Witch Hazel

The poem below, Witch Hazel, by Theodore Enslin, (American poet, 1925-2011) perfectly conveys the sting of clarity offered by Hamamelis, or witch hazel. Flowering in an otherwise blunted winter landscape, witch hazel is impossible to ignore. It draws the attention tight. Similarly, it is valued medicinally for its great astringency – tightening and strengthening blood…

Flower of Invisibility

At the darkest time of year, this resilient flower emerges from the snow. It can be easy to miss –  white petals camouflaged by their absence of colour, leaves still frozen; its underground root, black as earth. Folklore tells that if you scattered powdered Hellebore root at your feet as you walked, you would become…

January’s Flowers

At a time of year when many gardeners are poring over seed catalogues, this image relates to the very first published in England. Here we see January’s vase, from Twelve Months of Flowers by Henry Fletcher

Inside the bud

Digital study of a Camellia japonica bud, whole and in cross-section.

Pennywort

This plant has been drawing my attention for a while, especially as it has stayed so green while everything else dies off for winter. Known as Pennywort or Pennypies (for its shape) and Navelwort (for the cute little dimple in the leaves’ middle), Umbilicus rupestris is a plant with some fondly given common names. It’s…

Winter Light

The art and spaciousness of the winter landscape…