Monday, 5 September 2011



Springtime is upon us.
The birds celebrate her return with festive song,
And murmuring streams are softly caressed by the breezes.
Thunderstorms, those heralds of Spring,
Roar, casting their dark mantle over heaven,
Then they die away to silence,
And the birds take up their charming songs once more.

On the flower-strewn meadow,
With leafy branches rustling overhead,
The goat-herd sleeps, his faithful dog beside him.

Led by the festive sound of rustic bagpipes,
Nymphs and shepherds lightly dance
Beneath the brilliant canopy of spring.

This is the Sonnet that inspired Vivaldi to write his Spring Concerto. The sonnet is thought to have been written by the composer himself and the intimate relationship between music and the sonnet has contributed to the success of the Four Seasons concerti.

Here are some photos of Spring flowers, which are glorious at the moment.

Cyclamens brighten up the garden from late winter. Cyclamen is a genus of 23 species of perennials growing from tubers, valued for their flowers with upswept petals and variably patterned leaves. Cyclamen species are native from Europe and the Mediterranean region east to Iran, with one species in Somalia. The large ornamental plants are cultivars of Cyclamen persicum.

The common bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta; syn. Endymion non-scriptum, Scilla non-scripta, Agraphis nutans) is a spring-flowering bulbous perennial plant. Its cheery blue flowers light up dark corners of the garden.
Japonica, or Chaenomeles is a genus of three species of deciduous spiny shrubs, usually 1–3 m tall, in the family Rosaceae. They are native to eastern Asia in Japan, China and Korea. These plants are related to the Quince (Cydonia oblonga) and the Chinese Quince (Pseudocydonia sinensis). This is Chaenomeles x superba. 
This brilliantly coloured Spring harbinger is the flowering form of (cultivated) Primula commonly known as polyanthus (P. elatior hybrids).
This is the cineraria (Senecio cruentus) a highly ornamental plant that has been developed by florists from species of the genus Senecio or related genera in the composite family Asteraceae. There are two distinct types: the garden species, especially dusty miller (S. cineraria); and the greenhouse varieties of S. cruentus, commonly referred to simply as cinerarias. Greenhouse cinerarias may be dwarf, compact-growing plants with large flowers in dense clusters, or taller plants with larger, more spreading clusters of small star-shaped flowers. Both types are easily grown from seed and are sold commercially as potted plants in a variety of colours, such as this blue shade here.
Prunus cerasifera, or cherry plum is a popular ornamental tree for garden and landscaping use, grown for its very early flowering and its ornamental purple or reddish-brown leaves.
Dietes iridioides, or fortnight lily, is a native of South Africa that is grown extensively in Australia, often in large clumps on nature strips and in parks. The flowers are large and showy but last only a single day.
Calendula officinalis (pot marigold) is a plant in the family Asteraceae. It is probably native to southern Europe though its long history of cultivation makes its precise origin unknown, and may possibly be of garden origin. It is also widely naturalised further north in Europe (north to southern England) and elsewhere in warm temperate regions of the world. Its generic name indicates its long flowering period, ostensibly on the calends of every month of the year in warm regions!
Magnolia liliiflora (variously known by many names, including Mulan magnolia, Purple magnolia, Red magnolia, Lily magnolia, Tulip magnolia, Jane magnolia and Woody-orchid) is a small tree native to southwest China (in Sichuan and Yunnan), but cultivated for centuries elsewhere in China and also Japan. It was first introduced to English-speaking countries from cultivated Japanese origins, and is thus also sometimes called Japanese magnolia, though it is not native to Japan. It is now also planted as an ornamental in Australia, Africa, North America and Europe, though rather less often than its popular hybrids.
Alyogyne huegelii (native hibiscus) is a flowering plant found in the Southwest botanical province of Western Australia, extending along its entire coastline. A large flowered shrub, the species favours the sands of coastal shrublands and heath. The large flower, highly variable in colour, is similar to that of Hibiscus. It was previously placed in that genus, and is commonly named Lilac Hibiscus. It is widely cultivated as a flowering plant for the garden.
Clivia miniata or Kaffir lily is a South African native and grow in most areas of Australia - from Tasmania to the Tropics. It is a hardy plant that is almost unkillable and has large clusters of orange or yellow flowers.
The Mexican Orange Blossom (Choisya ternata) is a fully hardy evergreen shrub. This is an excellent choice of shrub for any size of garden and requires almost no attention other than a yearly prune to shape. Clusters of small white flowers cover it from Spring to early summer.
