Glory-of-the-snow


Scilla forbesii – A bit late for this one really, as the flowering period is now over. But one of the early spring flowering bulbs. Double-click to enlarge image.


Glory-of-the-snow Scilla forbesii

© Peter Hillman ♦ 27th March 2020 ♦ Front garden, South Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200


Beautiful Blue


This is a Panola … a cross between a pansy and a viola. I planted them last autumn in some pots to give the garden a little winter colour, and they are still going beautifully.

I like to challenge myself in photography, and I try to aim to refrain from cropping where possible, but I know that is not always possible to do, but I managed it here. My aim was not only to capture the heart of the flower and the detail not always seen there in normal naked eye viewing, but also the vivid colours. I refrained from using flash, and captured the image outside of harsh sunlight. In post-processing I altered the white balance slighlty to get close on the original colouring as I had under exposed fractionally. I also reduced any noise, and sharpened using the high pass filter rather than smart sharpen, as I wanted it to be subtle. Double-click image to enlarge.

Panola

© Peter Hillman ♦ 12th April 2020 ♦ Local wood, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200


Cuckooflower


Cardamine pratensis – Also called Lady’s-smock. When I first eyed this lovely flower on my allowed ‘once a day’ excercise walk, it took my breath clean away, I was so bedazzled by its beauty. This is a sure sign that spring has arrived. x2 photographs. Double click images to enlarge.


Cuckooflower Cardamine pratensis

Cuckooflower Cardamine pratensis

© Peter Hillman ♦ 10th April 2020 ♦ Local field, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200


What The Bees Leave Behind


Daisy (Bellis perennis) – You can’t help but notice these pretty little daisies springing up all over now, little oasises for the spring insects for them to feed from. The way the pollen has been scattered around the centre of this one, I would say somebody has already been here.


Daisy Bellis perennis

© Peter Hillman ♦ 26th March 2020 ♦ Front grass verge, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200


Thistle


Not much to say really … apart from these lovely pink thistles were growing all over the local fields at the time and they really caught my eye. I hope they catch yours, too. I thought they might make a change from all the moths …


Thistle

Copyright: Peter Hillman
Camera used: Nikon D7200
Date taken: 7th July 2019
Place: Local field, Staffordshire


White Campion


Silene latifolia – This is one of my favourite wild flowers, and it is always a pleasure to see on my walks. According to fossil records it was introduced to Britain during the Bronze Age. It flowers between May and October across much of Britain, except the far north and west.


White Campion Silene latifolia


Copyright: Peter Hillman
Camera used: Nikon D7200
Date taken: 7th July 2019
Place: Local woodland ride, Staffordshire


 

Like Ornamental Glass

Geranium

This is a hardy Geranium after rain, one of the few remaining flowers left in the garden as autumn deepens. The flower is so delicate and refined with those shimmering raindrops it is like it is made from the finest glass.

This can be quite tricky to photograph. Besides the lighting conditions, it all depends on where you focus as the depth of field can go anywhere. I always use manual mode for full control, and take several photos, picking the one which I think works the best.  I tried to keep it soft on the side edges, ensuring the background was completely blurred. This makes the flower and its details pop more, especially if you can tone down the back lighting, too.

Double click if you wanna get closer…

October 2019 © Pete Hillman.

End of Season Flowers

Water Mint Mentha aquatica

The Water Mint (Mentha aquatica) has gone mad again this year, spreading its roots and sprouting throughout the garden pond. Yet its sweet sugary goodness attracts many insects, so it is always good in that respect. This is one of the last blooms which I wanted to try and capture before they all disappeared with the advance of autumn.

September 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Looking Differently

Petunia

As you know I like to get close to things, and I chose a Petunia which has been growing in one of my containers on the patio for this one. I was so attracted to its deep rich colours and the intricate veins spreading through the petals like ink stains on blotting paper.

Rear garden. September 2019 © Pete Hillman.

A Bit of Garden Shade

fuschia

Out of the glare of the sun you can see more details in the most delicate of blossoms. I isolated this fuschia bloom in a shady corner of the garden once the sun had moved around.

© Pete Hillman August 2019.

