Monday, June 2, 2014

Wildflower favorites from childhood

I remember as a child enjoying wildflowers very much.  I appreciate that we weren't distracted by electronic devices (thanks, Mom), and we spent many creative hours playing outdoors.  We might serve up a miniature "mess of squash" consisting of the unopened yellow buds of false foxgloves or we might have a dish of "scrambled eggs" made of crumbled open blooms (that we only pretended to eat, of course).
(photo courtesy wpclipart )

Any new flower that we had never seen before was noted with delight.  There was something magical about the vivid red of the first cardinal flower I ever saw by a stream in a wooded portion of the neighbor's pasture.
(photo courtesy wpclipart )
There was something mystical about the orange "fairies" I saw dancing around a rarely seen (for me) orange fringed orchid.
(photo courtesy wpclipart )
I remember once inspecting a rosepink (kids are closer to the ground, and close inspections of wildflowers were second nature) that impressed me so with the color pattern and the most marvelous scent I could imagine.  HERE is pic which does it justice.
Some of the wildflowers I remember from childhood are part of my landscape today.  I was pleased to learn as an adult that the flower we simply referred to as the Borden flower (because it reminded us of the daisies around the neck of Elsie the Borden Dairy cow) was actually a perennial (chrysogonum virginianum or green and gold) being sold by reputable plant companies.  I dug up a clump and put it in the landscape. 
It is right beside my butterfly weed which was also a childhood favorite.
And despite my attempts to pull them up as weeds, I manage to have Queen Anne's lace here and there.  That's really okay because it reminds me of riding down a bumpy dirt road to Grandma's house in summertime.  The Queen Anne's lace bloomed along the side ditches.  As with the butterfly weed, my older sister told me what it was called.  She has always been a wealth of information and assistance!  I was fascinated by how the one flower seemed to be made of so many smaller clusters of yet smaller flowers.  Here is one in my yard.
Another favorite which springs up here and there in my unkempt flower beds is Venus' looking glass.  I knew it by its face when I was a child, but only as an adult did I learn its name.  My older brother told me the name.  He has also been a wealth of information.  Encyclopaedia Britannica says "The long calyx (collection of fused sepals) resembles a mirror handle and is the source of the plant’s common name," but I like to think that the beauty of the plant equals the reflection of Venus, the goddess of beauty, when she looks into the mirror.  Usually when I see the stalks emerging in my flower beds, I intentionally leave them to grow.  Here are a couple of shots I got the other day of my Venus' looking glass.
Thanks for looking at the wildflowers that grow along memory lane.


1 comment:

  1. Good discourse on wild flowers. Growing up I must have known they had names, but I never learned them. They are beautiful when someone shows and describes them. As I get older I do notice the wild flowers blooming more and appreciate nature 'herself' more. Time has a lot to do with it. I even tend to dodge some as I mow because they are so pretty and show up so quickly.

    Love from over here...