Thursday, 29 May 2014


We have swallows nesting under the roof outside the kitchen. Never thought they were coming.

This is a path!
The plants, especially the day lilies, have grown over it. Now, this is fine in dry weather but definitely to be avoided when the leaves are wet. Then you emerge the other side with wet leg disease.

 The garden is bursting with flowers and we are amazed at the white lilac - before it has only had the odd flower but this year - well! And the scent of that and the sweet rocket next to it is heady.

As usual the comfrey has self seeded despite attempts to avoid this. Now I have to decide whether to leave it be, dig it out or make an evil brew from it. The evil brew is a foul smelling concoction created by steeping the crushed plants in water. However it makes a good plant food if diluted in water.

This comfrey has particularly blue flowers and is rather beautiful so I will be leaving it be, for now.

I am in need of mowing but the weather is overcast and spitting, the grass wet and it will clag up the mowers. (Don't you just love the word clag - it sums up what happens when the grass sticks and the blades grind to a gluey stop. The word is of Scandinavian origin - sticky mud. (Danish - klag.) (Isn't the internet wonderful?)  (Sometimes.) There is another word we have here - clart. This means almost the same and the OED just gives it 17th century origins. (Much older than that, I think) (Words like clag and clart must be Norse or Anglo-saxon in origin - they are not latin like at all.)

Where was I?

This is a big foxglove, big because it is growing in the manure placed around the variegated horse radish - small white flowers.

So many plants in the garden have medicinal uses - digitalis for heart disease from foxgloves and we all know what you get from poppies - heroin, but also other opiates like codeine, morphine and so on. Mint to settle the old colic, Oh! cannot go on for ever - Herbals are hundreds of pages long.

Some plants are strongly aromatic. I went out to a poetry meeting last night and R had cooked pasta with lots of GARLIC! I had to sit a bit away from the fray. However there is something special about aromatic leaves - brushing the hand through them or occasionally rubbing a leaf - lovage, sweet cicely, catmint, santolina.

I just read that lovage can be Chelsea chopped - cut half of the long flowering stems back now and they will flower later.
I will not be doing that though as I like the eight foot high stems making their statement by the back door. (The one at the side.)

 To finish - here is a photo of the boardwalk (rotting), Wendy House (okay) and invisible pond before the big pond people get at it.

Feeling a bit nostalgic already.

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