Search This Blog

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Inspiration- Flowers

  There are several flowers that feature prominently in my imagination and creation. I really do love flowers of all kind and the few times I have worked in a florist's shop gave me true euphoria, but by far the most rewarding is in environmental restoration. Not only did I get to work with native flowers, but I was able to see first hand how they interact with the larger world. Anyway, here are a few of my favorites both native and not.

1. Snowdrops (Galanthus)- These are my favorite little ephemerals and I eagerly wait for them to mark the end of Central Illinois' grey, slushy winter. They are also very easy to press and use in all kinds of crafting. Thanks to Neil Gaiman's Stardust, they now feature prominently as a flower of promised love and protection.

2. Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea)- Not only are they native to most of the Upper Midwest, but they are a great flower for attracting all kinds of helpful pollinators. They also grow really easy and their seeds are fun for children to collect to plant the following spring. With all the awareness for Prairie Restoration I see more and more highways nodding with their beautiful pinkish-purplish heads. If I were a pixie I would definitely live under the umbrella of these beauties.

3. Orchids- These are at once beautiful in simplicity and complexity. The unique relationship they have with their pollinators makes them all the more fascinating. Of all the highly cultivated flowers, these are surely my favorite. I just can't help myself but imagine little faces in the spots of their petals.

4. Sunflowers- This is probably on everyone's list of favorites, but I collect unique varieties of sunflowers not just the standard yellow. Last year I planted Firecracker Sunflowers which are shorter, bushier and red. They fill in much more and add tons more color. This year I planted Velvet Queen Sunflowers which have just started blooming. These are just such a brillant red that I wouldn't be surprised to find a hummingbird out their sucking away.

5. Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum)- This is probably the most unique native plant that exists. It doesn't even look real it is so whimsical. I just wish it was easier to find and grow. It adds great texture to any garden.

Note for Lilac Lovers- There is a new cultivar out called the "Bloomerang" which blooms almost continuously all season. It doesn't get as big as the standard version, but it sure is worth it for those beautiful blooms and delicious fragrance.

*Look for future post on trees, grasses and mushrooms. Nature never ceases to inspire me!

No comments:

Post a Comment