Friday, May 01, 2009

Orchids for May Day


I suspect the flower traditionally associated with the month of May, in this country at least, is Hawthorn - the May Tree. All you need to know is here - this is fascinating and pretty stuff - thanks Zoƫ.

Here on the top of our low mountain where we assume it to be an overcoat colder, the May Tree's flowers remain locked in tight little buds. It'll be a few days yet until those buds begin to unfurl.

Pink and red cultivars are a pleasant diversion, a feature for the garden - but for me, little can beat the common-or-garden, bridal-white and frothy blossoms that transform our hedgerows in spring. It's a sight worth waiting for.

Meanwhile I've had my eye on these sweet things; orchids. I've counted 7 this year, all flowering. There may be more yet to come. In past years they've been mown down by Powis County Council's road gang or eaten by Sam's sheep. This year I feared the worst when Heather and family walked a couple of hundred sheep past them. Luckily the sheep kept to the road and the orchids survive.










They are Early Purple Orchids I believe; not particularly unusual but uncommon enough on our modern verges to be worth mentioning. OK, 7 is not a big deal but to me it is a small miracle.

How beautiful they are, a perfect accompaniment to this sunny May morning. I feel most protective towards them and offer up a brief prayer that this year they will be able to set seed. Who is the God of Orchids by the way? Does anybody know?

6 comments:

Rachel said...

There doesn't seem to be a god of orchids, really, but there's certainly a shaggy dog story:
www.orchid.org.uk/latinlovers.htm

Cait O'Connor said...

What beautiful photos. We don't have any orchids here.

LittleBrownDog said...

Gosh, I realise I am so unknowledgeable about wild flowers. I come across hundreds of different varieties at different times of the year, but I can only name a handful. And I'm ashamed to confess, I didn't even know the hawthawn and May tree were one and the same. Am now popping over to Zoe's blog to enlighten myself further.

Mopsa said...

The hawthorn is busy here in Devon M'ear and there are clutches of early purple orchids dusting the banks with splashes of pink..will try and take a photo of the masses!

elizabethm said...

Aren't they perfect? I had a lovely walk with a friend yesterday who was telling me the Welsh names for wild flowers - if only I had better short term memory I would know them today!

Pondside said...

So lovely...we also have wild orchids in the woods. There are Star Orchids in very early spring, and then some unnamed blue ones later - such a surprise when one comes across them.