It’s bleak here; the sky solid grey, the wind chill and a hint of drizzle in the air. Not the best weather for photos. Not the best weather for examining plants.
They are there though, the plants. Buffeted by the wind and tatty and tough. Some are preparing for Spring. Others, like gorse, never give up on Summer!
A quick dash outside and the drama of survival and success is revealed.
Brambles swamp whole areas. If they were in gardens, the owners would despair - but here . . . they mean blackberries, come the autumn. Most of them will be inaccessible for humans but enough will be in reach to keep a couple of hundred pickers in pies and jam.
It’s surprising how much is there at our feet. My ability to identify wild plants is minimal but I’ll have a bash.
A large-leafed Cranesbill (I think) and the beginning of tall plants in the Apiaceae family which includes carrots and parsley and ground elder. By ‘tall’ I mean two or three feet and, in the summer, they will support white umbels. There will be Queen Anne’s Lace and Cow Parsley and horrid solid, plate-like equivalents as well as the Ground Elder which nearly all gardeners rip out before it flowers. There are oak leaves here too, brought from further along the path by the wind.
(Like Burdock, Cleavers are associated with the pre-history of Velcro.)
Incidentally, although ‘Cleavers’ (Galium aparine) seems to be the widely accepted name, I was brought up calling it ‘Goose Grass’.
|With thanks to Nigel Colborn, who has left a comment to identify this as|
And grass. Never ignore grass. There are lots of kinds, even by the wayside. This is tough and clumpy. Its flowers and seeds won’t be especially interesting, at least, not to me and not compared with other, more delicate kinds (like wild oats) or the elegant kinds (like wild barley) or a host of others I am unable to name. However, if you imagine taking one clump and putting it in a flower pot and keeping it free from ‘weeds’ - why is this less interesting than a popular garden grass like Carex?
If you clear your mind from preconceptions, it’s astonishing how beautiful are the tough and common plants at our feet.