Pretty in Pink

When I wrote the Tuesday Bluesday blog a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t realise that it should have been about pink blooms. Apparently, in Thai and Khmer traditions, days of the week have lucky and unlucky colours, so if you were born on a Saturday, like me, your lucky colour is purple, and in Thailand you may see people wearing a purple tie or scarf in honour of that day (sorry to say I am now old enough to wear purple.) Anyway, the colour for Tuesday (Lady Edith’s birth day) is pink and that has decided me on today’s photos.

Our Calico Bushes, Kalmia latifolia, come in two shades, pink and pinker. They are related to the Rhododendron and from a distance you might mistake them for such, but up close you can see the crimped shape of the buds and close cluster of the smaller flowers. There are several bushes in bloom just now on the west side of the lake.

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This tiny Fuchsia megellanica alba, found on the way to reception, is a delicate pink, a change from the more usual red ones, don’t they look like ballerinas? Fuchsias, from Argentina and Chile, are quite hardy and unlike some of our more exotic species will grow almost anywhere in Northern Ireland. Have you seen the fuchsia hedges lining the roads along the Antrim coast? Discovered in Hispaniola in the 17th century and named after the German botanist Leonhart Fuchs.

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Couldn’t do a pink theme without one of our glorious pink roses. This one, Silver Jubilee, has huge blooms and is at the bottom of the steps from the terrace down to the Italian Garden. The fragrance is soft and sweet, just like baby powder.

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And finally, the water lilies by the jetty have popped out, some a beautiful shade of pink with their green leaves making a perfect foil for the petals. An interesting fact is that the ribbed structure of giant water lily leaves, growing up to 3 metres in diameter, was the inspiration for Sir Joseph Paxton’s plans for the Crystal Palace. He stood his 9 year-old daughter, Annie, on a floating leaf of the Victoria amazonica to demonstrate its strength and went on to replicate the design in iron and glass for the Great Exhibition venue in 1851. While we don’t recommend putting children on any of our leaves, we are happy to see the occasional frog having a sunbathe, or in the case of this week, a shower.

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Ellen

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