Wild West Yorkshire nature diary
robinmistle thrush

The Growing Season

Monday 5th June 2000
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daisyshepherd's purse
ITS BEEN A RAINY couple of weeks and, on the odd occasion that we've had the time available, we haven't been able to get out into the garden. It's certainly the growing season; the seeds I planted are doing well, but the weeds are way ahead of them.

Coltsfoot rhizomes push under the paths to emerge in the vegetable beds. The attractive flowers are over now and the felty rhubarb-shaped leaves are growing to the size of CDs. Creeping Thistle and Creeping Buttercup have the same ability to spread by rhizomes. Groundsel seems to spring up from nowhere; but at least it's a easier to pull up than its creeping companions. Shepherd's Purse grows more luxuriantly in the vegetable beds than it does on the waysides and wasteground that are its usual habitat.

coltsfoor rhizomecoltsfoor rhizomecoltsfoor rhizome
To my eyes at least the front lawn looks quite attractive, with its buttercups, Daisies, and the odd spot of blue speedwell. It has been uncut for a week or two, but, if it stops raining, it will certainly be due for a cut now.

hogweed leaf joint If it did get left for a few more weeks at this time of year it would soon begin to look more like rough pasture than lawn. Rosettes of Common Ragwort are beginning to appear. This is a plant that thrives in neglected pastures.

The far end of the back garden, where we cut down the old, ailing apple trees, more and more resembles the wilder parts of the meadow at the other side of the hedge. Cow Parsley grows waist high. Elsewhere in the garden, Hogweed is unfurling its leaves.

herb robert wood avens There are a couple of weeds that are a more welcome sight to me; a scattering of the ferny-leaved Herb Robert, a cranesbill, grows against the hedges and, near the pavement in the front garden, Herb Bennett, also known as Wood Avens, a member of the rose family, shows its yellow flowers every year. I guess that its hooked seeds probably first arrived here hitched to a dog or to a hiking sock, as it typically grows alongside paths at the edge of woods.

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

E-mail; 'richard@daelnet.co.uk'

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