Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I have always been a person who wants to know The Names of Things.  When I work in the garden and hear a bird singing, it is a great joy to know who it is:

The Scarlet Tanager, which sounds kind of like a robin and kind of not.

Photo by gnburges, Photobucket

To that end, I'm getting serious about identifying and recording what type of wildflowers we have here on the property.

In the past, I identified and wrote some down so it wouldn't be too difficult when next year came round, but it's been a hodge-podge of confusion.  I'm helping myself out with photographs this time.

Buy an inexpensive book that will hold photos.

Arm yourself with the best wildflower I.D. book.

Take photos and print them out--even cardstock or regular paper will do--and keep them in the book for next year!

Here are a couple of astonishing spring flowers that are so small you might not even know you have them at your house.

Ground Ivy (also known as Creeper and Gill-over-the-Ground) is a definite nuisance weed in these parts, but you have to admit that up close even it looks pretty.  The word "gill" comes from a French word that means "ferment" because the leaves were once used to flavor beer in Europe.  It belongs to the mint family.

But this next one--it takes my breath away!  Thyme-leaved Speedwell, which was used for many ailments in the past.   It is very tiny underfoot in the grass.  It's Latin name "Veronica Serpyllifolia" comes from words that mean "true" and "image", named after St. Veronica.  There is a legend that she loaned her veil to Jesus to wipe his brow as He was carrying the cross.  When He gave it back, the veil had the image of Jesus' own face impressed upon it. 



  1. I like to know the names of things too. I live very close to a park with ponds and see many birds around and I'm always wondering what they are. A friend of mine owns a book called, "What Bird is That?" and when I'm stumped I'll email and describe a bird so that she can identify it for me.  A couple of weeks ago we went to SeaWorld on the Gold Coast (Queensland, Australia) and my youngest and I could have spent hours at the underwater observatory identifying the different fish. Thanks for the pretty plant photos. It cheers us up when we're into autumn (fall) here.

  2. You have limited to your property and you are right because there are so many species of flowers that a lot of books will be becessary .I am like you . I don' t like at all ignore the name of a flower that I meet and principally when I knew it in the far past .Love Michel