The Colour of Tulips

Tulips are grow in almost every colour. Each colour symbolizes something different. Some are a single colour and some are multi coloured, sometimes with two colours on each petal. The generally symbolize perfect or deep love.

Odd facts about tulips

There are over 3000 varieties

They’re part of the lily family.

In the 1600s they were said to cost 10 times more than a working man’s average salary in the Netherlands, making them more expensive than some homes

Red tulips are the most popular.

This one lived up to expectations. It is pure white. It symbolizes foregiveness.

I wonder what colour this one will be.

For Cee Neuner’s FOTD Challenge

Funky fennel

I’m a slow learner. I grew fennel in my garden and waited for the bulbs to form, and waited, and waited. The plants grew and grew and grew, nearly as tall as me! (I’m only 5 feet tall) They never did form those bulbs I wanted to cook with.

My fennel regrowing after a very savage prune.

I now realise that there are two types of fennel.

“One is treated as an herb (herb fennel – Foeniculum vulgare) and one that is treated like a bulb type vegetable (Florence fennel or Finocchio – Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce).” (University of Illinois)

My fennel

I think I had the herb type. Still have; it has survived. This is the one that’s used for the seeds and the feathery leafy bits. I’m beginning to wonder if it really is fennel. Maybe it’s dill! The two herbs are very similar and are often confused. I’m pretty sure it’s fennel though.

I really like the taste of the bulbs purchased from the supermarket, particularly when they are roasted. I can’t wait to taste my home grown ones. Apparently you can eat all the parts of fennel. Today I purchased some bulb type fennel plants. I’m a little afraid to plant them outside just yet because our frosts can be nasty. They can have a little time in the glass house.

The bulb type of fennel

Herbalists use fennel for indigestion and with honey for coughs. There are lots of claims about the benefits of using fennel for improving medical conditions. It is also said that it will keep ghosts from entering a house if placed in keyholes, and that if you carry it, other people will trust your words and believe in you.

A mix of fennel and parsley

Feeling blue

In Victoria today, our premier has outlined the rules to the extreme Stage 4 lockdown, ordering thousands of businesses to close. This will be the cause of a great deal of readjustment. I’m feeling blue. What a strange expression when blue can be so beautiful. Just look at the cornflower.


“The Cornflower (Centaurea cyanis), also known as bachelor’s button is a native annual/ biennial plant from Mediterranean Europe. It got the name cornflower because it grew as a weed in corn fields. Representing positive hope for the future, the Cornflower is a humble reminder of nature’s simple beauty and the fullness of life’s cycle.”

A lovely reminder at the present time. So how can blue represent sadness?

I read that the use of the color blue to mean sadness goes all the way back to the 1300s. Having read some Chaucer in my time, it was interesting to discover the claim that Geoffrey Chaucer was the first author to write the word blue. He wrote “Wyth teres blewe and with a wounded herte” in his poem Complaint of Mars from around the year 1385. Nowadays, we would write with tears of blue and a wounded heart. This could mean that from its very first appearance, blue was connected with sadness.

Cornflowers self seeded from last year

In Australia we have a wonderful organisation called Beyond Blue. Beyond Blue provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health,

I really love it that cornflowers appear as a blue flower in the popular computer game Minecraft!! I wonder how many of the 126 million Minecraft players would recognise the flower in real life.

Circles in nature and life

Did you know dandelions are symbols of emotional healing?

Here we go again. My mind is reeling as I try to gather my thoughts and prepare emotionally for the next six weeks.

My household went in to lockdown way back in March. Victorians seemed to do the right things and numbers of Covid cases decreased. But a vicious second wave sees us back in an even stricter lockdown again, as of today. It’s become part of life. I note with interest as I write, that the spell checker doesn’t recognise lockdown as a single word. I thought the time was passing quickly, so quick the spell checker hasn’t caught up.

I really shouldn’t complain. I am much better placed than many to withstand the situation. I’m far away from the city and relatively secluded. I feel for the grandkids who live with us. Homeschooling, not seeing friends and being isolated on the farm is another huge adjustment. And there’s a level of anxiety, from the situation. Still they’re resilient, even looking forward to some aspects of learning at home again. Right now it’s me who is trying to prepare for the onslaught.

This dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, caught my eye today. It must be tough to survive among the bricks. It can endure whatever is thrown at it. Some call it a weed. Others, throughout history have valued it as a herb with many special properties. You can eat it or make tea with it. It’s got lots of positive nutrients. Many, many health claims are made about a myraid of medical conditions it can help with. It is even claimed to make you look better, through skin improvement.

I love its beauty. A beautiful, circular, little ball of fluff, and it reminds me of good times with my children and grandchildren puffing the fluff away and making wishes for the future. They are actually spreading the goodness. The dandelion seed has downy fluff which serves as tiny parachutes to carry it on the breeze. Some claim it can travel a hundred miles on the wind, even over the oceans.

It can survive very tough conditions.

Another round ball of fluff is the seed of artichoke plants. Each little fluffy ball can have over 1500 seeds. They travel shorter distance and some people call the fluffy seeds, ‘fairies’ as the drift on the wind.