Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Queen Anne's Lace

Her body is not so white as
anemone petals nor so smooth--nor
so remote a thing. It is a field
of the wild carrot taking
the field by force; the grass
does not raise above it.
Here is no question of whiteness,
white as can be, with a purple mole
at the center of each flower.
Each flower is a hand's span
of her whiteness. Wherever
his hand has lain there is
a tiny purple blemish. Each part
is a blossom under his touch
to which the fibres of her being
stem one by one, each to its end,
until the whole field is a
white desire, empty, a single stem,
a cluster, flower by flower,
a pious wish to whiteness gone over--
or nothing.
~ William Carlos Williams
(1883 - 1963)

~ Queen Anne's Lace
(Daucus carota)

Gardener's Note: "Queen Anne's Lace, also called Wild Carrot, is tall with stems covered by tiny hairs. Once a European garden plant, it has escaped to the wild and is considered a week because of its aggressive growth. Flower clusters dry and curl, forming the bird's nest shape often used in dried flower arrangements. its long taproot can be dug, roasted and ground as a coffee substitute. During its first year, the roots are soft enough to eat. It is thought to be the ancestor of the common garden carrot. TAKE CAUTION: Queen Anne's Lace is sometimes confused with deadly WATER HEMLOCK. Look closely for Queen Anne's CENTRAL PURPLE FLORET. A host plant for Black Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars."


Maggie said...

WOW Joey !!! Your photo's of the Queen Anne's Lace are AMAZING!!!
My neighbor dug up some Queen Anne's Lace from the side of the road a couple years ago and now she has a patch of them growning in her garden. Cheers Maggie.

Anonymous said...

I don't think there's a plant more elegant than Queen Anne's Lace. It's name is beautiful. It's flower is feminine and airy. Reminds me of dandelions, but much prettier!

Rose said...

So beautiful, Joey! I showed a couple photos on Saturday of Queen Anne's Lace, but you have captured its beauty so artistically. I've always loved these "weeds."
And thanks for the William Carlos Williams poem. I've never been very fond of his poetry, but you've shown me another side of him--this one I like!

joey said...

How kind, Maggie. When in bloom, I pick bouquets of Queen Anne's Lace, reminding me of my childhood days. I love lacy roadsides in August, exploding in their snowy white beauty.

I agree Brenda ... a perfect name for a lovely flower. I also love photographing dandelions, which are quite charming and abundant in my lawn at the cottage but 'not allowed' here ;)

Thanks Rose. I grew up in a small village on Saginaw Bay (Lake Huron) surrounded by wetlands filled with cattails, milkweeds, and Queen Anne's Lace. Wildlife and wildflowers have always held a special place in my heart.

beckie said...

My Mother always loved Queen Anne's Lace and it still reminds me of her. She wold dry several and put them with other dried flowers in small frames. I still have a couple she did with pansys. Your artists eye has captured their beauty very well.

Anonymous said...

Do they echo how you feel today. Serene and close to your prayers? I grew Bishops Weed this year and it is stunning like the QAL. I love those white lacy blooms.

I've also placed them against a black background and painted them white with spray paint. They are just so graceful.

Jane O' said...

I've always been attracted to QAL. Maybe because of the name, but whatever it signifies to me that summer is NOT over. We're still blooming here. And I love it for that reason.
It was nice to know that it was once grown as a garden flower. I always wondered, why not??
I'm on the opposite side of the state, Joey, and on the Lake Michigan side we have the same wildflowers. It's always nice to see your photos to remind me it's time to pck my wildflowers now.

Catherine said...

Beautiful Queen Anne's Lace capture's Joey!! I think they are such a beautiful flower, so graceful & pristine, I love white flowers...& fun to photograph! I make bouquets of them every year! I love the shot in your collage ~bottom left! A beautiful poem as well!

Anonymous said...

Joey, you're such a romantic soul.

And it's possible that I may also be a romantic soul, in a Ruth Buzzi's Gladys sort of way.

But I do love Queen Anne's Lace. And I especially love how profusely they thrive in my backyard without any help from me. A non-gardener's dream. I always enjoy your collages.

marmee said...

somehow i am in love with anything white in the garden. i have oftened dreamed of an all white garden. these queen anne's lace are so feminine and ethereal. love them and the way you captured them!

Yolanda V. Fundora said...

Hello joey,
Such an incredible coincidence. Did you read my post of August 10th...Another example of Chance if I ever did see one. How did you find my post on the Queen? Just curious about the workings of this virtual world.
By the way, the recipes on your blog look very enticing. Thank you for sharing those.

joey said...

Thanks Beckie ... and like you, because of memeories, Queen Anne's Lace will never be 'a weed'.

Yes close to my heart, Anna. You are brave to plant Bishop's Weed. Someone planted it in the rock garden years ago and I have been chasing & ripping it out for over 30 years. Better suited for the cottage where it can wander wherever it chooses. ;)

This batch of photos is from the lake where Queen Anne's Lace 'rules' the countryside this time of year. Rightly so, she is lovely in lace!

Thanks dear Cat ... I'm sure you have many photos of them in your archives. I must check since I know they will be breathtaking! Hugs ;)

Yea, you're home Marysol and probably back in the kitchen! You are too funny ... can't imagine your reference to Ruth Buzzy, but it sure made me chuckle (haven't thought of Gladys in years). Must pop over for a visit to your tasty blog. Do hope your time away was restful.

Although no Queen Anne's Lace in my home garden, marmee, white is a favorite. These beauties are from my cottage garden UP NORTH.

Gina said...

Stunning images are so talented..QAL is an amazing plant..I've not come across the wild carrot term before..and as always accompanied by beautiful poetry! Gxox

joey said...

I'm scratching my head, Yolanda, on how I found your post. Karma perhaps?

Dearest Gina ... always most kind. Love the upside/down lives we live. One can never get bored with friends like you ;)

kate smudges said...

I love Queen Anne's lace. It is such a beautiful flower, even if it does have aggressive tendencies!

Your photo montage is beautiful!

joey said...

I love how flowers speak to us, Kate! Aggressive ... yes; belligerent ... no ;)