Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Gorse... of course

Daisy asked about the yellow flowers and I realised I've become so used to gorse I'm not thinking back to when I was a visitor here in the UK and was going, "WOW, What is that yellow plant?"

Actually... spring/summer here is yellow time. Not only is the gorse yellow, but also daffodils, broom and rapeseed. Even if the summer days here are cloudy, the ground is always sunny. :-)

Gorse bushes grow everywhere up here in Scotland. They are incredibly thorny, have very dull dark leaves, but look gorgeous when in flower (which is anywhere from early spring to summer)
The flower heads are sweetpea-shaped and smell... unique. I've tried to decide what gorse smells like and the closest I can get is vanilla and new plastic. (you know how some plastic products have that slightly perfumey smell?) It's an odd scent that can be a bit much on a hot day. I can't ever decide if I like it or not, but the colour I just love. That yellow glows. :-)

The first photo here was taken on the day we photographed the planes at Findhorn bay.
These second two photos were taken a few weekends back. It's an area near the Inverness airport. I wish I could capture the way the yellow GLOWS, but no photo really captures that.



Connie said...

Thanks for posting these, Michelle. It really is beautiful, and I think you captured very well how it glows. It is impressive to see so much of it growing all together the way it does.

Bogey said...

With my luck Michelle, that would be where my golf ball would land. My legs have been carved up enough from landing in similar type sites.

Word verification: Trogedo...perhaps a name in your next book.

The Crow said...



Amel said...

LOVE yellow flowers, too...but you're many things in nature can't be captured well enough...unless maybe if you've got a very enhanced camera and you're a professional photographer? HE HE HE...

Michelle said...


Isn't it interesting how some plants by themselves are quit average, but put them in a massed group and they become amazing.

I've saved the word. :-)


true. :-)

Genie said...

These look amazing! I can't imagine the smell but I'm fascinated by the plant. We have something here that grows somewhat like that all through the countryside throughout the year--when it blooms it's a nice magenta color on a plant with gray/green leaves. It's called purple sage and while it has no particular odor, it's a sight to behold when it's all blooming!

Gorse. What a name!

Michelle said...


It's a smell I can't quite decide if I like or not, you know? One of those scents that just sits in your nose and you can't quite decide if it's interesting or yucky. It's weird. Not sweet, yet kind of vanilla. One other interesting thing. I've never seen bees on gorse. Lots of flies, but no bees. Says something about the smell? LOL

The Scots call gorse "whinns" or something along those lines. An equally odd name, to my foreign ears, but at least more melodic than GORSE. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hello Michelle,

I have been all over your blog today after reading your kind comments at GOTJ. While I should be finishing up some work, I had to come have a look around after seeing one of my favorite words and places written in your comment.

I actually met my husband because of my love for the western highlands of Scotland. It's quite fascinating to me how your search for more information inspired in part by the gifted book led you to the forum where you met.

When I met my husband John on Guardian Soulmates, my profile " name " was Reaching4Skye.

While Cornwall is a long way from Scotland the Gorse grows everywhere here as well. When I read your post, I just had to comment and wanted to say that I think Gorse smells like a coconut suntan cream. I really like it.

It appears from reading that you and I have much in common and not just following our hearts to the UK. I'll be back to read some more later ...


Michelle said...

Hi Elizabeth :-)

How funny (and wonderful) the synchronicities of life are. My husband, Sandy, loves Cornwall! He lived in the South England for about a decade and spent a magical summer holiday walking along the coast of Cornwall. He keeps saying he wants to take me there some day.

I love your name choice - Reaching4Skye. I love the West coast up here too. There's a little village in Skye that is just so perfect you want to run about hugging the houses! ;-) But then I love the mountains and the forests and... the list is endless! This really is a country that amazes you constantly. What I love is the fact it's all packed in a small country. In Africa (which I suspect would be similar to America) things are vast, but you can drive an entire day and see pretty much nothing but grass or the same stubby thorn trees. It can become very boring, as my husband found out when he came out to marry me. Here every corner you turn around holds a surprise - a wood, a waterfall, a ruin... I love that. :-)

Coconut suntan fits gorse perfectly. Someone else recently commented that gorse smells like coconut and my brain went "click". I really could not figure it out before that - just like I still can't figure out if I like it or not. Depends on the day and my mood.

What also really surprised me was finding out daffodils and bluebells are scented. The things they never tell us "colonials"! lol

I look forward to reading your blog and hope to see you back here too. :-)