Taking Stock & Serendipity

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2022/aug/15/six-ways-heatproof-garden-provide-shade-make-compost-leave-weeds

The garden looks devastated. The black kale was stripped by cabbage white caterpillars, looks like it’s trying to keep growing so will leave it for now and watch with interest.

The gathering clouds over the meadow need to do more than promise, even the mistletoe is looking wilted.

As this garden had been abandoned for several years, seedlings were allowed to remain at least until they were recognised or if they looked interesting. There have been a few pleasant surprises, probably from when it was last a proper garden.

Papaver Ornamental Poppy
Hypericum unknown variety
Pansy?

The linked article advises leaving ‘weeds’ to shade the soil and stop it baking, among other useful advice. My fingers itch to pull up the scarlet pimpernel, nettles and stray thistles but I refrain. Where are the caterpillars that strip nettles when you want them? I have also left the cornflowers, corncockles and borage collapsed for the same reason, hopefully they will have seeded. Some of the selfsown specimens have been delightful surprises, like this clover, although the leaves are not quite right. I don’t recall seeing clover since the last century; it is like a direct link to my chilhood and school playing fields.

Clover

No idea what this wild flower is but it strikes me as pretty. It is about a foot tall with narrow pointy leaves in threes and grow opposite in pairs; there is no discernable smell. Curious what it is.

Several specimens here: feverfew, a variety of thistle, scarlet pimpernel, oxalis and two plants nestled between with sage-like leaves – could be selfset borage, perhaps, definitely one to watch. Looks like a dandelion on the left edge; bees like those.

Update: researched on app Seek by iNaturalist and it says these 2 strangers are Stachys byzantina Woolly Hedgenettle

The flowers on this look like a variety of nightshade, there are green berries just visible in the photo. I found a plant growing in spring that I thought was a Lonicera Honeysuckle, so I took 3 cuttings, which all took and were nursed devotedly – they turned out to be purple nightshade lololol.

Solanum nigrum Black Nightshade?

This is another specimen that I felt familiar; it reminded me of a plant with quite showy double, deep purple flowers. Obviously, this is’nt that. The plant is over 5 feet tall and the flowers are tiny, they either open fluffy or turn to fluff overnight. Again there is no discernable smell. Another one to research. Never seen a plant like this before, very intrigued.

Close up of the tiny flowers.

The Shaggy Bracket Ionotus hispidus has changed shape, the weeping tears are more visible. There is barely any fruit on the tree, it does seem to be very old.

Apart from these included here, there is a variety of chamomile growing in the desert that was grass. There were some pretty tiny wild flowers too but only the plantains are still green and the moss seems to be surviving on dewdrops. Mr Fluffy held off mowing from May, for the bees.

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