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Geranium phaeum photos-Dusky Cranesbill-Mourning Widow

Geranium phaeum is a clump-forming perennial, a hardy geranium, often cultivated as garden plant.
Dusky Cranesbill, Mourning Widow and Black Widow are some of the common names this European native plant is known by worldwide.

Geranium phaeum grows 45-75cm (18-30 inches) tall, producing hairy flower buds on branching, slender stems.
Its tiny, slightly reflexed flowers are deep violet-maroon, almost black, having a lighter whitish center ring. White colored flowers exist as well.
Geranium phaeum flower and hairy buds - close-up
Geranium phaeum foliage
Blooming period is from end April to July, with sporadic re-bloom throughout the summer.

Geranium phaeum leaves are slightly hairy, lobed, soft green, often with a purple mark.
After flowering, cranesbill-like seed heads will form and the plant will reseeds, if allowed.

Geranium phaeum grows naturally in damp meadows and along the edge of woodland. It loves damp but well-drained soil in partial shade, though it tolerates sun and will withstand even periods of drought.
Dusky Cranesbill in wildflower field
Planted in shade gardens, wild gardens, under trees and bushes and shady borders this perennial geranium is a showy plant.
Like its relatives, the Geranium Molle and the Geranium macrorrhizum, this plant needs no maintenance either.
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Forget-me-not ground cover-Myosotis sylvatica

Wood Forget-me-not (Myosotis sylvatica), this delicate, tiny and humble wildflower, spread over a large area, is an unforgettable sight.

Do you have a shady, part shady, wet spot in your garden where not much grows? A woodland garden, bog garden or ponds maybe, where you don't have much time to invest in plant care?
If yes, the Wood Forget-me-not is happy to enchant you with a sky-blue ground cover, growing on its own, without ever asking anything in exchange.
Wood Forget-me-not closeup - Myosotis sylvatica

" There is a sweet, a lovely flower,
Tinged deep with faith’s unchanging hue,
Pure as the ether in its hour
Of loveliest and serenest blue.

The streamlet’s gentle side it seeks,
The silent fount, the shaded grot;
And sweetly to the heart it speaks
Forget-me-not, forget-me-not."


This little poem says it all. I was not able to find out the author's name to thank for the worlds.

Look at this picture, aren't they beautiful?
Forget-me-not groundcover
There is though one thing you can't do with this flower: you can't forget a Forget-me-not!
There are many species of forget-me-not, check out some of them.
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Pokeweed shrubs- Phytolacca Acinosa photos

Pokeweed shrubs- Phytolacca Acinosa are no-care perennials, grown as ornamental plants for their showy berries.
From the many species, Phytolacca Acinosa, Asian poke weed, or Indian poke is growing in our parts. It can reach 1.5 m (5ft) in height with the same spread.
Birds love these big, 4–12 mm diameter berries and spread them all over the large, green leaves of the bush.
Phytolacca Acinosa fruits - Pokeweed purple berries
Phytolacca Acinosa berries - pokeweed fruit panicles
Pokeweed starts flowering in early June with greenish-white to pink flowers produced in long racemes at the ends of the stems.
Inkberry bush fruits are globose berries on large panicles, green at first, ripening dark purple to black.
 
Phytolacca Acinosa - long racemes of greenish-white flowers 
 Poke weed flowers- Phytolacca Acinosa
The dark red juice of the berries were used in older times as ink, paint and dye.
Though the plant is poisonous to humans, it is said that young leaves are cooked like spinach, in some parts of the world.

Phytolacca Acinosa fruits and foliage
Phytolacca Acinosa -Indian poke fruits and foliage
In temperate climate, this shrub thrives in sunny places in any soil. I often see them near the sidewalk on the streets but in neglected gardens as well, growing on their own.
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Sweet Basil plant - Ocimum basilicum photos

Basil, or Sweet Basil, is a culinary herb in the mint family (Lamiaceae). Its leaves have a sweet and pungent aroma.

