Thinking Flowers? Thursday

Are you Thinking Flowers? today?

Red Clover

Red Clover

Lauren saw these Red Clover in a field in Alnmouth Northumberland and was stunned by their magenta colour; so loud amoungst the subtle country colours!

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) is native to Europe, and we’d be surprised if you hadn’t seen this around over the summer. Pratense is actually the Latin for “found in meadows”, so, no surprises there.

Usually accompanied by a drowsy bumble bee or two, red clover springs up everywhere. Amelia remembers being told by a friend at school that she too could drink the honey out of clover if she sucked at the pink petals! It seemed quite sensible at the time…

Red Clover is commonly used as a nitrogen fixer, to increase soil fertility. It is traditionally used in treating skin problems, as well as hot flushes and night sweats during the menopause as it helps the body to balance oestrogen.

These uses date back to the middle ages, when it was seen as a symbol of protection and good luck. The Romans, Ancient Greeks and Celts even revered it!

Do you have any sunny, summer memories of red clover? Have you ever used red clover to alleviate itchy skin, or rashes? Share your #flowerthoughts with us in the comments and on Twitter!

Welcome to Thinking Flowers Thursday

We’d like to welcome you to the first of many Thinking Flowers Thursdays, where we invite you to share your flower thoughts with us. So much of what makes flowers important are how we feel about them, what we use them for, and how we want to make other people feel. So, what are you thinking? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below!

Yesterday, Thinking Flowers met at the Queen Elizabeth Hall roof garden to enjoy what sunshine there was, and to see the flowers, of course.

white flowering nettles at the southbank

Hands touching a white flowering nettle

This is Lamium album, a white dead nettle, which looks like a stinging nettle, but is completely safe to touch. It can also be used medicinally: “…as a gargle for sore throats and inflamed gums, and as a compress for wounds, haemorrhoids, eczema and burns.” Amazing what dangerous looking plants can do when we learn how to use them.

Milk Thistle

Milk Thistle flower

Milk Thistle is another dangerous looking but very helpful plant. The seeds of Silybum marianum contain silymarin which is used in treating liver disorders.

Hands holding a calendula

Hands holding a calendula amongst many calendulas

Calendula is a beautiful, edible flower, often used in salads or as a replacement for saffron. It can also be used to soothe skin inflammations. In the language of flowers, Calendula means sorrow or sympathy, and who wouldn’t be cheered up by receiving some of these colourful blooms on a sorrowful day?

Have we got you Thinking Flowers yet? How do you feel today? What flowers would you most like to have in a great big bunch on your desk, or at home? Are there memories associated with these flowers? Share your thoughts in the comments section below! We’ll also be tweeting out flower thoughts using the hashtag #flowerthoughts.

(You can now follow Thinking Flowers’ adventures on Instagram! Our username is thinkingflowers and we hope you’ll join us in the digital world.)