Our wild child Ms Peony Broteri is now settling down for the winter with hopefully tubers deep down by the chestnut tree roots and the seeds hidden away. Have been told the seeds can take two years to birth into another wild and seductive Ms Peony.
Here we are back at the Finca in the Sierra Aracena. At first I thought there were no more flowers but on a short walk up to our era ( where the grain used to be threshed) we came across all these tiny flowers. In the bible of Mediterranean flowers it states they like rocky places and the stones are still in place on the era and it is on a rocky hillside. In the Latin names both the snowflake and squill are down as autumnal and with no leaves. These come after the flowering. And then there was this one extraordinary lily and again with no leaves and just a long stem. I’m hoping the Ohio blogger might cast some light on this variety. It is out now in the public gardens in the town of Aracena. An autumnal lily?
Having just passed the equinox at least all around the world we share the same amount of daytime for a while! And I really enjoy sharing blogs with everyone all around this most amazing world of nature and the humans that love and care for it!
Some follow up photos and thoughts on waking up the seeds at Wakehurst Place, the Royal Botanical Millenium Seed Bank. Many of the seeds conserved so far have been UK indigenous and endangered. Some of these seeds collected are being used to restore wild flower meadows in UK. I am pondering how to maybe use some of the wild flower seeds on the Finca. Should I offer a helping hand? Or interfere with natures’ ways? Is too much endangered and we need carefully planned conservation of habitats that support biodiversity. The view walking down to the Millenium seed bank looks as if you are walking towards greenhouses! However the Southern roofs all have solar panels to give the power needed to conserve the seeds that are in deep freeze way down below in the vaults of the building.
This seems all very high tech as you can watch the botanical scientists at work in the airy and light atrium. There are also some photos and beds of seeds from the seed bank. Some of the endangered seeds from hot dry habitats are shown. These have been grown from seeds once frozen.BUT not all seeds can be preserved by deep freezing. This seems to support the case for trying to conserve habitats but in some areas this is difficult due to many human factors and I will include drought in that as it is likely that is due to man made climate change. Another thought that occurred to me having read a fascinating blog on orchids and their seductive nature for key pollinators is the need to conserve the pollinators too! Thanks to Pipmarks for that and the comment on previous post should link anyone interested in orchids. I will end with one of the photos that had won the photography competition on display at Wakehurst. Such detail and so complex a beastie!
Wakehurst Place is a large estate with a diverse range of trees from different areas of the globe. It is the country home of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew and there is the space for not only many trees but different botanical areas and the Millennium Seed Bank. Our visit in August gave us a glimpse of many of the flowering plants showing off the glory of their seeds in the garden areas. This seemed quite fitting as housed deep under some long glass barn shaped buildings is the Millennium Seed collection. This is part of the conservation work of Kew Gardens and involves collecting as many of the rare and endangered plant seeds and preserving those that can be kept at very cold temperatures. The aim is to protect the biodiversity of plant life as habitats come more under threat. It will also ensure future research into the amazing range of plants and their properties. The seeds I have taken photos of are in the lush gardens by streams and ponds.
Adopt a seed and save a species is a campaign set up by Kew. It seems that four plants a day are at risk of disappearing forever. At present Kew has stored 30,000 species. More info on www.kew.org/adoptaseed
The Seed Bank is already helping with conservation and an online seed list makes 900 collections of over 450 species available to organisations. These can then help in the conservation of other species.
Wakehurst Place also has many sculptures and art and photography exhibitions. We also enjoyed the labyrinth set up in the woods. And a finger one on the stump of one of the many trees lost in the 1987 hurricane that hit the south of England.I am determined to try a labyrinth shape in one of my fields in Spain! I must also try some more painting and sculpture. So much to do! Or just enjoy the close ups of the seeds themselves that provide plenty of sculpture and in many forms.
Final farewell fotos of flowers on the finca. August 2014. Summer is passing…….
In August in Spain the weather is usually too hot and dry in the summer. The flowers start to fade and all seems rather dried out. Some flowers resist the parched conditions but most decide to allow their seeds to finish developing and be ready to disperse. This helps survival of the species through a long dry summer. Deep roots keep the trees and other bushes in business.
Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare and a different interpretation based on the natural world.
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate,
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
And sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, ( the very hot sun as in Spain?)
And often is his gold complexion dimmed; ( English weather with clouds in the summer!)
And every fair from fair oft times declines,
By chance or by nature’s unchanging course untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
Shakespeare’s sonnet reflects the transience of beauty with the beauty of summer. But nature like the focus of his sonnet has an everlasting and ever changing beauty, beyond the flower! This is my interpretation of a sonnet often thought to be about love. Maybe it can be about the intricate workings of nature that go beyond the transient beauty of a flower or a young man or woman! When we understand the true beauty of a person or of nature we can truly appreciate the deeper aspects of love, life and the natural world. Or was Shakespeare just trying to immortalise himself or his’dark lad..y’ love with words? His words offer such richness and are open to interpretation and appreciation through the ages and to different cultures.
I think I have found another angle on this sonnet and an admiration for what goes on beyond our sight within the seeds creating the changing seasons.
These wild white folk are abundant on the Finca late July and August. Some amazing red striped bugs also find some of them very attractive! Possibly the sap or are they laying eggs in the dried up flower head ?
Who are these common folk found all over Europe? And recently seen in the North of England. Well, we love their cultivated cousins and chop, chew and boil their orange roots. How did the wild one help us create the very edible one?
June and July flowers on path up to the Era. The walk up to the Era is another of my favourite places and can be seen from the windows on the south side of the house. The era is where any grain grown would have been threshed way back in the past. The bit of the sculpture shown was done by the previous owner and is now rather worse for wear but still a lizard! The flowers shown are really loved by the butterflies and I have been using the book shown to try and identify accurately. The path and now wildflower meadow on the era is full of common century and field scabious, possibly knautia integrefolia and not knautia arvensis. It is quite a study to try and look very carefully at the leaves and shapes of the flowers. It is amazing the variety within a small area.