From the many varieties of Basil, Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is most often used in cooking, especially in Italian cuisine.
Flowering sweet basil - Ocimum Bbasilicum
Sweet Basil plant in flower
Basil grows between 30–100 cm tall, with light green leaves and spike of white flowers.

The green leaves of basil can be used both fresh and dry.
Harvest the top most leaves first, before the plant begins flowering. Pinch out any flowers as they appear to encourage more leaf growth and to preserve the plant's flavor.
Sweet Basil - green leaves
Green leaves of Sweet Basil
To dry the plant, cut the stems at ground level and hang them up in a warm room. The dried herb loses most of its flavor, tastes and smells very different, similar to newly-mown hay.

Several other basils are grown in India and different tropical regions of Asia, where this aromatic plant comes from.

Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) or Tulsi is cultivated across South Asia as a medicinal plant and an herbal tea with many diverse healing properties.
Lemon Basil (Ocimum × citriodorum), used in Indonesia, has a mild lemon flavor, very different from those of other varieties.
Several varieties of Thai basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) are used in Thai cuisine.

Most basil species are frost tender annuals. They will thrive outdoors all summer, in sunnier climates, but will die out in late autumn at first frost. If allowed to go to seed, they will come back next year.
However, basil can be grow all year round indoors, in pots. In this case they need regular watering and much light, even fluorescent light will do.

Like oregano, basil contain large amounts of (E)-beta-caryophyllene, which seams to be useful in the treatment of arthritis and inflammatory conditions of the colon and small intestine.
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Cowslip-Primula veris, the Key of Heaven

Cowslip-Primula veris, is a pretty wildflower in the genus Primula, native throughout most of temperate Europe and Asia.
In older days, Cowslip was frequently found on open fields and meadows but, unfortunately, the plant has been picked almost to extinction, due to its sedative properties.
As so many other wildflowers, it is known under many names in folklore. Some of these names are "Herb Peter", "Key of Heaven", "Key Flower".

Cowslip flowers - closeup photograph
Cowslip leaves are produced early in spring and they are very similar to that of a Primrose, but shorter and rounder. The leaves form a rosette that lies flat on the ground.
In April and May, a long stalk rises from the center of the leaf rosette, holding an umbel of 10-30 tiny, yellow flower. Each little flower has a separate little stalk, starting from the same point.
The flowers have a very distinctive, fresh fragrance.

Cowslip plant - Primula veris - flowers and leaves Small group of cowslip flowers in open field

In olden days, Cowslip flowers were in great request for home remedies, as well as for culinary purposes.

Culinary uses:

  • The flowers of cowslip contain a narcotic juice and are used in making the fermented liquor called Cowslip Wine.
  • Cowslip salad from the petals, with white sugar, is said to make an excellent and refreshing dish (in English cookery)
  • Young Cowslip leaves were at one time eaten as a salad green in Spanish cooking.

Medicinal uses:

  • Infusion of flowers is used to treat insomnia and restlessness, the flowers possessing antispasmodic and sedative properties.
    The above mentioned cowslip wine is said to be an excellent sedative.
  • Cowslip is considered beneficial in all paralytic ailments, hence its other name "Herba paralysis" or "Palsy Wort".
  • The roots are used in treating chronic bronchitis, febrile condition and flu.

Caution:

  • the plant is rich in salicylates, which have similar actions to aspirin. People with aspirin allergies are not advices to use it.
  • The saponins contained in the plant can be irritating as well.
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Alternative to MFS list - be a guest author

Old paper and pen - guest hostin
As many of you know already, Macro Flowers Saturday listing is closed, for now. We all need some space.
That doesn't mean I don't miss you on weekends. Therefor, I would like to present you a new alternative to MFS sharing: be a quest author!

