When Fashion and Nature Collide – Flowers August 2018.

This is my August 2018 contribution to our special project: When Fashion and Nature Collide

I get so much pleasure from these collaborations, and from our friendship.

This month has an ocean theme. The outfits are all styled and modelled by our own lovely Dominique of 3C Style and many of those photos were taken on her summer vacation to Mexico. As you can see from Lisa’s art, Dominique makes a good mermaid!

WFNC Hats & Music

These flowers and Roda’s critter photos have provided the inspiration for Dominique‘s styling and Lisa’s art this month. Please go and visit their own blogs and see their posts. Collages used here were prepared by Roda. Above cartoon and hats collage by Lisa.

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 Fashion Inspiration by 3C Style,  Flower photography by Darren, collage compiled by Roda.

Calochortus albus var rubellus.

This Lily relative is native to California in the USA. Most Calochortus have upward facing tulip-like flowers. C. albus var rubellus is one of a group of species with pendant bell-like flowers known as the ‘Fairy Lanterns’. Normally C. albus is white but var rubellus occurs in shades of pink/peach.

This is a fairly easy plant to cultivate provided the bulbs have a dry summer rest. Calochortus dislike a lot of moisture so I grow most of them in unfeasibly small clay pots. They seem to like this.

Very few Calochortus are commercially available as bulbs and are generally raised from seed. Germination is usually good but seedling mortality after germination is notoriously high.

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Fashion Inspiration by 3C Style, Flower photography by Darren, collage compiled by Roda

Hesperantha oligantha

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One of the smallest Hesperantha, an entirely South African genus. (Many gardeners are familiar with the summer-growing large species H. coccinea, which used to be called Schizostylis coccinea. It is an easy garden plant in a moist place. )

H. oligantha is a much smaller species and is winter-growing, dying back to a dormant corm in the summer after flowering in spring. I find it very easy in a small pot under frost-free glass and it produces copious seed – to the point where I keep a careful eye on it for seeding into other pots nearby.

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Fashion Inspiration by 3C Style, Flower photography by Darren, collage compiled by Roda

Anigozanthos – Kangaroo paws


There are 11 species of Anigozanthos and numerous hybrids and cultivars. These are all Australian plants and are commonly grown for the cut flower trade – which is how we usually see them here in the UK. They are grown in mild areas and as pot plants also. They are very drought resistant. The photo above was of an unlabelled specimen in a pot in a public garden in England. ‘Kangaroo Paw’ comes from the shape of the furry flower buds.

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Fashion Inspiration by 3C Style, Artwork by Lisa,  Flower photography by Susan (Darren’s wife), collage compiled by Roda

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

Unknown hibiscus at Bodnant. Photo by Susan Sleep

I have to hold my hand up here and confess that I have never grown Hibiscus. It is a huge genus but this unknown variety, photographed by my wife Susan at Bodnant in North Wales, seems to be a variety of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis which originated in East Asia. There are myriad cultivars and hybrids!

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Fashion Inspiration by 3C Style, Flower photography by Darren, collage compiled by Roda

Ranunculus asiaticus

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I wrote about Ranunculus asiaticus in detail in this previous edition.

This photo shows plants with two different shades of red in the forground. The front one is actually quite purple but impossible to photograph accurately! The ‘picotee’ flower behind is the result of crossing red and yellow forms of the species.

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Fashion Inspiration by 3C Style, photography by Darren, collage compiled by Roda

Tecophilaea cyanocrocus

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Sometimes known as the ‘Chilean Blue Crocus’, though the resemblance to Crocus is coincidental.

This plant has a fascinating history in cultivation. The current cultivated stock has been maintained by specialist gardeners since before the Second World War. It was native to the Andean foothills in Chile where it was apparently rendered extinct, largely as a result of agriculture.

…until 2001 when it was rediscovered in the wild after decades of ‘extinction’.

Interestingly, the species in cultivation produces forms (var leichtlinii) in which the flower is largely white with the blue being confined to the outer part of the petals. If anything it is more beautiful than the solid blue. There is also a violet form.

Much to the surprise of many – the rediscovered wild population closely resembles var leichtlinii and has no solid blue specimens. So maybe what we think of as the normal blue form is actually a horticultural selection and it is the rarer var leichtlinii which is ‘normal’?

Our friends Ian and Maggi Young in Aberdeen grow this well and have been selecting forms with variable blue in the flowers. Ian has posted a video on Youtube:


  1. This has been one of my favorites! I absolutely love the fairy lanterns and the color and history of the Chilean Blue Crocus. Susan captured the hibiscus beautifully. What inspiration I draw from your beautiful flowers! You are so right, the friendship from this collaboration is the best part. A wonderful post! Much love and hugs! πŸ˜˜πŸ’—πŸŒΏ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lisa. It is great for me to see my images put to such good use. I am in awe of your talent.
      But yes, the friendships and the pleasure we get from working together are wonderful. Love and hugs to you too Lisa. x

      Liked by 2 people

  2. First, I corroborate what Lisa and yourself have said. The friendship that this collaboration has created between us is priceless and the inspiration is rich in creativity. Thank you to both of you and Roda as well for the immense pleasure and joy you all bring me. Your post is full of interesting information, Darren. I’m learning so much about the plants, which I confess I never seem to remember the names though. What a good idea to have added your friend’s video. I would like you to make videos like that too! Just a thought. I think you would be great at it actually. xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Dominique. I already agreed to being filmed eating veggie sushi with chopsticks so a video in the garden seems easy in comparison! And you will note Ian does not actually appear in the videos apart from his voice and hand – just like my videos this team has already seen! Xoxo

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I know and that’s why I think you should give it a try. You have a lovely and calm voice. I think your WP friends would enjoy it a lot. Try it and see how it goes and how you feel… xoxo

        Liked by 2 people

            1. How can I resist?
              I have been investigating this already. I had toyed with upgrading my WP plan to premium to allow me to host videos but then I figured I could put them on youtube for free and link to them just as I did with Ian’s.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. Stunning photos of plants that complement the fashion photos perfectly. Those hibiscus and kangaroo paws are something else aren’t they. What a great team you all are. Wonderful collaboration and wonderful post. πŸ’™πŸ’š

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That blue seems to be a hit alround! Thank you so muchπŸ˜„. It is regarded as one of the purest blues in the plant kingdom. Corms are easily available from bulb specialists but are expensive at around 4 to 6 pounds each.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Thank you MiriamπŸ˜„. One aspect of this I really like is that the others have access to my whole library of flower photos and I can never be sure what is going to be chosen each month. They have unfailingly picked things I really like and are a pleasure to write aboutπŸ˜„

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you. Dominique had asked me to look out fir a peach coloured flower so when Susan was going on a trip to Bodnant gardens in Wales I asked her to have a look. She spotted the hibiscus and took a great picture.

      Liked by 1 person

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