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11.5.14

57 Spring greens

Hawthorn in the rain

Proper spring weather here, sunshine and blustery showers. And the world is suddenly, vibrantly, green.

Out walking, coatless and surprised by rain, I sheltered by a wayside hawthorn, caught raindrops on my tongue, tried to catch them with my camera.

I was gathering cow parsley, Anthriscus sylvestris, but only to fill a pitcher for the mantle shelf. For as long as my kitchen serves as my dye house I won't be extracting colour from anything I can't be sure of, and cow parsley's easily confused with hemlock. There are plenty of other edible wild dye plants, I've no need to risk our health.

Cut cow parsley will last longest in a vase if you first sear the stems with boiling water and then plunge them into a bucket full of cold. I left mine in the bucket while I made myself a cuppa and only then did I arrange them in an old enamel jug.

I've challenged myself to pick a posy of wild flowers once every week or so, from May to October (long time readers will remember I've done this before). I'll be following the code of course. And blogging about it, as and when. Maybe you'd care to join me? All weeds welcome, ditto daisy chains.

Cow Parsley in flower

I promised you knitting, but me and knitting have had a tiff. We're currently in time-out, but you can be sure that won't last long.

Me and dyeing, we're good, and I've a veritable vat of gorse flower dye on the go. But no pictures, as yet. I know ... call myself a blogger! Soon, I promise!




A quick edit, now I've clicked about the date. Happy Mother's Day to the mums in most of the rest of the world! Here in the UK we celebrate Mother's Day in March so I'd overlooked today's importance to so many of you.


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57 comments :

  1. Hi Annie,

    I love the thought of the bouquets of wild flowers and all the pretty spring greens.
    Happy Sunday - and Mothers day - not sure if it is this weekend for you there but every time is special being a mother.

    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  2. A beautiful spring green photo, this time of year always takes my breath away. I love the idea of a little posy of wild flowers about the place. And I'm glad it's not just me that doesn't take photos of things, I'm always forgetting, especially, when it comes to food. Sorry you've fallen out with knitting, but a little time apart is often a good thing. Give it a few days and have a look at a nice yarn shop website, you will soon be back in love! I hope you have a good Sunday Annie. CJ xx

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  3. Beautiful photo of the hawthorn. I love the idea of a posy of wild flowers each week and will be giving that a go along with you though I don't promise to post pictures every week. Sometimes separation is a good thing and maybe you will return to knitting with fresh inspiration sometime. Are you dyeing yarn with your natural dyes? If so you maybe inspired to knit something with your dyed results.

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  4. Such a great photo. I have a vase of cow parsley indoors too. It's like having Spring inside. Shame it's moved to Autumn outside! x

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  5. Loving the simplicity of both your photos -you certainly have a knack with the camera. The weather here has been pretty awful but it has meant I have been able to get on with stuff that needed doing in the greenhouse which is bursting at the seams at the moment. The roadside verges are now burgeoning with frothy loveliness as the cow parsley does its thing - it is a joy to see.

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  6. The Hawthorne is beautiful at the moment with it's frothy blossom, I have been admiring it too. The wild flower code was interesting. Enjoy the May flowers, Heather x

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  7. Beautiful pic - it's so exquisite. I've been trying to tempt umbellifers into my meadow (rule number one of meadow madness is you wait for nature and don't do anything, um, assertive) but without much luck - I must have another go at seed-scattering…

    I'm sure you and knitting will be talking to each other soon. Personally, I'm not speaking to my spinning wheel. Hopefully that will also be resolved...

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  8. Gorgeous greens, Annie, and boy do I feel the same for dyeing in my kitchen. No other choice for me. No outdoor, garden or even balcony.
    Have a great rest of your weekend !
    xo

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  9. Yes please to your wildflower posy invitation! A lovely idea, and a constant reminder of the beauty nature offers us without the need for planting, weeding, fertilising, cross-pollinating, controlling...I favour a wild garden education! :-) Enjoy your cow parsley, I'm looking forward to the gorse results, and keep those knitting needles on the naughty step til you're good n' ready...Chrissie x

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  10. I'm heading straight out now to pick a bunch of cow parsley, we are inundated with it around here at the moment.
    Have a lovely day Annie,
    Kate x

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  11. As always, I am walking with you and feeling the rain.....or the wind......or whatever is attracting your attention! I so enjoy your walks and your photos of wild flowers. Soon....soon....I'll be able to wander up the farm lane....just like you....and enjoy nature's rich blessings. Meanwhile I will enjoy it vicariously through your blog so....throw down the knitting and keep walking...I say!! Joan

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  12. My daughter brings me posies of wild flowers she has picked from our garden and behind our terrace. We often have a wee posy on the table, most often in an egg cup as she always picks with a very short stalk! I haven't seen any cow parsley yet perhaps it is not out in these parts.....

