Arty journeys...


Saturday, 26 September 2015

Quick Coombe Wood trip with a bonus

This was just a very quick trip to track down the red object on the small tree that my friend in our art group had told me about. The red object that I had been so sure wasn't there - but I had caught an out of focus glimpse in one of my photos of the leaves, that I only noticed when I was looking at them on the computer later on

The gardener was clearing leaves. I told him what I had come to find - and he told me that it's a Cornus. I've given up relying on my memory - my notebook came out straight away

I stopped to photograph these variegated plants with crumpled peachy orange bell flowers on the way past. The previous day I had noticed the gardener digging out all the sunflowers, marigolds etc. from the bed at the top of the first section. He had cleared everything except for these which left a very clear view of them

A spiders web glinted rainbow colours under the yew arch

I spotted one Cornus berry - they're more like a cluster of fused berries.

Each round bobble has an opening at the centre and something is protruding. Frustratingly none of my photos were clear enough to see exactly what is going on here

I was playing with the focus on my camera - when I accidentally focussed on the floor under the tree and was surprised to see quite a few ripe fruits on the ground.

I picked up three berry clusters and took a quick photo before putting them in my pocket, intending to have a better look and take more photos when I got home

I have looked them up since and discovered that they are Cornus Kousa (Kousa Dogwood) and they're supposed to be edible

I was aware that this had to be a brief walk but I needed to include a quick look at some other berries just around the corner. They might be a variety of Euonymus (Spindleberries). The sun was streaming through a gap in the trees and illuminating the berries like baubles on a Christmas tree. Five pale creamy coloured sections on each one blush from the stem to the tips and and then open up to reveal orange oval berries which gradually ease out and drop down on threads till they hang underneath each curved red star casing.  

Nearby there is another tree with similar berries - but there aren't many on this one. They are more shaped and have three or four sections not five. The leaves have fallen off this tree and the pods look more dried out

And a little further round a tree is covered in green "pods" - I want to know what these are going to do next

It was hard not to wander but I was aware that I needed to get home and get some things done so I headed for the gate. I stopped to take a photo - noticing my shadow against the plants that the gardener had left in that freshly dug flower bed.

Then of course I had to photograph the flowers hanging on the plant

The next thing that happened really surprised me (this is the bonus mentioned in the title). The gardener noticed me taking photographs of it and he came over and asked me if I liked these plants. I said I like their crumpled petals and the way the dew sits on them and how they look when they have raindrops on them - and he asked me if I would like one - because his next job was to dig them out because they're not hardy and they need protection in cold weather. Well of course I said yes please - and he dug one out and rested the base of it in a bin liner - while telling me that it's an Abutilon Thompsonii (Variegata) It's quite large - I could only just fit it in my car

The day before I had been thinking of going to the garden centre for something little and cheap to put in an empty tub to give some autumn/winter colour but hadn't gone because I had an incredibly strong feeling that a plant would be provided. I had forgotten all about that until I was driving home (near the turning to the garden centre) when I remembered the tub I had wanted to put something in and the feeling that something would be provided - and I smiled all the way home (it still makes me smile when I think of it). I had been thinking of something little and cheap but I received this instead. Brilliant

The only unfortunate thing was that the three Cornus berries in my pocket were squashed beyond all recognition when I was trying to get the Abutilon into the car.

The sad state of my pocket

The berries must have been much softer than I thought. I scraped the squashed mess out of my pocket with a spoon and put my cardigan in the wash

I had also found a couple of Euonymus berries on the ground and brought them home to photograph more closely - they survived

I settled the Abutilon into the tub just outside the patio doors and took several photos during the afternoon and evening - through the not very clean glass. I was surprised how different the flower looks in different light - sometimes almost strawberry coloured, going through various shades of orange to almost peachy

It's a beautiful day today and I was thinking of going back this morning to see if I could find another Cornus berry cluster under the tree that I could bring home to try and photograph the little details but the car wouldn't start. Oh well - that will have to be another day

Thank you very much for joining me


  1. How lovely to be given such a beautiful plant! Hope the berry stain came out of your pocket and the car is ok now. Just spent a couple of hours rotating today's photos from Kew ready to blog...loads of berries there, too.

    1. Berry stain gone thank you. Car might be OK - Hannah came and jump started it. I will find out if it has held its charge tomorrow. Gorgeous Kew photos again Helen.

  2. That's such a lovely story to go with your brilliant photos Angela, and I have to say that I also really love spindle berries, that bengal rose pink with the bright orange berries reminds me of the colours I used to put together in my textile designs at art college in the sixties! (Now that is ageing me isn't it!)

    1. Thanks Cath. Ha ha - I was at college in the 90's! (Late starter - not that much younger than you!)