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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

great hairy willowherb! you are
not the first to make an
appearance in damp ditches —
that would be your sister
who grows at the feet of walls.

As Derwent May reports in the London Times:

The willowherbs are starting to make their appearance. The first is a small, rather weedy one called broad-leaved willowherb, which grows at the foot of walls and invades the flower borders of gardens. Gardeners find it hard to get rid of, since roots break off and continue growing. However, it has pretty rosy-pink flowers, quite small, that droop at first and then grow upright. It would be hard to imagine from this plant what glorious successors are waiting to follow it in July. Rosebay willowherb will lead the way with its great pink spires along the field edges. Great hairy willowherb usually follows it in damp ditches a fortnight later. This is a tall plant beautifully sprinkled with pink and white blossom. This group of flowers gets its name from its leaves, which are long and narrow, like those of a willow tree. In wheat and barley fields, the red poppies are showing themselves as the crop grows steadily taller. Farmers try hard to suppress poppies, but sometimes they manage to break through in large numbers and a green field turns into a startling scarlet field. The petals fall easily, but the poppy goes on producing many more flowers.

i would have said, surely if there are multiple walls, there is also more than one foot, but what would i know? i am dutch. sort of. of heb ik dat nou verkeerd?

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