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  13. I just love your first photograph, Annie. You've captured the time of year perfectly. I can almost feel my hair frizzing as I gaze at it!

    I currently have little vases of lilac from the garden dotted around the house and they're giving me such pleasure. Do they count? Far more delightful than any plastic-wrapped shop-bought posy.

    Heather x

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  14. I do love a wild flower posy & jugs of cow parsley are so pretty & frothy.

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  15. It must be lovely to pick wild flowers for your house. Glad you're enjoying the spring weather.
    Anne xx

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  16. oooh, cow parsley, i love it
    and enjoy it when i walk to the Woods with the dog
    soon it will be larger than me!
    love the smell and the sight of it
    knowing spring is definitely here
    but
    the last days it looks like autumn ;^((((

    with greetings from the cold, wet and stormy Netherlands!

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  17. I adore cow parsley, thanks for the tip. I didn't know that! I have some wilting in a vase right now ....;-)

    I've been collecting blooms too - and feeling a wee bit guilty.

    Jeanne x

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  18. I hope the hawthorn kept you dry in the spring shower. I like the idea of a posy once a week, I'm afraid there aren't any wild flowers in my area for picking (I'd have to drive out of town). Oh well. I'll admire yours. I like the sound of vats of plant dyes. I hope you and knitting can come to an agreement. If I put knitting away for too long I forget a lot of things and have to drag out the books again. Happy Sunday to you :) Wendy x

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  19. I didn't know cow parsley and hemlock resembled each other. Not a mistake one would want to make! I love the idea of a weekly bouquet of wildflowers. I need to think about whether we have enough variety in the nearby woods for me to participate.

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  20. Katherine Webb's novel, A Half Forgotten Song, involves a fatal death where hemlock was mistaken for cow parsley. It made me shudder and observe the wild flowers in our neighbouring countryside with more interest than ever.

    Stephanie

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  21. I think a wild flower posy once a week is an excellent idea!
    Just wondering whether I would be able to access them often enough....I'll check out the code :)
    Enchanting photographs Annie, such clarity.
    Would love to see photos of the gorse flower dye!!
    xx

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  22. Hi Annie! I'd love to join you in picking wild blooms each week (despite having just succumbed to some orange tulips from the supermarket...)
    Thanks for the tip re. cow parsley. I had some in the house last year and it ended up looking like a miniature snowstorm had occurred on the mantel!
    And thanks for the Code. I will be following it to the letter :)
    Sarah.

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  23. I love this time of the year.The "green" is such a gorgeous green.My garden is filled with bluebells(can't get rid of them!),Welsh poppies and forget me nots all self seeded but look wonderful.Barbarax

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  24. I only wish it were easier to find wildflowers where I live. The ones we do have are really gorgeous and it's a treat to pick some. But even here, it's very green at this time of year and I'm enjoying it a lot.

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  25. I have dutifully picked my bunch of cow parsley - it is the most wonderful flower and captures this time of year perfectly. I have been smelling the hawthorn today - that is the smell that takes me right back to the age of 8/9 and sitting in my den in the corner of the field 'drinking' my mud tea.......
    I love this time of year and thank you for your perfect imagery.
    Best wishes
    Jenny

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  26. No posy of cow parsley but I do have some photos which I must get on my blog!
    Maybe time for some crochet now that you and the knitting have fallen out! ;)
    V x

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  27. Your weekly posy of wildflowers sounds delightful!

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  28. It has been really wet here this weekend - all the spring wild flowers are drooping with the weight of the rain on them. The last few days have certainly brought about that gorgeous luminescent green that only spring can give - it is so heartening :) Beautiful photos as ever.

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  29. Funny you mention a knitting tiff, Annie - I was just thinking how long it's been since I've cast on a new project. Soon I'll be digging into the stash to find a good giveaway skein for my blog, so maybe then I'll feel inspired.
    Today I did morning chores wearing shorts! It was damp and muggy yesterday, but today it feels like midsummer. With such sudden heat, gardening must begin in earnest soon...but we still haven't gone past out "last danger of frost" date, so I'm biding my time just a bit longer. Better safe than frostbitten.
    Will be looking forward to seeing the results of your dyepot :)

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  30. I love the hawthorn bush and I love your photo too, Annie, thank you! It's good to hear you are being careful in your kitchen with your dyeing activities .. .. .. I'm sure you'll enjoy your knitting all the more if you don't push yourself into it when not quite in the mood. Enjoy your Spring! Joy x

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  31. Annie, I have read this post on Sunday evening, after a busy day at work, and must tell you how your reports from the natural world (I'm trying to remember what that Kate Bush record was called) helped to re-ground me in my little space in a very big city.

