I read a few more chapters from Rewilding Yourself when the spell gradually dawned that there is more nature beyond the garden gate! So on Tuesday, the sunshine goaded me to wrap up warm, pull on my boots and investigate the perimeter of the local recreation ground. The profusion of native Geraniums sprouting in the verges made me smile along with the mixed hedges with plenty of brambles, briars, hawthorns and oaks, dead nettles still with blossom, all easily recognisable amongst plenty of unknown plants for another day. Once I reached the recreation ground it was a slow saunter with head down and frequent stops. All the usual wildflowers from childhood were there, buttercups and dandelions recognisable by their foliage when I realised that I had no idea what daisy leaves looked like. But, as if to answer the question, one small patch still braving the season was found; the leaves are quite fleshy, almost like succulents >>>
Apart from these, there were more of the native Geranium and a plant with a feathery leaf. Most of these were quite small but I eventually found some taller ones that decided me they were Achillea millefolium.
The undisputed jewel of the day though were these Iris seed heads, likely to be foetidissima. I brought a seed head home with me and popped it in a pot.
Another find was this fallen piece of wood – bigger than a twig but smaller than a branch. I liked the different mosses growing on it, so I brought it home for my ‘log pile’, which is more accurately a twig pile. Hopefully there will be some stowaway beetles and tardigrades in it too. It was rewarding to see that there was plenty of mossy fallen wood that had been left on the other side of the perimeter fence.
The sun had shifted for the return trip and picked out these unknown strangers. By coincidence, the mystery was solved Wednesday when Pentaglottis sempervirens also appeared on https://bugwomanlondon.com/2022/11/23/wednesday-weed-green-alkanet-revisited/
The RHS page for this plant says that it is related to borage and comfrey so bees love it but that it can become a garden nuisance. Comfrey is already on my list for next year.
I found it a very rewarding exercise and I am looking forward to seeing those Geraniums blooming next year as I’ve been along that stretch thousands of times by bicycle and never noticed them before.
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