When Fashion and Nature Collide – Flowers January 2019.

This is my January 2019 contribution to our special project: When Fashion and Nature Collide

Happy New Year my friends ๐Ÿ™‚

Normal blogging activity will hopefully resume soon, once I shake the winter doldrums. Meanwhile I have enjoyed looking at flower pictures from sunnier days when writing this post. Poor Dominique braved freezing conditions this past weekend to bring us her photographs. Go and have a well deserved hot chocolate my friend!

These flowers  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 Dominique.

The Happy Trio.png

Gazania krebsiana

Fashion Inspiration by 3C Style, Flower photography by Darren, collages compiled by 3C Style & Lisa. ย Onion/Eye by Lisa & Darren from a concept by 3C Style

This is one of the wild South African Gazania, from which the garden varieties have been bred and selected. The flower pictured was on a plant grown from seed sent from Silverhill seeds in South Africa.

Quite widespread in the wild, the species is quite variable in leaf texture and flower colour – which through assorted shades of orange. The dark spots at the petal bases can be absent also. The widespread distribution in the wild explains the adaptability of Gazania in cultivation. Forms from summer-rain areas at higher altitudes may be hardy to zone 7 or 8.

This perennial species is one of the components of the spectacular displays of daisy species in Namaqualand in spring, along with annual species such as Dimorphotheca.

Gentiana acaulis

Fashion Inspiration by 3C Style, 3CStyle photo by Marie-Claude Viola. Ski art by Lisa. Collage by Lisa.

This is the perfect plant to illustrate Dominique’s ski pictures!

Gentians are classic alpine flowers. Visitors to European ski resorts in summer will see these where the snow has melted. This species is probably Gentiana acaulis or clusii though there are several similar species. Appropriately it is the symbol of the Alpine Garden Society here in the UK. The photo above was taken by me in the Italian Dolomites. The one below was taken in my own garden.

Gentiana acaulis is generally a very easy rock garden plant. It has had a reputation for being shy-flowering but there are some reliable forms available now. It also appreciates a good dose of fertiliser in the spring. Though typically flowering in late spring, it will produce occasional flowers throughout the year – in my garden it had a single flower open on New Year’s day this year.

Puya berteroniana

Fashion Inspiration by 3C Style, 3CStyle photo by Marie-Claude Viola. First collage by Lisa, others by 3C Style. Flower photo credits see below.

Dominique’s signature colour is teal. Teal coloured flowers are not common so since getting to know Dominique I have noted them whenever I see one. When she announced she wanted to use teal this month I jumped at the chance to feature this spectacular plant!

Puya are bromeliads (as are pineapples). Many bromeliads grow on tree branches up in tropical forest canopies but Puya have spiny leaves and live on rocky slopes in arid areas. They are also much more cold hardy than their tropical cousins, with Puya berteroniana, from Chile, reputed to withstand several degrees of frost. Temperature-wise it should be OK in my zone 8 garden but it would struggle with my high winter rainfall and so I do not grow it. Which is why I have arranged for photos from other sources.

These first photos, showing a more blue/teal form, are used with permission of https://strangewonderfulthings.com/101.htm which is a great source of further information also, and maybe seeds!

These next few pictures are of a plant with greener flowers growing at Inverewe in Scotland (the first flowers for 11 years). The photos were kindly provided by jewellery maker Alison Rushbrooke in Scotland who trades as @buttonbothy on Instagram and has a NuMonday shop


Ok, there are no flowers here but I could not resist sharing this. See the other two blogs for more!

Photo by Emmanuelle Faubert


Lisa’s onion/eye artwork this month (see Lisa’s blog – you can get a preview in the Gazania collage above) was based on an onion I drew as part of this mixed composition of Indian spices/ingredients. I love what Lisa has done with it, from an idea by Dominique.


      1. I have been off the grid for a while! Came back, made some changes, renamed my blog, and have accidentally lost all of my original followers! Whoops! Still, a chance to start again I guess! I hope you are well x

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Such wonderful flowers this month and the colors are spectacular. The onion eye is one of my favorites. I love that we were able to take our art and put it together. We will have to do this again.๐Ÿ˜ Fantastic post my friend! Love and hugs!

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  2. Lovely post Darren. Thanks for finding these great flowers for our January edition. The alpine Gentiana acaulis was indeed perfect for the ski outfit and the teal Puya is just out of this world. Great artwork too. I’ve got a huge crush on the onion/eye! Very happy that our concept idea came out so nice. I will never look at an onion the same way ever. ๐Ÿ˜Š By the way, the first collage of the ski outfit and the skating one are from Lisa not me.

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      1. I feel the same, Darren. Working with you both is a dream come true. You are so inspiring and such great/fantastic friends! Just one little bummer: you both live too far from me. ๐Ÿ˜„โค xoxo

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  3. Oh my God! These are wonderful ๐Ÿ˜€. Teal is my favourite colour for clothes … love it, but the bright orange colours there made me think of summer and warmth. As I type, Iโ€™m sitting on a little pouff thing with my back against the radiator … everywhere is freezing! Hope youโ€™re having a good day? Katie

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          1. Yes, me too! I canโ€™t bear the cold … particularly gardening in the cold when your fingers are freezing and youโ€™re mucking about with little fiddly bits of string, or the lock on the shed when itโ€™s frozen …. arghhhh miserable! (But itโ€™s better than when itโ€™s raining … then Iโ€™d rather just stay in bed!). Yup, give me heat any day of the week!

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            1. Definitely. I don’t mind gardening on cold but sunny days but hate cold damp days when the cold just seems to seep into the old bones.
              I was at a lecture last night and the hall caretaker had forgotten to put the heating on. It was less than ten degrees and I was sitting in there for 3 hours. I am still not warm!

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  4. Wow! I can’t get over the Gazania. What a brilliant color to liven up this time of year. I know it blooms in the summer but it makes one want to dream of warmer days now that winter is here in full force. The Gentian is also of particular interest because a local soft drink called Moxie is flavored with Gentian root. It is nice to see the blooms. But the true star of this post, besides Dominique, is the Puya. I’ve never seen it before and I’m stunned, to be honest. It’s definitely a WOW plant. I love your onion art, too. Combining it with Lisa’s eye is really cool. Yet another great post! Looking forward to next month!

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    1. Thank you so much Linda๐Ÿ’•. Dominique will be in touch about Moxie as we have a future post planned about flower and fruit flavoured drinks๐Ÿ˜Š.
      Yes, Dominique is the star of anything she appears in. The Puya is amazing and I was so pleased to ba able to use it. Very tempted to try growing it now…

      It was Dominique who saw the onion art and saw the potential for the combination. It turned out great๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’•

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    1. There are a lot of South African plants banned in Aus for this reason. Similar climate but lack of natural predators and they go mad. Ironically one of them is Gladiolus cariophyllaceus which is an invasive weed in Aus but critically endangered in its native South Africa.

      Your idea for using that bottom picture in a plate or bowl is genius and I will look into it! Thank you๐Ÿ˜Š

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  5. I just love all the colours of these flowers, Darren, so perfect for brightening my day! The wonderful happy Orange field – that must be quite a sight! And teal coloured flowers – never saw them before, so beautiful! And that pic of the alpaca trying to kiss Dominique – it’s just priceless, isn’t it? ๐Ÿ˜„


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