Rambling by the Book

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.


6 responses to “Rambling by the Book”

  1. When I read, so very often, suggestions from people that we should leave our gardens go a little wild, should allow the wildflowers (weeds!) grow in the lawn etc I feel it is a very misplaced suggestion when directed at a rural garden. There are two miles of wild hedgerows between our garden and the beginnings of town and all around I am surrounded by farmland with boundaries of native trees and plants. In this context, my non-native plants are the ones introducing biodiversity as I am growing a selection of plants which would otherwise not exist in my area. So, in my case, I will leave the wild be wild and my garden be gardened in the traditional manner.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You make an excellent point Paddy. I confess that when my brambles were obviously the bees favourite blossom by a country mile (confirmed by a bee blog – I will find the link shortly) that I wondered about the wisdom. Then the bees became noticeably less. A visit over the road solved the mystery as they had abandoned brambles as they were going over, for Lavender. So, I surmise that perhaps it is more about keeping a continuity of pollen and nectar available for all the pollinators. Your garden is magnificent. I imagine that people banging on about rewilding is a lot like people nagging me to stop smoking – and that isn’t going to happen. I am sorry if my personal enthusiasm for what is a new interest to me sounded in anyway critical or judgmental of anyone else’s choices; that certainly wasn’t my intention.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Have no thoughts of fears that I imagined your post was in any way critical or judgemental. I share your interest in wildflowers and regularly walk my road to note what is growing there – and it would amaze you what you wouild find. I hate those who “rant” on and on about leaving the garden go wild etc etc when they don’t know or give any consideration to where people are gardening. It has come to the stage that were I to post a photograph of a well manicured lawn, cut, edged, with stripes just for best effect, it would invariably attract criticism with comment that I was destroying nature, that I should allow the wildflowers to grow etc. There are acres of wildflowers around me which I enjoy but this is how I wish to use my space – and that is sometimes not respected. The eco-warriors can at times be very narrow in their mindset. Enjoy the wildflowers! The native orchids are a particular favourite of mine.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. The link referred to is here http://meridianbeekeepers.com/2022/09/06/our-bees-favourite-forage/
      I would like to add that you are obviously a very skilled gardener and expect that you possibly incorporate many of the concepts rewilding seeks to raise consciousness about – I bet you make excellent compost for instance. You very probably have knowledge of other techniques from your own experience that further expand potentials to support wildlife.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL I am very keen on composting and have great success with it! Thanks for the link!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You are absolutely right about the mindset too. There was a short article in the paper recently concerning an amazing plant that offers many potentials for improving the environment. The BTL comments fell into 3 categories because the plant is hemp. So, you had the potheads, the kneejerk anti-drug brigade and those that actually read the article. And it was talking about a variety that someone alleged you would need to smoke 45kg in 15 minutes – I don’t know either how that was worked out or how they knew but it seemed a good point LOL.


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