This idea is yet very new, more details will follow but in a nutshell:

Topics for guest posts

I am looking for good-quality but simple, pleasant reading that fits the theme of this blog. Anything in the following subjects would be welcome:
  • flower care
  • your own gardening tips and ideas
  • gardening tools
  • garden design
  • photography tutorials
  • garden decor
  • you come up with some great ideas!

What’s in it for you?

  • You get a blog review with reference to your blog
  • Drive traffic to your website or blog and gain new audience.
  • Get more traffic to your blog
  • Increase your online presence.
  • Get some really dofollow backlinks to your blog

Main Guidelines

  • Your article must be original and exclusive for MFS.
  • Article must be written in English, as this blog's language.
  • Please attach some beautiful, small size pictures (2 max), relevant to the topic.
  • Post must be ~ 700 characters or more.
This is not the final version but if you already have a post that you think it's appropriate, please contact me through my contact form (from the menu) for further details.

A great weekend to you all!
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Friday the 13th-Eastern Orthodox Easter

Friday the 13th, what an interesting day!
Are you superstitious?

While for many superstitious people this day is the most feared day and date in history for others, today is the greatest holiday of the year.

Eastern Orthodox Christians, the second largest Christian denomination in the world, are marking the holy days this week, following the older, Julian calendar. Every few years, Western Easter (Catholic and Protestant) and Eastern Orthodox Easter coincide, but not this year.

Today, on Good Friday, Eastern Orthodox Christian pilgrims marched through the stone alleyways of Jerusalem’s Old City to commemorate Jesus’ crucifixion more than 2,000 years ago.

Most Romanians being of Eastern Orthodox denomination, this is the "official" Easter in my country, being also a more "spectacular" holiday than the Western Easter, last week. I'm not Orthodox, but like to celebrate this second Easter as well. So, once again,

Happy Easter!
Pink cherry blossoms
The spiritual highlight of Eastern Orthodox Holy Week is the miracle of the Holy Fire, a flame that is said to appear spontaneously from the tomb of Jesus on the day before Easter. Thousands of pilgrims flock to Jerusalem for the Holy fire ceremony, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians).

The Holy Fire is brought to us, as well as to many other countries, by special flights from Jerusalem, every year.
The ceremony is broadcast live on Great Saturday night.

With this post, Macro Flowers Saturday comes to an end.
I want to thank everyone for their participation in Macro Flowers Saturday meme for the last two years.
The time has come to close this meme or at least to take a long break.
It has been a wonderful time for me, spent in the company of your lovely flowers.
If I'll ever decide to restart the meme, I'll bang all drums laud, so bookmark or follow this blog to hear the drums.


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Geranium molle-Dove's foot Cranesbill photos

Geranium molle is one of numerous members of the genus Geranium, a hardy geranium native to Europe and naturalized in southwestern and central Asia,in North Africa and also in North America

Geranium molle, also known as Dovesfoot Geranium, is a small, common weed, on average 5–30 centimeters (2.0–12 in) tall.
Dovesfoot Geranium grows on disturbed soils, on open areas, dry meadows, lawns and gardens and forms a groundcover among grasses.

Geranium molle flower macro-Dove's foot Cranesbill
Geranium molle leaves
Geranium molle blooms from April to September producing small (8-12 mm), pinkish-purple flowers.
The flowers have 5 petals divided into 2 lobes and they come in pairs at the end of the flower stem.

The leaves are palmate, rounded and hairy.

Geranium molle - Dovesfoot Cranesbill

Another pretty hardy geranium, often used as groundcover, is the Cranesbill geranium-Geranium macrorrhizum.
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White Alstroemeria photo on Black Friday

This week is Holy Week for western Christians.
Today, on Good Friday or Great Friday, girls are very busy in the kitchen.
Cooking, baking and egg painting for the family and friends are all our tasks and sometimes they can be fun, until it come to do the dishes.

With my laptop in the kitchen I'm trying to craft an Easter greeting card for you but there is nothing in the kitchen to inspire me; flowers and food don't always mix.

With this white Alstroemeria macro I wish you all a Happy Easter holidays with your family.

