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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Purple Ragwort (Senecio arenarius)

I am painting the last of the purple ragwort flowers of the season! Because I water my garden twice a week some of them survived a bit longer than they would in the field.

Ragwort make a wonderful display in springtime, colouring the fields around us to a purple landscape. The flowers are pretty but poisonous to humans and livestock as it is said to affect the liver. Yet my beloved voles, which I painted a few months ago, are vegetarians and find ragwort such a treat. It is just too cute to see the flowers in those little hand-like paws! I have found that if you move past a window or stir a curtain the voles are gone! They are extremely sensitive. Maybe the early morning sun blinded them a little this morning, so I stood behind the glass and got the photos I have been yearning for. I hope to invest in a telephoto lens for my camera, to catch some better shots in future. In the meantime I present Mr and Mrs Vole eating their purple ragwort breakfast.

I also paint these purple flowers to celebrate my brand-new purple blogspot : French Belles by Marie Theron. ( Be sure to visit this blog and see me having fun with small paintings and fashion!


  1. Very nice post. I love your little story and all your illustrations. I don't think we have this flower. I first thought it was asters, but it isn't. I can see you have help keeping your plants pruned!

  2. Such lovely flowers, and those little voles are so cute! It must be spectacular when the fields have turned this wonderful violet.
    Sometimes I think that I have two, maybe three sides to my artist personality. I'm glad I'm not the only one! I love the style and theme of your new blog and I will take a closer look when I have more time. You and I are girl and country girl all in one:-)

  3. Susan, I thought as first: but wow, I do my own trimming! Then I realized what you meant and had such a giggle! Before I saw this, I wondered about the picked flowers lying around the paving some mornings!

    Thank you Catherine! I have also commented on your work which is often in my thoughts. I sense something conceptual behind your scenes. And about the double life, you are so right! I find that I work across more than one style of art as well!

  4. Hi Marie, So nice. I like the variation of colors you used and your composition is so interesting. I just love purple flowers and it must be such a treat to see them blooming everywhere.

  5. What pretty flowers, and your sweet little voles have such good taste! Mine like to nibble on my ripe tomatoes in the summer...

  6. It is always gratifying to grow flowers and still more satisfying to paint them... spirited job Marie!

  7. great post and fun vole pictures, with a lovely painting. Ragwort seems such an ugly word for such a pretty lfower, don't you think?

  8. Ragwort IS a horrible name for such a pretty flower. (: Another lovely post, Marie! Keep 'em coming.

  9. Hi Barbara, thank you for commenting on my painting. For the background I crushed down mixed greens with crumpled paper....those things we do when painting the foliage is a daunting task!

    Thank you Claire, we are not supposed to feed wildlife, but now that I have read your comment, I make "accidentally" put a few tomato seeds in the soil for them! What a lovely salad the'll have: purple ragwort and tiny red tomatoes!

    You are right, padmaja! Maybe I should give more attention to flowers!

    Cathyann, yes, I love critters that do not try to enter the house like these shy ones!

    Diane and Cathyann, about that name!!! To me 'ragwort'sounds like those old-fashioned herbs and poisons. The name ragwort fits well with belladonna, arsenic, etc!!!

  10. NOW I recognise the plant, have some in my garden, but it doesn't flower as well as yours at all Marie! Great shots of the little Voles, they are beautiful!


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