Sunday, 12 June 2016

Plant Hunting

Once in the month and better it be when the Moon is full... Well actually it is the first Sunday in the month, when there is currently a Farmer's and Craft Market held in the Humber Bridge Car Park.
     I say 'currently' as we have been told that after December this year there will be no more Farmer's Markets here, as the car park is being 'developed' into a 'hotel and leisure complex'. This will be a huge blow to the thousands of customers and many stall holders who set up there each month. At times the car park is so busy with potential customers trying to find somewhere to park that you see cars slowly circulating the parking bays, waiting to pounce when anyone leaves.
     This is one of my treats, an outing we can do in relative ease with the wheelchair as all the surface is tarmacked. I rarely get to boot sales these days as most of them are held in fields, which the hard, narrow wheels of my chair just sink straight into.
     So anyway, in addition to our regular shopping of fruit and veg, and visit to the stall of proper Lincolnshire butcher's for some haslett (pronounced ays-let, not haz-let) and maybe some sausage rolls, we were on the look out for some plants to stick in our side garden.
     Now, our side garden is the coldest and shadiest part of the garden. All of the ground is beneath the canopy of our Wishing hawthorn - grown from a seed Graham picked from a bush over-hanging an ancient sacred spring. The canopy forms a huge umbrella over the side garden, and has been smothered in blossom for the last month or so. This means that only shade loving ie woodland plants have a chance of growing here.
     We have tried putting in mixed wild flower seeds, but they only seem to throw up jack-by-the-hedge, meadow cranesbill, nettles and sow thistles.
     Happily we have found a few plants which like the conditions, a lovely wild fern (I love watching its frondy leaves unfurl - and at mid-summer there is always the chance to collect some magical fern seed), ransoms (wild garlic with white pom-pom heads of flowers), blue bells and snowdrops. But I would like to put in a few more plants to add more interest to the area - and keep down the weeds. So I had a look on the internet and came up with a list from the RHS website.
     Of course all of these were given by their Latin names, which is lovely, and accurate, but doesn't mean a lot to me, so I had to then look up the Latin names to find out what I know them as.
     And found that most of them were lovely magical plants I know already, such as foxgloves (digitalis), lady's mantle (alchemilla mollis), lungwort (pulmonaria), sweet woodruff (gallium odoratum) and Solomon's seal (polygonatum multiflorum).
    So as there are always a few plant stalls we had a look there and managed to find some hollyhocks to replace the ones Graham had mown flat in the front garden, and some apple mint, which we always used at home to make mint sauce and popped in to flavour new potatoes as they boiled.
     We also managed to confuse one lady by asking for some foxgloves then picking up the plants labelled 'digitalis'. She had the same problem as me and hadn't realised they were foxgloves, 'My husband does the labelling.' she explained.

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