Purple and White Yard Flower Anemones

On my way to an Amish market in late March I was surprised to see some color in somebody’s front yard. Late March is a time when we’re wanting the land to get green already.

Large Grouping of Purple Anemones in the Yard
Large Grouping of Purple Anemones in the Yard

After that long Winter these purple and white posies made a delightful sight! They made me pull over right away to stop and take a closer look.

Purple and White Anemone Blanda
Purple and White Anemone Blanda

White, light purple, light purple with white center, and dark purple flowers complemented each other with the brown lawn for a backdrop.

At first I didn’t know what kind of flowers they were, but I did realize they must be bulbs as they had come up so early. The hellebores and daffodils were also blooming at this time and the star magnolia flower buds were getting bigger but not yet opening up.

With a little help from a bulbs catalog I flipped through enough pictures to learn that these posies are known as Grecian Windflowers, Anemone blanda.

Early Spring Purple Anemones
Early Spring Purple Anemones

The foliage was low to the ground – barely taller than the curled blades of grass. Each leaf was divided into three leaflets having deeply notched edges and a central cleft. The dark green leaves die back in summer.

The daisy-like flowers are perennial and act like a Spring Ephemeral. They would look great planted with narcissus or tulip or just about anywhere you’d like a little color in very early Spring.

See a full-size version on my site at FineArtAmerica:
Art Prints
(Photos taken 24 March 2016.)

The Beautiful and Omnipresent Dandelion

Dandelions are not yard weeds. Some people like to think so and try desperately to get rid of them in any means possible. Wasted time and money, I say.

Why? Nothing in nature was ever meant to be a mono-culture!

People around the world recognize dandelion flowers for they seem to grow everywhere. As kids we’d pick them and hold ’em under someone’s chin. If we saw a golden reflection from their skin we’d say, “You like butter!

Dandelion Petals Have Jagged Edges
Dandelion Petals Have Jagged Edges

Have you ever looked at one close-up? I mean really looked?

Check out the complexity of this composite flower.

I love the jagged edges of the yellow petals and the centers that seem to reflect the sun’s rays.

Let the dandelions grow and attract some bees. We need bees.

Pick the greens before the plant flowers and have a salad. Serve with a ham dinner. Juice the leaves or batter and fry the flowers.

Dig the root and use it for its healing properties.

Watch the children play with them and bring you a bouquet.

Make some wine!

So many uses for a simple weed, don’t you think?

Dandelion Blossoms Open in the Daylight
Dandelion Blossoms Open in the Daylight

We tend to think of plants as sedentary and only able to move with the wind. One cool thing that dandelions display is a daily movement. Sure, the plant stays where its tap root is, but the flowering parts move every day. They actually have a behavior called “nyctinasty“, where they close up at night and re-open with sunlight.

Dandelions Open Up At the Start of a Sunny Day
Dandelions Open Up At the Start of a Sunny Day

One theory as to why dandelions move like this is that the flower protects itself from the nighttime cold temperatures by closing itself up into a cup. Come morning, the petals will relax out to receive the warming sun’s rays.

(Photos taken 5 May 2015.)

See a full-size version on my site at FineArtAmerica:
Photography Prints

Look For Tulips To Flower Before May

Going through some old photographs — yah, what else to do on a rainy day? — found only a couple of tulip photos that I really liked.

Creamy White Yellow and Red Tulip
Creamy White Yellow and Red Tulip

(Sunny Yellow Tulip photo taken 29 April 2015.)

Gotta love the BRIGHT colors that tulips lend to the landscape in the end of April. My favorite month!

Study their centers and you’ll see a lot going on. Pollen strewn about with a variety of colors you may not notice at first.

Red Tulip with Yellow and Purple Center
Red Tulip with Yellow and Purple Center

(Red Tulip photo taken 8 May 2014.)

Seems that I didn’t take much control over the exposure in most of the tulip pictures I located from the last two years. That’s something to remember for this Spring.

Sunlight seems to bounce around the inside of these bowl-shaped flowers. Tulips aren’t really as open as a bowl, more like a glass, shotglass?, shape. Smaller than my hand and cupped fairly tightly until they’re older and many insects have explored the inside seeking pollen.

If you want to photograph some tulips, look for them to bloom before the beginning of May and a little earlier into April, especially if you’re south of Pennsylvania or have a cityscape to contend with.

I did find two photos of tulips that I liked well enough to post to my artist site on FineArtAmerica – here are links you can follow to see the larger images:

Art Prints

Art Prints