I looked for a periwinkle a few days ago, and found nothing. I didn’t know it was hiding out within the mass of ivy beneath the pines. I love these small flowers. Now I know for sure Spring is on the way in South Jersey. It’s really cold and windy today, but this tender little blossom gives me hope. My periwinkle is part of Cee’s Flower of the Day.
Photo Challenges – Bright Dandelion and a Wildflower Walk
I love dandelion puffs. Backlit by the morning sun, the photo becomes naturally monochromatic. There are some interesting sparkles shining in the fluffy parachutes. The correct name for the fluff is pappus. You can find more dandelion information on Quora.
Today, I came upon a great blog called Good One God Challenge. My entry for the challenge is this beautiful dandelion. The dandelion against the sky is part of Skywatch. The square shape and the bright sunshine makes it perfect for today’s Life of B – April Squares Bright challenge entry. While not bright in color, the photo conveys a sense of brightness in the contrast.
I found the beautiful puff of dandelion on this week’s wildflower walk. These bright and beautiful wildflowers are blooming now in my Mid-Atlantic state of New Jersey. (Do squares in a square count as a bright square? I’ll have to ask Becky.)
Top to bottom, left to right, the wildflower names are:
1. Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea) – An invasive groundcover in the mint family.
2. Speedwell Persian (Veronica-persicaiolet) – Very small flowers, but they capture the color of the sky. It’s everywhere at this time of year in NJ, but soon disappears when hot weather arrives.
3. Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria) – This plant is invasive, but it also has the beautiful yellow petals of buttercups, and is in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae.
4 Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) – Nutritious, the plant has many benefits.
5. Purple Deadnettle (Lamium purpureum) – Although it can be invasive, it is an important wildflower for early pollinators. In this photograph you can see a Cabbage White Butterfly feeding on the small flowers.
6 White Violets (Viola blanda) – These are lovely, but like many wildflowers, can become invasive and take over your garden beds and lawn.
7. Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) – I learned this wildflower is a wild edible, but also can be invasive.
8. Periwinkle (Myrtle vinca) – Not just a wildflower, this plant is sometimes sold in garden nurseries as an evergreen groundcover.
9. Indian Strawberry (Duchesnea indica) – The small strawberries are not edible. The leaves can be used to treat eczema.
Phlowers – Blooming in the Garden/Late April
There are many beautiful purple-hued flowers blooming in my garden this week. I love the lines on the pansy faces. These markings are called pencilings. They look a bit like the whiskers on a cat’s face to me.
“Nobody can keep on being angry if she looks into the heart of a pansy for a little while.” ~ Lucy Maud Montgomery
The Johnny-Jump-Ups are also part of the viola family. I planted these in the Autumn, they lived through our terrible winter and are growing strong, and as an added bonus self-seeded everywhere.
Perwinkles, also called vinca, are putting on quite a show right now. The color is gorgeous and a favorite shade of mine. I also love this periwinkle quote from one of my favorite books and movies, The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim.
“All down the stone steps on either side were periwinkles in full flower, and she could now see what it was that had caught at her the night before and brushed, wet and scented, across her face. It was wisteria.”~ Elizabeth von Arnim, The Enchanted April
Violets are blooming throughout the yard in both garden and grass. Their fragrance is amazing, their color divine. I think this quote by Mark Twain is a good way to end this Springtime post.
“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” ~ Mark Twain
Plans – Snow on the Way
I listened to the weather report this morning and know Chicago is experiencing snow. Their weather system will soon head our way and meet up with another big storm moving up the coast line creating a powerful Nor’easter. Snow is on the way.
The forsythia bursting into bloom just a few days ago has bowed its yellow blossoms in defeat, closing their cuplike petals against the cold and coming precipitation.
Only a few days ago I walked the neighborhood sidewalks with my grand-daughters, searching for periwinkles in bloom. We found a few, but now those brave little flowers will soon be buried under inches of snow. No one wants to experience a record-setting snowstorm so close to Spring. My wish is for just a few inches of the beautiful white stuff and then glorious sunshine prompting a quick meltaway.
The daffodils look like they know what is coming and have already given up. Later on, I’ll go out and once again cut anything that is blooming, rather than leaving pretty flowers outdoors to languish under the snow.
Perspective – Excuse me Miss
“Encouragement is awesome. It (can) actually change the course of another person’s day, week, or life.” ~ Chuck Swindoll
Years ago, my husband and I, both at this point in time forty plus years of age, were walking through a local shopping mall. As we walked by an indoor landscaping display, a young man sitting on the edge of the planter said to me with a smile, and twinkle in his eye, “Excuse me Miss, but is that periwinkle you’re wearing?”
I was startled, but still stopped, and looked down at the shirt I had on. “Why yes, it is,” I said. In the next instant, I SMILED at the unexpected question and implied compliment, and my husband mirrored the same grin. There was no other conversation, and we walked on. Neither my husband or I can say why, but the moment was magical, unrehearsed and unexpected, and it has remained for both of us…quite unforgettable. Whenever I think of the moment I feel encouraged.
“So encourage each other to build each other up, just as you are already doing.”
~ I Thessalonians 5:11
Who can you encourage today? A co-worker, a family member…a stranger? It doesn’t take much to lift someone’s spirit. It can be as easy as,”Excuse me Miss…”
Do clothes make the woman? Or does the woman make the clothes? I love to wear periwinkle…of course!