Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Turrets, Spires and Stupas

Russell Lupins
(Lupinus x regalis)

The lupins are making an appearance here this morning because they are about to burst into full bloom in the garden behind the little blue house in the village - this year's lupin offerings all seem to be occurring in lovely intensities of my favorite color: purple. The complex, stately and exuberant spires always remind me of ornate turrets, church spires, pagodas or Tibetan stupas out in the garden. I love the unusual organic architecture of the flower heads, but I love the mandala leaves too, especially when beaded with dew in early morning or raindrops after a spring squall.

I am tentatively identifying these as descendents of the lupin strains created sixty years ago by legendary Yorkshire gardener, George Russell, who developed most of the hybrids to be seen in gardens in modern times. I can't be sure though - I found mine growing near an abandoned farmhouse in Lanark and carried the seeds home in the pocket of my vest a few years ago.

Who can think of lupins without remembering the insanely hilarious Monty Python sketch ("Your lupins or your life, monsieur. . .") in which a mutton headed highwayman named Dennis Moore robbed lupins from the rich and gave them to the poor, who wanted anything but lupins?


Suzie Ridler said...

These are a flower I have actually tried banishing from my garden but they're amazingly hardy and fertile and take over around here. I do like them though, they are such a lovely shade of purple.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

This is so beautiful! I love how you've mixed the gorgeous photos in stages with your garden info, background info and a reference to Monty Python. I would love it if you would send a link to one of your garden posts to my weekly roundup of gardens on Sundays.

Kim Antieau said...

I have been trying to take a good photo of lupines for years. I love, love, love them! You've done it. These are beautiful photographs. Thanks for sharing.