107 Floral ballet miniatures: Gladioli’s pas de deux with her shadow…

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It was a drab afternoon in the vase of Life and facing the very blandest of walls, even the former brightness of the floral ballerina in her perfect once vibrant, sunset salmon pink tutu could not resist the dullness of a rainwash of an ageing summer’s day. But now sadly fading, what was there to do?  Feel the approach of truth and time;  await the rising of the evening electric light, listen to the wall and reflect with the company of one’s shadows.

It could be a very fine dance if one let it.  Even Margot Fonteyn danced Romeo’s Juliet in her late 50s. Just because of a seasonless and blueless day, just because of continued English rain and overhanging coolness,  despondency did not have to take hold. She would with grace, gradually assume her new form, but enjoy her fully petalled memories with relish and gratitude. And with herself and with her imaginary ” once-loved” brought back to life from the high summer days of mid July, and who shared the same vase, rather than play the tragic heroine of the ill fated romance,  the future would instead, be set for hope and amends with the past. Summer did have to move on,  there will be no resistance as Autumn will begin to feel its way from tonight.

The musical choice, the Holst’s Venus,  Bringer of Peace, London Symphony Orchestra. Delicate and joyful as all gladioli are.


© 2015 La Floralie


100 The Saharan trail mix of Magnolia Grandiflora


Come early July 

…….in England and not before, these Gulf blooms will be ready.

Once in high summer, Wisley Gardens in Surrey, England I smelt this flower and had not experienced anything quite like it. Its intense perfume is the call of the exotic. If a flower ever wished to compete  with a rose in its perfection, fragrance and then empress status in its gigantic blooms, this must surely be it. One becomes locked in attention to its sheer magnificence.

Thornless, waxy  and evergreen, able to reach for the sky with inaccessibly high blooms and frustratingly visible, the flower will be just out of reach.  With majesty and grace it is unapologetic  “Look, admire, but you may not touch!”

After seeing a few trees in full bloom in Paris exactly this time last year, I was amazed to find a member of flora royalty gracing a small corner garden in my local neighbourhood, but so grateful I had caught sight of it. A grand gesture for a simple house with a garden defined by a washing line of clothes and  a neat rainbow collection of pegs. This tree was left to a life to look over the garden wall.

I have been watching this tree for 2 days.

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Friday I passed,  and saw how on a day of cloud, this closed bud was not at all ready to socialise.  I thought it would take another few days to open. Yesterday morning it was tight shut, but by afternoon, little did I know to its intentions.

After the nights thunderous rain and awaiting for the sunlight to become stronger, the blend of that watering and humidity, and that blossom had burst open.

Sunday, the  mid morning’s warm air on the back of my neck moved my footsteps towards the tree,   beckoning me to observe its progress once again.  Of course it would only perform to ‘open’  in the right circumstances. One could hear the silent thoughts:

“…do not have illusions of grandeur if you can not live up to them, the weather and light must be absolutely right….”

Just a few hours earlier when the light had been unsure, everything was held in delicate balance.  Unless the sky was going to clear and the sun to shine its brightest, for all flora  to be seen, Magnolia Grandiflora is not just going to flower in its own company. It might be independent, but it begs maximum attention to justify expending its immense energy. Such is this resource one to make a wise investment, or risk a waste for fragrance to be lost in mediocrity. Its scent perfumes are beyond the power of any other flower.

Today’s Saharan warmth had done its job, travelling across continents, it had followed its southern beauty to waft its intense, sweet balminess from the perfect white cup into the world around it.

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Few will ever care to look, or view upwards within such a modest brick wall habitat  to see where such a rich aroma will be originating. Such is the clever wisdom to keep one’s riches hidden, only on view for those who wish to see it. This must be one true floral statement in omniscience. It knows, sees and has everything.

© 2015 La Floralie

96 Up close and personal

The physical attractiveness of some can be truly magnetic. Ranging from the typical classic beauty to particular qualities of the unusual and individual, the magnolia possesses highly contrasting aesthetics of appearance for Autumn and Summer, and this paradox proves to be the bedrock to its clock from season to season.

In Spring and early Summer, the blossoming beauty pushes hard through the unforgivingly ugly seedcasings of Winter. This flora is a form which contains both beauty and beast, Jekyll and Hyde. Feel its seasonal detailing and charisma by clicking on the images for a further close up and personal interaction with its changeable, but utterly engaging character.

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From the beguiling, carved eye sculptures from Winter,

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To softest facial hair and firm neck in Spring;

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With the dual appeal of petal soft complexion and 5’o clock growth or trendy beard,

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And perfectly formed pinked, blood rushed lips.

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Only on the most microscopic observation will one view the furry layer on the edges of our ear, and exciting ripples in petalled skin. All nuances for the strange powers of sensuality.

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Nature’s soft looks brings memories of youth and beauty, but in Winter years, when conversation of floating petals on the Spring and early Summer breeze finally ceases,  hardened flappers become the necessity of the cold season, deafest wood keeps the ancient secrets of evolution safe and sound. How can a plant manage to conserve its energy and proceed to alternate between the fresh face of blossom to a season of ageing and maturity? The vertebrates are not capable of this type of renewal and growth.

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With new warmth and light attention of Spring to Summer, the ageing process then appears harnessed. The tree flowers once again, and as it gets older, there are only more blossoms and it becomes even more beautiful, proving that with maturity, ageing can apparently bring with it more procreative energies and benefits……Well, well, well…..breathtaking alchemy indeed.

Hmmm…..Magnolia,…….through the seasons, hardiness, softness, energy, stillness, colour and power, wisdom and constancy – you could be my type of flora….

© 2015 La Floralie

93 From the floating of nothingness

The rush for the light. Isn’t that what we all wait for? When May comes, after so very long last, it arrives in not bundles, but the canopies of the tree leaf. Green beautiful tree leaf, the domed “Grand Palais” of summer, Nature’s own parasol, brolly  and even a light Spring showerhead all rolled into one.

Out of bare and dull branches,  the air of Winter’s floating nothingness gradually found its destiny. Only after first blossom, May defines its role with a sudden, almost overwhelming abundance of verdancy. No longer wondering where to go, what to cling to, where to escape from,  all  airspace becomes busy. Nothing is not nothing for very long.

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© 2015 La Floralie

86 And it was a curious thing

These early days of Spring.

As new light entered into our North, the innocence of the Hawthorn blossoms became very stirred. They were beginning to realise their situation was not at all in their control.


The safety of the hedgerow thicket was not a guarantee, only the changing weather could be constant. Against the ageing lichen on their twigs, what might be in store for the papery and demure with just five petals to define it in all elements?

Huddled together, the handsome Magnolias, not yet open, were in awe, silently intuiting the sky. Around the corner, on the ground, one of the toughest plants in Suburbia, was curling inwards at a ‘happening’.



The Happening

At this time of year, when Spring flowers starts to emerge, sometimes angel wings can be seen to trail right across the sky. It is a very rare viewing.

Only when the white blossom opens, is the signal released for all nationalities of angels to stretch the length of day. In doing so, their wings elongate considerably, and consequently have to be released.

Once this happens,  the April showers will fall. When all buds and trees crowd to watch this unique spectacle, they know that actually their own Spring rain truly comes from above. They just know. It is very scientific.


All angels wings, are made of purest, unpolluted water vapour. These defy gravity and float upwards to rush across the world, underlit by the setting sun. Only visible to the small and humble.


© 2015 La Floralie