    Please do knit and blog when nature guides you, Annie. Every one of your posts is lovely, truly lovely.

    xo

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  32. Lovely, lovely pictures. They speak directly to my soul. Thank you for sharing them.

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  33. "to pick a posy of flowers" --- in the grey/gray of autumn....a challenge that will open my eyes to the grayness that's about to meet us in a cold and dry winter region...

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  34. No sunshine to speak of down here this weekend - solid rain instead. :-( But you're right, the green all around almost hurts the eyes.

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  35. I can hardly remember the earlier months at the beginning of the year because of other life events but Spring is looking hopeful now. Everything is so colourful here too.

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  36. It is lovely to pick some wild flowers and enjoy them at home. Not something that I have ever done as I am always worried about picking something rare or important, but I never thought of cow parsley and that is very easily available, perhaps I will give it a try! xx

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  37. The wild flower posy is a lovely idea - not sure I will manage every week, but I will give it a try!

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  38. We're seeing green too - isn't it lovely! And I just saw the first violets and serviceberry blossoms this weekend. It really IS spring!

    The weekly wildflower bouquet is a very tempting thought. (Wasn't there a bloggy name for this activity? If I join in what should I call it?)

    Enjoy your weather and your dyepot, and I hope we'll get to see some of your work soon, whether knitted or dyed or both. :)

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  39. That sounds like fun, I may have to try collecting flowers once a week, although I think I will run out pretty quick we live in a very urban area. Will see how far I can stretch it...

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  40. Ah yes, the up side to the rain, everything has come beautifully green. Although I must confess I'm ready for a few warmers days now. I hope you and knitting make up again very soon.

    S x

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  41. Such a lovely challenge. I may follow your example! When I cycle to my garden I always pass a field of wildflowers. Your bouquet of cow parsley looks really pretty! Looking forward to see your bouquets!

    Happy week & enjoy the dyeing!

    Madelief x

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  42. Hey Annie,

    The code was drummed into me as a child by my Mum. I picked a little bunch of wild flowers last week, and the guilt was enormous. Especially over the two bluebells. Is it just me, or are they in abundance this year? And I have a jug of cow parsley sat in a jug behind me. My favourite of all.
    Leanne xx

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  43. I try to pick flowers regularly, or at least take the time to appreciate them. It's cold and Autumnal and windy and drizzly here today so the idea of walking outdoors picking flowers is a lovely one but isn't going to become a reality. I might don a cape and umbrella and take Spud for a walk later, but only because he's a working dog puppy, and they tend to go mad in wet weather if you don't keep exercising them. Thankfully Rilla doesn't like walking in bad weather, despite being the same breed. She's a lady of leisure :-)

    Sarah x

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  44. Beautiful images dear Annie, green and refreshing.
    xoxoxo ♡

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  45. I love this photo so much Annie! I love wildflowers and we also have lots of very pretty weeds around here too that name their way into vases. I hope your knitting makes its way off the naughty step soon :-) Mel x

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  46. Haha -- I love that you and knitting are in a time-out. Well...I don't really love that, but that you posted about it. I think it happens to all of us at one time or another. Fickle needles!

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  47. Daily posies of wild flowers are a beautiful idea, although living in the middle of town I think I shall have to pick the flowers that grow wildly in my garden. I am intrigued to know why you and knitting are not on speaking terms. I hope you make up your differences soon!

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  48. I would love to live in an area where I could go for a walk and pick wild flowers, how fun. By the way knitting and I and as Crochet and I are all having a big tiff right now, too.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  49. Your description of getting caught in the rain was wonderful as are your images. I will try your hint about plunging the cow parsley in cold water I have only tried searing them. I would love to join in your weekly posy of wild flowers. Sarah x

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  50. wild flower posies are the best. there are enough weeds in my garden that I shouldn't have to go far to collect some x

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  51. I grew up on the Leicestershire/Rutland/Northamptonshire borders and have always known this plant as Kek. I love seeing it fill the hedgerows and even let it grow in my garden. I always think that it is a shame when the wind and rain bash the grass verges about and spoil the kek.

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  52. I remember you picking your posies of wild flowers before, such a great challenge. The sun's out today, makes a change from all the rain we've had this week.

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  53. I'm taking your challenge!!! I love picking fresh flowers for enjoyment inside. Many of my bouquets are made up of weeds, but I still think they are lovely!

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  54. bring on the pretty flower pictures. the sudden bouts of cold pretty much murdered my daffodils and the cherry blossoms are all falling :(

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  55. We are always picking little posies to pop in a jar, I think we should post our posies! Happy sites especially after all the rain!

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  56. So pretty! In Arizona our green-time and flower-time is long past. Now onto wilting 100F days...

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  57. Thanks for the tip of keeping cow parsley going - I love to pick it (especially as it grows in such abundance) but it sheds it's tiny white petals so quickly. I will try your way and cross my fingers. x

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