Tuesday, April 29, 2008

All the colours of the rainbow

Along the New Westminster Quay, the gardeners are always at work. They take pride in creating new arrangements, experimenting with new arrangements of plants both familiar and exotic. Every time we visit, we discover new delights. This last Saturday was no exception.

Here's a sampler:

Showy. Double tulips. These yellows were so bright that the camera could only capture them in the shade.

Shy and retiring. Wood violets. I love these tiny beauties.

Fritillary. Or Snake's Head. Or Checkered Lily, if you prefer. Look at this full size; the pattern looks artificial. It isn't.

Little stars under the shade of the shrubbery. I don't know what they are.

The only name I can find for this is "Hairy Purple Rock Flower". I'm sure that's not the official name, but I'll go with that for now. They really are hairy!

Another tulip, triple. Pink, white and ... green?

Fawn lily. Another of my favourites. So graceful!

Almost hidden among its leaves, a dwarf iris boasts a deep purple-black, velvety lip on the palest of pale green petals.

And for the just plain odd, the multi-coloured brassicas that have been with us all winter, ...

Beginning of April.

... are flowering. In bright yellow.

End of April.



  1. Beautiful!

    Flowers have such a positive impact on public spaces. (Unless you're prone to hayfever, of course.) In fact the impact is so dramatic that I can feel it even through the intaweb!

  2. I'm wishing there were a way to convey the delicious scents that accompanied the colours and textures. Maybe some day.

  3. The little stars are Spring Star,
    Tristagma uniflora, which has several synonyms, the most commonly-used being Ipheion uniflora. It's in the Liliaceae, a native of Argentina and Uruguay.

    I know this, because some appeared in my garden a couple weeks ago, and I had to look it up.

  4. Thanks, Hugh.

    How do you look up a flower without some sort of a name? I tried things like "white flower, star, 6 petals", on the Google image search engine. I got red flowers, 5- and 8-petalled flowers, purple flowers, yellow flowers, flower embroidery, and, on the 4th page, a photo of these ones, with the illuminating name, "small white flower".

    I gave up.

  5. I wish there were an online way. When starting from nothing, I pick up my hefty copy of Western Garden Book (about the size of the Calgary phone book) and start flipping pages. The illustrations are accurate, and if lucky I find my plant before my eyes go dry.

  6. Western Garden Book. Would that be the same as the New Western Garden Book (Sunset, 1979), not in colour, that I have?

    It has the Spring Star, but gives it the Latin name, "Ipheion uniflorum".


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