Arty journeys...


Sunday, 22 May 2016

Two walks - Friday and Saturday (Coombe Wood)

I took loads of photos on both walks - it has been really difficult to choose which ones to put on here.

FRIDAY - a walk with a friend

A froth of pink forget-me-nots - very hard to see the detail without the help of a camera 

I hadn't realised before that the buds of these white flowers have a raspberry tip

Further up the path these white flowers have masses of visible pollen grains on their anthers

I was taking a photo of the aquilegia and didn't notice the "berries" in the background. When I had a closer look they weren't berries at all - they're tiny flowers

A closer look at one floret on an allium

Blossom on the Judas tree

The middle of what I now believe to be a rock rose (thanks to my cousin). The middle looked almost luminous

and this might be a ceanothus

A bee arriving with its already bulging pollen carriers

Azaleas - these crazy colour combinations challenge me to rethink my use of colours

My friend said these flowers made her think of  butterflies poised for take off - I thought it would make a good animation. We were reminded of this conversation later when we saw a white butterfly flitting past

Not long ago the green "petals" were bright red with nothing between them - but now the solid bits between them are filling out and leaving less and less of the "petals" showing, I find the structure of these cones absolutely incredible

What an amazing range of greens in one tree 

Looking closer at blossom on the plant that has tiny star shaped seed pods - such a little bit of petal joining it to the centre of the flower

I'm amazed to have discovered that the winged seeds of acers form while the flower is still partially in tact. You can still see the petals and the pistils on some of them - although others have already dropped off leaving pairs of familiar winged seeds (like tiny sycamore seeds)

Tree peony

I really enjoy walking with friends who are interested in the plants and/or photography. They often see things I haven't noticed before or I have forgotten about. Apart from the flowers that reminded her of butterflies, something else my friend noticed were the markings on the inside of the top petals of the rhododendrons and azaleas. I decided I would try and photograph them when I was next there.We had a lovely lunch in the cafe - delicious toasted sandwiches with chips and salad - unexpected birthday present. (My birthday has been wonderfully spread out this year)


I was quite early - there's something very satisfying about being the first car in the car park

I noticed that the gardener had mulched next to the pond and put a couple of new plants in

Tall raspberry red primulas

Of course I know holly has berries - but I'm not aware of seeing holly flowers before. From a distance the flowers look creamy beige but when you get closer you can see raspberry splashes on the petals and pale lemon pollen on the anthers

Orange pollen on these - another rock rose

A more general view - layers of colour

I heard a fish jump in the pond and turned to see ripples transforming what had been a mirror like surface a second earlier

 Lily of the valley

Delicate fern unfurling

Look at the centre of this little one - like a sea creatures tentacles

Here's a closer look at the "berries" I noticed the other day - obviously not berries at all - tiny flowers

These are tiny too - don't they look like miniature daffodils?

Pastel pink lilac (?)

This shaggy headed flower looks as if someone has trimmed the ends with pinking shears

When did these appear? Long stemmed daisies growing over the rocks - I didn't notice them coming

A couple of large mushrooms are growing in the prairie beds

I can't resist another rock rose middle - the crumpled petals, markings and all those stamens - what an amazing structure

A white allium poised to burst out

Strange hairy flower bud

I was being watched

A gentle breeze rattled the big palm leaves - I'm very glad it did because it drew my attention to the strange flowers nestling in the crown of the tree

Pathways lined with colourful rhododendrons and azaleas

Some are enormous

I don't usually go along this path - I really must remember to vary my route

On Friday my friend commented on the markings in rhododendrons and I had planned to get some close ups on my next visit. It proved harder than I thought. I had the same difficulty that I'd had with the snakeshead fritillaries a few weeks ago. The pattern on the petal is slightly fuzzy which makes it harder to photograph. I concentrated on stamens, anthers and pistils instead

Green mottled pattern in white rhododendron - OK from a distance but very blurry close up

More winged acer seeds - mid transformation from flowers - pink tinged winged seeds on the green leafed tree

and red winged seeds on the red leafed tree

A few more rhododendrons - red markings on pink flowers

and green and pink markings on white flowers

Many shades of pink

So much pollen was falling from these flowers and leaving a dusting all over the petals and leaves

Looking closer at a different flower  - what amazing structures

 These little ones have downy hairs on the buds

 Pink and yellow - big and little

Masses of bright pink flowers

Red flowers dangling like baubles

 Light shining through leaves

Looking closer at the tree peony flowers. They have changed since the previous day - the little anthers look as if a couple of strands of wool have been twisted together

 Cornus flowers on their way

Bleeding hearts.

At the tip of the bleeding heart stem the first couple of buds are still closed but further up the stem the dark side bits have flipped upwards

Small acer with big lime green leaves

Back to the flowers I photographed the other day - I think these are my favourite rhododendrons or azaleas - so many delicious colours on one plant

Mustard markings on pinky lilac flower. The tip of each anther is covered in white pollen making them look like a tiny pearl was perched on each one

Californian poppy middle

Jerusalem sage flower

Another fern uncurling creating a wonderful thready spiral. I like the way the side leaves look like fluffy balls on the end of each uncurling leaf

Orange Californian poppy

Mystery blue flowers - so tiny

Different ferns uncurling

The pansies are a bit nibbled now but I really like this colour combination

. . . and this one = raspberries and cream. The pale tulips were white to begin with but are tinted pink now

The car park had filled up since my arrival

Thank you very much for joining me


  1. wow, no wonder you couldn't leave any of these out - stunning photos, all of them! love all the pinks and whites - the primula and tree peonies are just beautiful. Thanks for sharing all these.

    1. Thank you for your very kind words Helen - and thank you for looking through all of them - such a lot of them here!