HAPPY EASTER!

Happy Easter
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Early spring colors

The unusually warm weather in March, up to 18-20C, got the garden plants off to an early start, but for some reason, spring flowering shrubs and trees are not budding yet.
Still, I saw today a flowering magnolia and forsythia shrubs are starting out too, slowly but surely.

I've find this cheerful forsythia shrub in a sunny place, protected by a building.
Forsythia-closeup photo
And guess what? Early, dwarf tulips are blooming as well.
Early tulip bud
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100 Macro Flowers Saturday

Macro Flowers Saturday 100

This is the 100 edition of our weekend flower party.

I want to thank you all for your contributions and for the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of so many different species of flowers and plants fom all over the world.
100 Anniversary-Macro flowers Saturday
And now, here is my daffodil macro for today.
beautiful daffodil-macro photography
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
~William Wordsworth

Rows of yellow daffodils

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Pink primrose clump-beautiful primula

It's amazing how big clumps these lovely primroses can develop on their own, without any care.
This big, pink primula clump looks like a big ball of flowers. Its leaves are not visible, they must be somewhere under the flowers.
I've found this amazing primula plant in the cemetery, where nobody has time to care for them on a daily bases.
Primula
See some gorgeous orange primrose cultivars too!
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Crocuses-all colors and sizes

Welcome friends!

The early blooming crocuses are gone now but many of the giant species bloom later.
They are in full bloom now in the church yard, all colors and sizes.
I've found an entire crocus field there, with yellow dwarf daffodils blooming in the background.
Purple crocus-macro photo
Purple and white crocuses
White crocus-closeup
There are just a few days left till Easter. If you have small kids or you would like to hand-paint your Easter eggs, feel free to make use of my Easter egg template and coloring pages for kids, and not only.
Have fun!

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Lovely daffodil-macro

Welcome friends!

I have a lovely daffodil macro with a bonus ant for today's post.
Daffodils are bright, cheerful spring flowers, feeling our hearts with joy and hope.
Spring daffodil-macro
Have a beautiful weekend!

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Spring tulips-Macro Flowers Saturday

Welcome everyone!
I hope you are having the same sunny spring days we do. Still chilly though.
Some early spring flowers are already starting out. Irises are about 10 cm out of the ground though surrounded by snow patches.

My tulip in the picture is from the florist, we'll have to wait for a while till we can see them blooming in the garden.
yellow tulip-closeup photo

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Mother's Day-8 March

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers of the world!
and
Happy Women's Day to all women around the world!

Today we are celebrating Mother's Day. A week after Martisor, this is another occasion to party and another holiday with considerable expenses.

Once again men and children give flowers and small gifts not just to their mothers, grandmother, wives but to all women in their lives, from the kindergarten teacher to the family doctor.
Each woman is expecting a gift on this day. You can see people carrying several flower bouquets on the streets, though in many cases, it's an exaggerated obligation with no feelings attached.
Mother's Day greeting card with gerbera and small giftbox-from colormagicphotography.com
Though officially Mother's Day should be celebrated in Romania on the first Sunday of May (since 2010), according to Wikipedia, nobody seams to have heard about this change, keeping its original date of 8 March.
Old habits die hard.

On the 8th of March the International Women's Day is marked in many parts of the world, as a Socialist political event, celebrating women's economic, political and social achievements.
In several Eastern European countries and from the former Soviet bloc, this day has no political connotation but it is an equivalent of Mother's Day.
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Spring gift for you-flowers with Martisor

Finally, spring is here!
Well, it's just meteorological spring and our snow is not yet melted but still it's time to celebrate.

