Saturday, 25 June 2022

Midsummer Bouquet

As forecast, we were hit by a heatwave for Midsummer Eve. I had thought of going to a traditional Midsummer celebration at our Open Air Museum in the afternoon, to watch some folk dancing etc; but I realised as soon as I got out that it would be too hot for me to walk there and back, with not much possibility to seek shadow along the way either. 

So I ended up going to the park downtown instead ("as usual"). No celebrations there - just other people also seeking shadow under the trees. And even the ice cream place in the park was closed. A small newspaper shop a block away from the park was open though, so I bought an ice cream lolly there - and then found a bench in semi-shadow in the park to sit down for a while and rest before walking back home.

One old Midsummer tradition here is to collect seven different flowers on Midsummer Eve - to put under your pillow at night, and then you're supposed to dream of your "intended" partner. Mostly practiced by young girls, I assume! 

As I suffer from hay fever, I certainly don't want any flowers under my pillow at night - but it gave me the idea to pick a digital Midsummer bouquet with my camera along my way...

Starting with a half-withered rhododendron. They've been magnificent during the past few weeks, but their time is over now. 

Including two photos from 5 June just to show you their days of glory:

Don't know the name of this one.


Nor this one.


Reflection in the windows of the closed restaurant and ice cream café.

Turning around for a closer look at that plantation...

"Picking" another flower for my digital bouquet...
But don't know the name of this one either!

Walking back home along the river I found some "wild" ones.

'Anthriscus sylvestris' - A plant with some alternative names, both in Swedish and in English. In Swedish, for unknown reason, it's known as hundkäx  - which by sound would translate 'dog biscuit'. Our word for biscuit is usually spelled 'kex', though. Interestingly, when I look it up, I see one of its English names is also 'keck', so the word probably has some other origin. Another English name for it is Queen Anne's Lace. I find that much more pleasing! (And it makes me think of Anne of Green Gables, who always made up her own pretty names for things...)

Leucanthemum vulgare
Ox-eye daisy or Marguerite in English.
Prästkrage in Swedish - which means 'clerical collar'


Ranunculus acris
'Smörblomma' in Swedish (=butter flower)
'Buttercup' in English too, I think!

 Well that'll be my seven...

But I also found someone else's bouquet along the way - already drooping in the heat...!

I think the temperature here reached about 29'C (84'F) in the shadow during the afternoon. Today, we're already there at noon summertime (i.e. 'really' just 11 am) so might get worse. There may be thunder later in the afternoon, though.

This morning I sat for a little while on my balcony after breakfast. It was already 24-25 in the shadow then. As the  balcony faces south-west, on a sunny summer afternoon it gets way too hot out there. And in the evenings - usually no peace and quiet...

So ironically, even though the scaffolding has been taken down and the workers are gone... It's still all doors and windows shut, and blinds and curtains drawn, most of the time!

Today, I think I shall probably find a slow afternoon walk under the big trees in the old cemetery enough!  (only a few minutes away from where I live)


  1. it seems every country is having this heat wave. and even the flowers that are still growing here and have been watered, droop during the time between 11 and 3, and stand back up in the evening. beautiful flowers and yum on the ice cream treat.. love all the shades of purple and I see you found ferns too

    1. Sandra, yes, I've noticed there are some ferns growing on that part of the river bank as well :)

  2. The flowers are all so beautiful and abundant. the colors are gorgeous. Even the water in your one shot has such an intense color.

    1. Ginny, there wasn't a cloud in the sky to be seen - which is also reflected in the water...

  3. The usual sights of summer hot days - people seeking shadow and licking icecream.
    The beauty of the flowers make us forget a bit about the heat.

    1. Quite right, Duta. Midsummer traditions here are special though, as most people go out of town to celebrate, leaving the cities feeling oddly deserted for those of us who (for various reasons) remain... :)

  4. That huge purple rhododendron hedge is stunning and I like Queen Anne's Lace too. You have great places to walk near your home, which have a country feel. I hope that pot of flowers got some water, it is very pretty.

  5. Your first and second unidentified plants are, I think, a Bistort and a Siberian bugloss also known amongst other things as a Great-forget-me-not (presumably because it's bigger than the ordinary little Forget-me-not! The third one is a hardy geranium of some sort but there are hundreds of varieties.

    I coped with temperatures like that when I lived in New Zealand but I wouldn't like to have to cope with them here. Apart from anything else it would probably be more humid.

  6. Thanks for those names, Graham. I looked them up and for my own memory I'll add that The Great-forget-me-not has a similar name in Swedish: Kaukasisk förgät-mig-ej; and the Bistort (Bistorta Officinalis) = Stor Ormrot (Great Snakeroot).


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