Friday Flower – Electric pink dahlia

Electric Pink Dahlia – Photograph by Laura Lecce

I think it’s about time for another dahlia. The huge variety in these flowers ensures that they always get my attention. This stunning pink flower is made even more impressive against the dark green leaves of the plant. The layers of petals are carefully arranged to expose just a hint of deep yellow in the center of the flower. With every day, new petals are developing and the flower continues a seductive undress for all the insects that want to access the precious pollen at the heart of this magnificent flower. Happy weekend everyone!!!

For other dahlia posts please click here.

Flower Friday – Edible Dahlias

Pink Dahlia - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Pink Dahlia – Photograph by Laura Lecce

I’ve posted some interesting facts about Dahlias on my blog previously (click here), but did you know they’re also edible? You can eat both the flowers and the tubers (bulbs/roots), with different types having different flavors and some varieties being tastier than others. Another very gorgeous and also potentially yummy addition to your garden!

Check out James Wong’s very interesting post about edible dahlias here.

Happy weekend everyone!

A dreary Sunday

A dreary Sunday - Art by Laura Lecce
A dreary Sunday – Art by Laura Lecce

Here in New York we just experienced a very cold and bleak Sunday which was not worth leaving the house for. This Monday morning is equally dreary, depressing and cold. To combat the Monday morning blues, I want to share the painting I did yesterday. I set out to paint something so ‘hurt your eyes’ bright which could compensate for the lack of sunshine outside, and this pink daisy made my day. I hope it is enough brighten up your Monday!

Friday Flower – Blooming Cactus

Cactus Flowers - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Cactus Flowers – Photograph by Laura Lecce

This photo was taken at the New York Botanical Gardens in the desert section of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Cacti produce some of the most stunningly beautiful flowers in the world. These brilliantly colored pink flowers were on the top of a teeny little barrel-shaped cactus. A cactus must be mature to flower and this can take more than 30 years for some cacti, and 40-55 years for the saguaro cactus! A word of warning though, not all cactus flowers are real. I have seen flowering cacti becoming more popular at grocery stores and corner stores, and the same cactus comes in a variety of brightly colored flowers from purples and pinks to oranges and yellows. Wondering how this could be possible, I have felt the flowers to assure myself that they are real. They are technically “real” flowers, just not real cactus flowers. My friend recently purchased one, and was kind enough to provide me a photo (below). These flowers are actually a strawflower (or everlasting flower) which have been glued to the cactus. These flowers can stay in perfect condition long after removal from the plant, and for marketing convenience make a very pretty addition to a cactus.

In a perfect world - Photographed by a good friend
In a perfect world – Photographed by a good friend

The Magic of a Hoverfly

Hoverfly - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Hoverfly – Photograph by Laura Lecce

This weekend I met a magical hoverfly. Why magical? Because this is by far the most magical and festive photograph I have ever taken. As soon as I saw the result, I imagined this fly to be a character out of Alice in Wonderland. Those giant round eyes and delicate transparent wings are perfect compliments to the whimsical pattern of his yellow behind – hovering above a background of delicate pinks and greens, punctuated with bright yellow stars which complete this beautiful world. A snapshot of the most perfect moment in time and space.

Flower Friday – A Sweet Scent

A Sweet Scent - Photograph by Laura Lecce
A Sweet Scent – Photograph by Laura Lecce

I think I’m starting to see a trend amongst my favorite flowers…. they’re mostly pink (I must be a girly girl after all, who knew?). This beautiful orchid is a phalaenopsis hybrid with a name I can no longer remember. I do however remember vividly the sweet aroma that this gorgeous flower produced every morning when it would see the sun. The fact that I remember the specific scents and not the names of most of my orchids is likely due to the fact that our sense of smell is the sense most closely linked with the memory areas of our brain. We thus associate those smells with specific memories and emotions. The scent of orchids reminds me of watering my plants in the morning sun while enjoying a cup of tea. Happy memories everyone!

For other flower Friday posts click here.

Flower Friday – Pink Perfection

Pink Water Lily Perfection - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Pink Water Lily Perfection – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Considering there are about 70 known species of water lily in five different genera, it’s easy to see how there is such a range of colors, shapes and sizes. This image was taken at the Nan Tien Temple, a Buddhist temple in Wollongong (80km south of Sydney). It is a very beautiful and tranquil place to visit, with lovely gardens and many water lilies silently floating in their ponds. Although both pink, this water lily is quite subtle and is very different to seemingly intense one that I have posted previously (click here to see). Have a pretty pink weekend everyone!

Flower Friday – Frangipani

Frangipani - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Frangipani – Photograph by Laura Lecce

The frangipani (Plumeria) is a beautiful plant with gorgeous flowers that come in varieties of whites, yellow, oranges and pinks. Although native to Central and South America, they are a popular plant that can now be found in most tropical places around the world. This plant however, is not without its quirks, being related to Oleander, both produce an irritating sap similar to Euphorbia plants (click here to see my post on Euphorbia). Frangipanis are also fragrant, most heavily at night, to attract the sphinx moth under the false pretense that the flowers contain a sweet smelling nectar. As the moth goes from flower to flower in search of the non-existent nectar, it is in fact being duped into pollinating the flowers. Cheeky frangipanis…. Have a great weekend everyone!

Flower Friday – Pink Speckled Phalaenopsis

Pink Speckled Phal - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Pink Speckled Phal – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Actually the proper name for this orchid is Doritaenopsis Ackers Sweetie ‘Dragon Tree Maple.’ It is one of my favorite hybrids to grow at home, mostly because the flowers were so big (the size of my palm) and so interesting to look at. Every time I look into the pink speckles of this flower it looks like a huge colony of bats flying away from the cave in the center and getting further and further into the distance as they fly away. Maybe I just have a vivid imagination, but either way the pattern on this flower really does come alive! Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

If you’d like to see more Flower Friday posts, please click here.