Tuesday at Two (April 30th)

We’ve had both icy Siberian winds and Mediterranean heat in the course of the month of April, but it seems the weather is settling a little now. The last few days have been cooler and damp, and the trees and plants are loving it.

Today’s photo…

TuesdayViewApril30th

And another look back over the past few weeks…

(Click on any photo to open the gallery)

The previous views from November 2012 to February 2013 are reviewed here.

What’s your view looking like now? Nice and green? šŸ˜€

Names, and a Forget-me-not?

Living in Bavaria, I naturally buy plants with German name tags. Of course, a botanical name will also often be on the label, but I have become very fond of many of the German common plant names. One particular name I love is “Sun Hat” (Sonnenhut) for cone flowers. Or “Weeping Heart” (TrƤnendes Herz) instead of Bleeding Heart (Dicentra/Lamprocapnus). I use Wikipedia and other reference sources in both German and English to find out more about them, and in doing so over the years it has become evident again and again that the German Wikipedia site seems – very often – to contain more information. Yet the plants are just as common in both the UK and Germany. Can anyone enlighten me as to why this is so….?

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One example of this is Brunnera macrophylla

Brunnerablue

Brunnera macrophylla is perhaps known better in English as Siberian bugloss, but I feel the German name is so much prettier and more appropriate:

Caucasus Forget-me-not” (Kaukasusvergissmeinnicht)

Here is a white variety, ‘Betty Bowring’. It flowers early spring, lighting up the garden, and then intermittently all summer, depending on how hot it is. In a shadier position it might even flower non-stop, especially if deadheaded frequently.

BrunneraWhite

My blue Brunnera also flowers well in a sunny position in spring, but doesn’t last all summer. The blue variety is better known and perhaps more reminiscent of Forget-me-nots (Myosotis) due to the colour. You can see that the foliage is, however, completely different – large heart-shaped leaves.

Brunnerablue2

Brunnera and Myosotis are in fact both in theĀ Boraginaceae family, which also includes Pulmonaria, Borage and Comfrey.

Do you grow Brunnera? Or are you a fan of Forget-me-nots?

Currant Affairs

Ribes sanguineum

(flowering currant or red-flowering currant)

Two weeks ago the buds were tightly closed, yet already such a pretty splash of colour…

FloweringCurrantBuds

Ten days later the buds started opening at the top of each raceme

Ribes3

One by one

Ribes5

From bud to berry – several weeks of pleasure, even if the berries are not of the edible kind. The bees adore these flowers too.

šŸ˜€

The Woods (and my 500th post!)

Yes, 500th! Phew!

Last Sunday I went to look for some wild garlic and to inspect this tree in the woods next to our garden – fortunately just far enough away from the house if it comes down…. We’ve watched (and heard) woodpeckers tapping away at it, and wonder what the cause of its demise was. The dreaded bark beetle (BorkenkƤfer)?

DeadTree

In any case, I was drawn further into the woods when I saw all the vinca growing there – a blue-green carpet of loveliness!

Vinca2

With filtered sunlight it looks so at home – much prettier than the garden varieties I think.

Vinca1

Then I struggled through lots of dead wood and sprouting bushes to find these…

WildViolets1

and these…

WildAnemone1

and these – my favourites!

OurHepaticas1

Click on any picture below for a closer look.