How’s Your Throat?

Every time I mention streptocarpcus, the blue flowers hanging on the wall by our front door, Lloyd hears the “strep” part, and often retorts:    “It sounds like some disease.”  We have all heard of strep throats, and how sore they are.

This elegant plant comes in a fantastic variety of colours, but somehow I have only found the heavenly blue ones.  I was delighted and surprised this week to see the hummingbird sipping from the slender throats of the dangling blossoms.  It seems that hummingbirds are attracted to flowers with nectar-filled throats . . . even if they are not the touted colour of red!


The white throat of one of our hostas is scented like lily of the valley.  (Its botanical name is Tetraploid sport of plantaginea.) It had been in our back yard for a few years, but refused to bloom.  I moved a piece of it to the sidewalk garden to fill in a vacant space caused by a pesky rabbit who had chomped off everything in sight.  The lily-like hosta approved of its sunnier location, and now has pushed up several stalks loaded with buds which elongate by the day.  Can you tell me Who fills their throats with this wondrous scent?

Hosta lily, 1024-fragrant-Sept

Bumblebees disappear from sight as they fly into the brown-striped throats of yellow allamanda blossoms, and then wriggle their way back out, and zoom away.


It’s September, and it’s time to care for our own throats.  I’m going to practise the nightly ritual of gargling with warm salt water before retiring for bed.  My friend claims it will prevent getting a sore throat, the precursor to the common cold.

Today I’m imagining the fragrance of roses . . . as I begin painting luscious pink blooms onto a mass of shrub roses bordering a quiet river in PEI.  The painting will be titled, “Beside the still waters.”  Six sheep are quietly grazing on the far bank.


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