We have this beautiful tradition of celebrated spring on 1 March. I've already written about it on all my blogs and I don't want to be boring but I must offer everyone our traditional spring gift, called Martisor.
Though it's a virtual gift, choose the one you like and consider, it's real. It brings luck and good health, believe me.
Spring greeting card with Martisor
This little gift goes together with early spring flowers like snowdrops, hyacinths and the very expensive (at this time) tulips.
I'll break the rules today and will offer you one of my favorite wildflowers: the Pasqueflower or Meadow anemone.
I find this hairy flower sooo, so special.
Pasqueflower photo-Pulsatilla also called Easter flower
Now, it's your turn, let's see what spring gifts do you have for me!
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Window frost pattern pictures - hoar-frost crystals

Welcome to Macro Flowers Saturday, dear friend!

We are all a little bit tired on the last workday of the week, that's why weekend was invented, isn't that so?

I've moved this blog to custom domain this week. All existing links are redirected by the "Giant", so you have nothing to change in your past posts.
However, your backlink has to be changed for future contributions; this is the new URL:
http://wildflowers.colormagicphotography.com/

If you have one of my buttons in your sidebar, I would appreciate if you would upload a new copy with the new URL. You can do it easily with my "Add to sidebar" button.

Now let's make our weekend recovery more pleasant by sharing some cheerful flower photos.
I have some special flowers today, just took these photos of beautiful, lacy frost crystals.

Ice crystal flowers- beautiful frost patternSome of these hoar-frost crystals look like feathery leaves or aquatic plants.
Hoar frost on window glassOther ice crystal formations are like handmade lace borders.
Lacy frost crystal border
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Dalmatian bellflower photos-Campanula portenschlagiana

Bellflowers come in many varieties, some are tall plants with longer flower spikes while others are small, crawling pants with individual flowers.

Campanula portenschlagiana is a evergreen perennial plant that is found in woodlands and forested areas of Europe, parts of Asia, and the Americas.
Dalmatian bellflower, on its other name, blooms abundantly from June until late autumn, bearsing many blue, bell-shaped flowers.
The plant is only about 10 cm high and spreads out forming a beautiful ground cover of dark green, heart-shaped leaves and blue flowers.
This species of bellflower grows very quickly being easy to grow.
Campanula portenschlagiana - bluebell macro
Campanula portenschlagiana thrives in full sun or partial shade, in well drained sandy soil and rock gardens. Thought it grows well in many conditions and climates, it tolerates extreme cold better than tropical high temperatures.

This plant is also used as wall plant, hence its other name, Campanula muralis - wall bellflower.
Dalmatian bellflower groundcover-Campanula portenschlagiana

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Wood-sorrel - Oxalis acetosella flower

Wood-sorrel is a member of the big Oxalis family, known throughout the world as an edible wild plant.
Common Wood-sorrel - Oxalis acetosella, is an Eurasian plant that blooms in early spring, having small white flowers with pink-purplish streaks.

Its heart-shaped leaves have three leaflets, similar to those of clovers.
Both leaves and wood-sorrel flowers contain oxalic acid and have a sour taste. Children like to chew these leaves.
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Hapy Valentive's Day!

First of all I want to wish you all
Happy Valentine's Day!

In most parts of Europe, England excepted, Valentine's Day is not celebrated to such a large extent as in the States. It is an imported holiday due to the influence of American culture, though merchants and the flower industry do everything in their power to spread it all over the world. It is more a commercial ploy than a holiday.

In traditionally Catholic countries like France, Valentine's Day is known simply as "Saint Valentin", and is celebrated in much the same way as other western countries.

What I find interesting is that Saint Valentines is not a Saint any more; according to Wikipedia:
"Saint Valentine's Day was first established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD, and was later deleted from the General Roman Calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI."

In many countries Valentine's Day has various versions of regional customs.
In Romania, the traditional holiday for lovers is Dragobete, celebrated on February 24.
Happy Valentive's Day!
"Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing."
~ Mother Teresa
See last year's Valentine's rose too.

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Orange primroses-scented Primula Hortensis pictures

Primroses are among the first perennials to bloom in spring.
This orange primrose is the Primula hortensis, one of the 10 gorgeous primula cultivars I bought last year for my balcony. They kept blooming all year long, even in late autumn. The yellow and orange ones had a fabulous perfume.