Helleborus niger, commonly called Christmas rose or black hellebore, is an evergreen perennial flowering plant in the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae. It is poisonous. Although the flowers resemble wild roses (and despite its common name), Christmas rose does not belong to the rose family (Rosaceae). Numerous cultivars exist and flower from winter to spring.
Hyacinthus orientalis (Common Hyacinth, Garden Hyacinth or Dutch Hyacinth), is a perennial flowering plant, native to southwestern Asia, southern and central Turkey, northwestern Syria, Lebanon and northern Israel. It was introduced to Europe in the 16th century. it is a common garden plant and often grown indoors in bulb jars or pots so its fragrant blooms will perfume the early spring.
The camellias belong to a genus of flowering plants in the family Theaceae. They are native to eastern and southern Asia, from the Himalaya east to Korea and Indonesia. There are 100–250 described species, with some controversy over the exact number. The genus was named by Linnaeus after the Jesuit botanist Georg Joseph Kamel from Brno, who worked in the Philippines, though he never described a camellia.
Veronica chamaedrys (Germander Speedwell, Bird's-eye Speedwell) is a species of Veronica, native to Europe and northern Asia. It is found on other continents as an introduced species. It is a herbaceous perennial plant with hairy stems and leaves. It can grow to 25 cm tall, but is normally about 12 cm tall. The flowers are blue, with a four-lobed corolla. The form of the leaves are similar to white deadnettle. The 2 to 4 mm wide blossoms of this plant wilt very quickly upon picking, which has given it the ironic name "Männertreu", or "men's faithfulness" in German.
Taraxacum officinale, the Common Dandelion (often simply called "dandelion"), is a herbaceous perennial plant of the family Asteraceae (Compositae). It can be found growing in temperate regions of the world, in lawns, on roadsides, on disturbed banks and shores of water ways, and other areas with moist soils. T. officinale is considered a weedy species, especially in lawns and along roadsides, but it is sometimes used as a medical herb and in food preparation. As a nearly cosmopolitan weed, Dandelion is best known for its yellow flower heads that turn into round balls of silver tufted fruits that blow away on the wind.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) depleted seed heads thrusting up into the sky. 
A clump of Cotyledon orbiculata plants, known commonly as "pigs' ears". A native of South Africa it is grown widely int eh temperate regions of Australia and rewards gardeners with beautiful displays of flowers.
A bee feasting on the nectar of Hebe flowers.
Beautifully scented masses of Clematis flowers that quickly climb up any support.
Lavandula stoechas or Italian Lavender is a frost hardy evergreen and compact little shrub up to 60 cm tall. It is covered in purple pink flower spikes from spring until late autumn. Also grown for essential oils, this type of lavender needs a sunny position with well drained garden soil. 
The lemon tree full of blossoms, ripe fruit and small green lemons. The scent of the lemon flowers is wonderful, justifying their widespread use in perfumery.
Aquilegia vulgaris (European Columbine, Common Columbine or Granny's Nightcap) is a species of columbine native to Europe. The genus name Aquilegia is derived from the Latin word for eagle (aquila), because the shape of the flower petals are said to resemble an eagle's claw. There are many showy cultivars, like this two-toned one.
Miniature daffodils are a good addition to the front of the bulb border, in clumps around garden beds or lawns, or grown in pots. Miniature daffodils have been bred to emphasise the special characteristics of the smaller growing species of daffodil (Narcissus).
Bellis perennis is a common European species of Daisy, often considered the archetypal species of that name. Many related plants also share the name "Daisy", so to distinguish this species from other daisies it is sometimes qualified as Common Daisy, Lawn Daisy or occasionally English daisy. It is native to western, central and northern Europe. The species is widely naturalised in Australia, North America, Africa  and also in South America. A common belief is that Spring has not sprung unless you can step on more than 12 daisies with each foot. Spring is here!
For more pictures of Spring flowers in our garden, see my later blog entry here.

And here is Vivaldi's Spring Concerto:

 Enjoy the season!


  1. No wonder spring is a time of optimism for the future, the time when a young man's fancy turns to love. Every flower has a different colour and a different petal arrangement; and each one is gorgeous. When my brothers and I were young, we used to compete to find the first burst of daffodils.

  2. Gorgeous pictures! I love Spring and you have captured the essence of this beautiful season with your flower pictures.

  3. Beautiful pictures and lovely photography!

  4. Great photos of flowers, but I really enjoyed the context you placed them in, also. Vivaldi's 'Spring' is one of my favorite pieces of music!

  5. Beautiful flowers and I wouldn't call you amateur. The photo's are very good. I came to your blog as I was trying to identify the flower next door: Alyogyne huegelii, which grows in the wild here in WA. Thanks for the music as well.