Pretty In Pink

Common Restharrow Ononis repens

When I first spied these little beauties along the seafront, especially as they appeared to glisten in the freshly fallen rain, I thought oh yes, wow! How lovely!

Common Restharrow Ononis repens

The small brightly pink flowers kind of jump out at you. The plant is called Common Restharrow (Ononis repens).

Common Restharrow Ononis repens

Common Restharrow Ononis repens

Exmouth, Devon. August 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Beauty On The Verge

Common Mallow Malva sylvestris

This ‘looker’ of a wild flower, rain-speckled and dotted with holes as it may be, is called the Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris), and can be seen either on wasteground, in a garden, or on a roadside verge near you this summer. It is a very good provider of nectar for the insect world.

Exmouth, Devon. © Pete Hillman August 2019

Rain Again

Pencilled Cranes-bill Geranium versicolor

Click and click again on the image to get that little bit closer …


Hardy geranium. June 2019, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

A Drenched Beauty

This is one of the best years for peonies I have known here. I do love the rain so long it doesn’t pour endlessly, and this morning it was but a brief spell. I love the freshness and invigoration it brings to the garden, so I couldn’t resist popping out with my camera when the rain had stopped.

The flowers were heavy with the raindrops, looking almost as if they were bowing. I have a special place for Peonies. My parents grew them back home, and they remind me of my younger years growing up, and so enjoying those warm sunny spring days.


May 2019, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Catching The Sun

Autmum fell to winter, and winter flew and we are already enjoying a wonderful spring here on this side of the pond. Finally I made it back after a fairly long hiatus, and I will look forward to catching up with you all!

This is one of my favourites which seemingly appeared out of nowhere in one of my flowerbeds. The Welsh Poppy Meconopsis cambrica has a the most beautiful sunny colours, so bright, cheery and vibrant the petals almost appear to capture the sun itself.


May 2019, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.


PS: Has anybody used the new ‘Block’ editor yet, and what do you think about it?

Meadowsweet

Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria

On a stroll around Derwentwater I saw drifts of this most beautiful flower Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria). It was even growing amongst the rocks on the shoreline. It is a member of the rose family Rosaceae, and it thrives in wet and damp places. It is commonly found in damp meadows and has a very sweet fragrance, hence its name.

Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria

July 2018, Derwentwater, Keswick, Cumbria, England. © Pete Hillman.

Catching The Early Sunlight

Opium Poppy Papaver somniferum

Last night was a very hot and close one, so sleep was quite restless. So up early to find this Opium Poppy (Papaver somniferum) flower catching the first rays of sunlight.

Opium Poppy Papaver somniferum

Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer


June 2018, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Opening Mid-summer

Opium Poppy Papaver somniferum

Every few years (actually quite a few numbers of years can pass) and one of these beautiful Opium Poppies (Papaver somniferum) will just appear out of nowhere in my back garden. This one is quite a monster in size and has many heads like the mythical Hydra.

Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer


June 2018, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Wild Radish Raphanus raphanistrum

Wild Radish Raphanus raphanistrum

Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer


June 2018, local field, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

White Clover Trifolium repens

White Clover Trifolium repens

White Clover Trifolium repens

Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer


June 2018, local field, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Gemander Speedwell Veronica chamaedrys

Gemander Speedwell Veronica chamaedrys

This small, low-growing plant always catches my eye, and I just have to stop to admire it.


May 2018, Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, England. © Pete Hillman

Orchids Are Here

Common Spotted-orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Only in one place near the local river I find this most beautiful Common Spotted-orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii growing amongst the tall grasses. You can see in the image below why they chose this particular vernacular name for it.

Common Spotted-orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer


June 2018, local field, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Scarlet Pimpernel Anagallis arvensis

Scarlet Pimpernel Anagallis arvensis

One of my very favourite wild flowers, this is such a small, low-growing flower it could quite easily be overlooked if it wasn’t for its bright red vivid colour. Definitely a hands and knees job in the dirt to get these shots in.

Scarlet Pimpernel Anagallis arvensis

Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer


June 2018, local field, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Red Clover Trifolium pratense

Red Clover Trifolium pratense

One of the many delights to be found in a wild flower meadow.

Red Clover Trifolium pratense

Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer


May 2018, local field, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman. Sigma 18-300mm lens.