It isn’t every spring we deign to make an appearance. Some years, our gruelling schedule takes its toll and we break from our usual, annual touring schedule. Last spring, was one such time. None of us can recall the source of our fatigue, but no matter. This year, we decided to appear with our full touring entourage.
Usually we like to perform solo from every corner of the garden. This year, however, we’ve decided to do things a bit differently.
We formed several quartets that live up to the name most people know us by – Northern Fairy Candelabra (Androsace septentrionalis). There are also the usual solo performers who provide us with backup. ‘Most years, we limit our touring to western parts of Canada and the United States. Some people call us Pygmyflowers too. We prefer to be thought of as Candelabra though.
While we are sometimes viewed as weeds in farmers’ fields, we are mostly beloved as native wildflowers. What isn’t there to love about us? Our white flowers appear high above our slender, toothed leaves and remind people of flickering candlelight. Each of our performances make every garden and field a much lovelier place.
When we have completed our final performances, we "do not go gentle into that good night." Rather, we finish out the summer setting seeds for next year’s possible return. As our leaves turn a beautiful reddish colour, we "rage, rage against the dying light."
Whenever we start blooming, one gardener is reminded of the song, Wildflowers, by The Trio – Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton (1987).
I hitched a ride with the wind
and since he was my friend
I just let him decide where we’d go
When a flower grows wild
It can always survive
Wildflowers don’t care where they grow.
Stay tuned for our much-anticipated performances. We prefer to wait until the Liverlilies are finished before taking front and centre stage.
38 thoughts on “Almost ready for the performance – Northern Fairy Candelabra”
I’ll be waiting with baited breath for your performance!
Lovely post Kate, as always…I’ve not heard of these ‘performers’ before and very much looking forward to the show! Gina x
Your song bit from a fabulous trio is so fitting. I have never heard of this plant and also look forward to it’s shining light.
What interesting wild flowers! You have given them personality, Kate.
Can’t wait to see the performance from a new (to me) performer.
Hello Kate – these plants are new to me as well and I look forward very much to seeing photos of flowers that look like flickering candlelight. Have a lovely week…
How exciting! I will be interested to see how the performance goes.
Fabulous post! I am sooo anxious to see the flowers. I’m stumbling this post so others can enjoy it as well.
Never heard of these Kate….that sound exciting….can’t wait for the final showing.
I don’t think we have them here, but will keep looking. That is just my kind of music.
This is such a fun way to present info on plants. You make it so interesting! I loved the Dylan Thomas reference. Well put.
This is a magical post. Northern Fairy Candelabra is the most wonderful name. I almost want to write a story about it. And those little candelabras have an excellent taste in music.
Haven’t heard of these flowers so I had to look them up. I do like your unusual selections and are liking wildflowers much more each day. If I had to do it over again I think an all native wildflower garden would be nice.
A very nice, interesting and amusing post about an unknown wildflower. I liked the way you presented it. Looking forward to the continuation!
hi Kate, had to smile at your writings since it shows how much you anticipate flowers in your garden. 🙂 Greetings from springtime Germany. Andrea
Looking forward to the performance.Your garden and surroundings are like a fabulous performing centre for the arts and now in spring/summer it must be time for the festival of the arts which must be keeping you busy absorbing all the beauty and transformation.
How delightful! Do not go gentle, indeed. Do you know the wonderful CD by Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris, “All the Roadrunning”? If not, you must find it–you will like it!
What great lyrics and words to live by!
Kate, I love all the allusions in your post. I’ve noticed several California poppies in my garden and my pots that evidently let last autumn’s wind decide where they should go.
I’ve not heard of this. I can’t wait to see it in bloom!
Lovely flower and delightful post.
clay and limestone
Glad to make your acquaintance, Candelabras!
What beautiful lyrics Kate. My water garden is up but needs a few more plants. Check it out!
Kate I too have not heard of these plants!Now that we are home from the Arizona desert there is much to be done in opening up the garden seson!! Oh dear where do we begin!!
Happy Spring gardening to you! hugs NG
They’re new to me as well. I’m anxious to see their performance 🙂 Your garden is becoming a busy place!
Trio is one of my favourite cassettes. Is there a CD version of it? When they were younger, and still at home, my daughters and I would sing parts while we did the dishes…Kylie low, Kathy high, and me in the middle…some of my fondest memories 🙂
I was delighted to hear the story of the Fairy Candelabras, told by themselves. These are plants I hadn’t known about.
Hey sweetie…love those lyrics! I really enjoyed what the Candelabras told us about themselves.:)
You and Lytton have a lovely weekend.xox
“We prefer to wait until the Liverlilies are finished before taking front and centre stage.” – made me smile as I sit indoors in the early evening.
Happy green weekend, g
We will surely wait to see you beauties in full bloom, even if it means the end of the lovely liverlilies.
Looking forward to the performance, Kate 🙂
oh kate! enough of these would look like baby’s breath and remind me of the fleeting “blue dicks” we get down here…
the anticipation for your garden can be felt all the way to california!
Hi Kate – I don’t think I’ve seen this wildflower here – can’t wait to see it blooming. I appreciate the wildflowers more every year – subtle beauty that blows me away once I finally notice it.
Hi Kate – what a sweet post and a nice introduction to a performer previously unknown to me. None of my wildflower books seem to have this plant, but I can see why you like it – such wiry delicacy! Fairy Candelabra is a much better name for this wild primula rather than Pygmy flower.
Kate, you reminded me that back in 1987 I bought the vinyl record of “Trio”. [For you young’uns, records were flat black discs with songs grooved onto them] I played it constantly and used to know the words. Then we got a CD player and bought “Trio” on CD, which unfortunately was damaged 7 or 8 years ago. I might have to buy “Trio” for a third time, and with those Kate and Anna McGarrigle songs, “Trio” now belongs next to the CD’s by Kate’s son Rufus Wainwright. Who could have guessed back in 1987 that Rufus would be more famous than his parents?
Annie at the Transplantable Rose
I can’t wait to see the flowers – I also am unfamiliar with this plant. My Liverlilies finally finished blooming the other day, now I get to briefly enjoy their funky seedheads.
admiring your pictures…always!
Wildflowers are worthy of song. Beautiful post.
Thanks, Kate, for educating me about this wonderful wildflower. I can’t wait to see the blooms.~~Dee
Seems like I am way behind of posts. Im just was able to catch up. I will be waiting for the performnance as well