"Scotland Week by Week" contains a selection of flowers, animals, birds and scenery typical of the time of year. The photographs were previously part of a regular "Colour Supplement" which ran for nearly four years as part of the original Scottish Snippets newsletter. While seasons do vary, this collection gives a good idea of the flora and fauna typical of central Scotland at each time of year.
It's always difficult to know whether trees in bloom at this time of year are cherry, apple, pear or even almond - many people just use the generic name "prunus". But I seem to recall this one having apples last year.
The golden colours of this Trollius (also known as Globe Flower) seem to be trying to outshine the sun.
Lochinch Castle near Stranraer in the south-west of Scotland was built in Victorian times by the Earl of Stair, a descendant of Sir James Dalrymple of Stair, who had signed the orders which resulted in the massacre of the McIans of Glencoe. Lochinch was a replacement for Castle Kennedy, which had been destroyed by fire in 1716 - the staff had heard of the imminent return of the 2nd Earl of Stair from France where he was ambassador. They were airing the bedding in front of an open fire - and the earl arrived to find his home in flames.
The grounds of Castle Kennedy contain many magnificent rhododendrons and azaleas brought there by Sir Joseph Hooker over 100 years ago. This is one of the many colourful azaleas.
The bell-shaped flowers of Abutilon come in many different colours and as they are natives of the tropics and sub-tropics, they need a sheltered position. This example was growing in the walled garden of Castle Kennedy.
The terraced gardens below Culzean Castle are an ideal spot for growing clematis - instead of climbing upwards, the branches and flowers cascade downwards.
The common wild daisy has given rise to a number of more cultivated perennials for the garden where they are known by their Latin name of Bellis. They are often grown as biennials because flower size and quality declines each year and they are best replaced with fresh plants grown from seed.
Although the Heron is a shy bird that flies away as soon as humans appear, I have managed to take quite a few photographs of them thanks to a good telephoto lens. But this is the first time I've seen one perched high in a tree - they are usually at the edge of water, feeding. But Herons will often nest near the top of deciduous or conifer trees, though some will build their nest on the ground, in reedbeds or on a cliff edge.
Choisya is largely grown for its brilliant greeny yellow leaves which it displays throughout the year. The leaves shine out like a beacon on a dull winter's day. It also has these attractive clusters of sweetly scented flowers - while the leaves are also highly aromatic when crushed. The shrub is a native to Mexico and South-West USA.
Paeonies are very often various shades of red or white, but there are also yellow varieties such as this one. The name "Paeony" (often spelt as "Peony") derives from the Greek word "Paeon" meaning "a physician to the Gods". Once planted, the Paeony likes to be left alone and "punishes" those who try to move it by not flowering again for several years. Once it has become established, however, it produces splendid blooms each year for many, many years.
If you want to look back at other editions of these photos of Scotland week by week, there is an Index Page
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