following information from botanical.com
"The Foxglove is a favourite flower of the honey-bee, and is entirely developed by the visits of this insect. For that reason, its tall and stately spikes of flowers are at their best in those sunny, midsummer days when the bees are busiest. The projecting lower lip of the corolla forms an alighting platform for the bee, and as he pushes his way up the bell, to get at the honey which lies in a ring round the seed vessel at the top of the flower, the anthers of the stamens which lie flat on the corolla above him, are rubbed against his back. Going from flower to flower up the spike, he rubs pollen thus from one blossom on to the cleft stigma of another blossom, and thus the flower is fertilized and seeds are able to be produced. The life of each flower, from the time the bud opens till the time it slips off its corolla, is about six days. An almost incredible number of seeds are produced, a single Foxglove plant providing from one to two million seeds to ensure its propagation.
It is noteworthy that although the flower is such a favourite with bees and is much visited by other smaller insects, who may be seen taking refuge from cold and wet in its drooping blossoms on chilly evenings, yet no animals will browse upon the plant, perhaps instinctively recognizing its poisonous character.
The Foxglove derives its common name from the shape of the flowers resembling the finger of a glove. It was originally Folksglove - the glove of the 'good folk' or fairies, whose favourite haunts were supposed to be in the deep hollows and woody dells, where the Foxglove delights to grow. Folksglove is one of its oldest names, and is mentioned in a list of plants in the time of Edward III. Its Norwegian name, Revbielde (Foxbell), is the only foreign one that alludes to the Fox, though there is a northern legend that bad fairies gave these blossoms to the fox that he might put them on his toes to soften his tread when he prowled among the roosts. "


mrsnesbitt said...

I am so glad we have access to such lovely photographs and words on rainy days like today when I would prefer to be out in my garden!
I have a foxglove emerging but think it will be next year before it blooms.

tlchang said...

Lovely flowers. My monarda is not blooming yet, and my foxgloves - just barely.

Alice (in BC Canada) said...

Beautiful flowers, Claire, and I love the story of the Foxglove. You must be very busy since your return home. Can you send me Deb & Pete's email address please?

clairesgarden said...

mrsnesbitt, well its raining here now, chilly too, think the forecast is the same for tomorrow too, yuck!
tlc, they always burst into flower when you are not looking!
Alice, oops, thought I had! will try again!

Peggy said...

What beautiful flower photos!

clairesgarden said...

Peggy, thankyou!

kate said...

I love Foxgloves, but have trouble growing them here. The account of how Foxgloves and bees work together is incredible. Nature is an amazing thing!

clairesgarden said...

Kate, nature is amazing, I love the inside of the foxglove, so pretty. its a shame you cant grow them but its better to work with willing things than struggle along to create something different.