I just finished up a 7 day photography challenge over on Facebook — the husband tagged me to do 7 nature pictures and I ended up narrowing it down further for myself by deciding to do only flowers in the blue-purple spectrum that arrived on our property without my aid. I had so much fun finding and identifying them all that I might just extend this indefinitely! It gives me the kick in the butt I need to get outside and get to know all those forgotten corners as well, while the weather is nice.
#1 – Spreading Bellflower (Campanula patula) on our roadside. I love campanulas and was going to plant some next year anyway, so was happy to see a few of these volunteers. If there’s more next year, I might just move some into my garden proper.
#2 – Germander Speedwell (Veronica chamaedrys). A tiny, pretty perennial with leaves that can be made into a tea that helps all sorts of ailments. Will have to do a harvest of these one day when I start making my own herbal mixes!
#3 – Wood Cranesbill (Geranium sylvaticum). According to Wiki, “The flowers yield a blue-gray dye that was used in ancient Europe to dye war cloaks, believing it would protect them in battle. For this reason it was called Odin’s Grace.” That’s pretty awesome! Ours seem a bit too light to be used as dye, but there are an awful lot of them so maybe one of these days I’ll give it a go…
#4 – European Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris). A classic cottage garden flower that just randomly pops up around our property in the most unexpected and charming places. Probably a garden escapee or transplant by the original owners of the house, but it just sort of wanders around self-sowing at will now. Since I am not responsible for its appearance or upkeep, I count them as wildflowers 🙂
#5 – Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium caeruleum). Another classic cottage garden escapee. Our house was built mid-20th century and the garden includes lots of transplants that can be dated back several decades before that, so we have all kinds of awesome old-timey flowers around.
#6 – Common Comfrey (Symphytum officinale). Old-timey garden plant with bonus medicinal value — it can be used externally as an anti-inflammatory. Also great for enriching compost, as liquid fertilizer, and a healthy treat for the bunnies. Planted by the previous owner and just recently discovered while I was exploring nooks and crannies for interesting pictures. So glad I found this!
#7 – Garden Lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus). Lupines are something of an invasive species here in Finland, having escaped gardens a while back. They conquer the roadsides and untended fields, beating out lots of native species and being a general nuisance. Although we cut them down in the areas where they are most unwanted, I admittedly do let a few stands hang around in the more neglected corners, because you can’t deny that the flowers are pretty. I just had to include one lupine picture because it’s hard to avoid them during the summer.