I was not sure if these cultivars are perennials or annuals but I thought they should rest for awhile.
After I divided the large clumps in autumn, I gifted the split plants to my cousin and left mine on the porch for winter.
Orange primrose macro-Primula hortensis
At the end of January the weather turned very cold, so I took the containers indoors and guess what: my primroses are blooming again in mid February.
They already have produced new green leaves and many, many flowers and buds in just about 10 days.
They will be in full bloom before springtime.
Orange primroses-scented Primula hortensis
I still have a problem; they are all pink. I think, I gifted all these orange and yellow, scented primroses.

I love these flower, they are so rewarding with almost no care .
They develop big clumps of flowers even when growing in the wild.
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Crown Vetch-Securigera varia

Beautiful weekend to you all and welcome!

While outdoors thermometers dip well below -20C, I'm trying to warm up the environment with some sunny pictures.

This pretty, purplish-pink wildflower is the Crown Vetch, member of the big Fabaceae family, like the alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lupines, wisteria and many others.
It is native to Asia, Europe and Africa but well known in many other parts of the world.
For its deep, tenacious roots, Crown Vetch - Securigera varia, is used for erosion control, soil rehabilitation and roadside planting, being a showy groundcover, in the same time.
Purple Crown Vetch flower and leaves

Crown Vetch plant-Securigera variaIt blooms from early summer to late fall, bearing small clusters of pink and white flowers on top of a fern-like foliage.

Don't let the pretty flowers fool you, pool them out if you see them in your garden. Crown Vetch is a very aggressive, spreading plant, even invasive in many places.
However, it is suitable for a colorful groundcover on a sunny bank as long as you don't have horses on you property.
This plant is toxic to horses, it can cause paralysis, or even death.

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Blue primrose macro-Macro Flowers Saturday

Hello everyone!

Now that winter finally arrived to us too with all its force, I'm dreaming of warm spring days.

Primroses are one of the first flowers blooming in spring. Some of my primula flowers from last year are still blooming indoors, in a window box.
Here is a macro shot of a lovely blue primula blooming in mid winter.
Blue primula-Primrose macroMany thanks for sharing you amazing photos week by week on Macro Flowers Saturday.

Have a wonderful weekend!


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Yellow-burgundy carnation flower-Macro Flowers Saturday

Hello everyone!

Carnations are one of my favorite flowers in wintertime,
Carnations are the second most popular flowers in the world, after roses, though with all the trendy exotic flowers it is hard to find some.
On these gray winter days, house plants and cut flowers are my favorite photography themes.

What is blooming in your parts of the world?
Carnation macro-yellow burgundyWEEKEND FLOWERS
Have a beautiful weekend!

Visit the participants' list at the archive page, from the main menu.
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Magnolia buds

New flowers and a new round of Macro Flowers Saturday, I hope to bring some warmth in your harts and cold winter days (for some of us).

We had no serious snowfall this winter except a few snowflakes. As I don't ski, I don't miss it very much and I hope to see soon our wonderful spring flowers, coloring the landscape again.
Magnolia flowers are among the first spring heralds; here are a few magnolia buds for you.
Magnolia bud-macro
Magnolia buds on branches
Have a beautiful weekend!

Visit the participants' list at the archive page, from the main menu.
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Traveler's joy seeds-Old man's beard

Welcome to macro flowers Saturday in this beautiful new year.

First I would like to apologist for not visited you back last week. I'm trapped in some thing I can't talk about now, but I will, next week. It concerns all of you.

These here are the seeds of the wild clematis-Clemastis vitalba, also called Old man's beard and Traveler's joy. I'm sure all of you know this invasive plant and hate to have them in your gardens. Its seeds are very ornamental though.
wild clematis seeds-Clematis vitalba
Visit the participants' list at the archive page, from the main menu.
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