Friday, August 06, 2010

bud, bird, bush


Posted by PicasaSoon the sunflowers which I always grow for cutting will be in flower. Just now the structure of a bud promises little of the flame-like, seed-hearted corolla, which will shortly take its place.

As I stand in the garden this morning with my back to the sun, the shadow of a bird flits across the path in front of me. I look up to see the bird itself but it has flow on.

The fuchsia in our garden must now be 10 ft tall. This particular bush has had several incarnations. It goes back to the last house I lived in 25 years ago. In those days it was a small plant, which died down each winter and revived in the summer. Now it seems to live though the winter, for the most part undiminished, hence its height. On one occasion it blew over in a gale and lay on its side, its roots exposed. On another, the frost attacked it, and I cut it right back to a couple of feet high, but despite such onslaughts, it is back in business this summer, its red flowers hanging like hundreds of earrings, and climbing into its branches, the additional ornament of bight blue morning glories.

4 comments:

Barrett Bonden said...

Sunflowers were being sold as cut-flowers in Tesco today. But I assume they're denied the enactment of their French name when stuck in a jug. The Tour de France ended a week or so ago and it is run during the sunflower season. Savvy cameramen take their equipment down low and give the impression of the racers riding through yellow foam. No such thing as a cliché shot during the TdF.

Lucy said...

A frequently overlooked moment in a sunflower's life cycle, but beautiful and intriguing. Aren't you supposed to be able to prepare and eat them like artichokes at some point? I don't think I ever could though, and deny them their flowering so cruelly.

Plutarch said...

BB In France and other continental countries, sunflowers are, I think, grown for the oil produced by their seeds, rather, despite Van Gough, than for ornamental reasons.

Lucy The buds do look like artichokes, don't they! But sunflowers, helianthus, are related to jerusalem artichokes rather than the globe variety, cynara, which seems to belong to the same family as thistles. Jerusalem artichokes left unchecked grow to a great height but produce unimpressive flowers. Have you ever tried to grow them? They can be hard to get rid of.

marja-leena said...

My hardy fuschia bush has a somewhat similar history. I found one growing wild on the bank overlooking the ditch next to the road in front of the last house we lived in. I took cuttings of it successfully, one moved with us to our present house and has thrived for over 25 years! It really needs to be staked before heavy rains though and dies back in winter. I love the way hummingbirds feed at it, tipping up a flower at a time.