Until I lived near the sea in Dorset I'd never heard of Alexanders. For a long time I didn't know what they were. I still have a problem with their name; a singular that sounds like a plural. Sheep are the same. How many are there? Is it a flock or a one?
When it comes to Alexanders it's definitely a flock. No. That's rash. It's flock after flock after flock along the hedgerow - and in summer their flowers smell sweet. At least, to me they do. Some people don't like the smell. It's dog poo baking in the sun beside them that I dislike. I wish I could remember not to take a deep breath when I come over the hill and see the sea!
In summer they come up to my shoulders. Some will grow taller than my head. At the moment they are about one foot high.
We don't have many frosts here. We hardly ever get snow. But when there are frosts (two or three a winter - and one of them was when I went out on the morning of 23rd January) the poor old Alexanders get zapped. They flop. It doesn't seem to matter. I don't know how many, if any, die. Or how many spring up to replace them. But on that Friday morning they looked very frost-pretty. Flopped and un-flopped. The ones with a fungal infection called 'Alexanders Rust' (the little yellow blobs) just as much as those without.
Then the sun came up further. The mist cleared. The frost began to melt. Soon it was gone - leaving the leaves wet and shiny.
Would you like to see the bench - the bench where I sit and think?
This is it.
Nearly always there's a view - but that morning there was a mist over the sea; and the sun coming up got muddled in with it and it was . . . dramatic?
(I posted the bench picture on my other blog - Message in a Milk Bottle - as soon as I arrived home so apologies if you've seen it before.)
'It Depends on the Background' - a very short Loose and Leafy post from May 2013 with a photograph of Alexanders in flower.