Saturday, October 1, 2022
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The City Veg Patch: Digging up the daisies


A swathe of ox-eye daisies

We could only for a second discuss flowers within the veg backyard? Each day this week I’ve been working within the veg plot as vegetation raised in pots have to be planted out spherical about now.  As common this job takes not less than thrice so long as anticipated  There’s all the time one thing so as to add to the checklist and this 12 months it’s the elimination of self seeded flowers.  I hope that doesn’t shock you. After all I gained’t be taking all of them out, simply the tiny ones which can be within the incorrect place.

It’s secure to say that I really like that so lots of my vegetation hurl their progeny throughout the plot – who doesn’t love a free plant! However there comes a time when it may be an excessive amount of of factor.  I’m taking a look at you Feverfew and Linaria. (And, please, can we not point out forget-me-nots?)

Cerinthe flower, also known as honeywort
The honeywort has been notably upstanding this 12 months.

After which there’s Verbena bonariensis, foxgloves, honeywort… fantastic additions to any backyard, particularly as they supply a heat welcome for visiting pollinators. However why do the tall ones all the time seed into the aspect of the trail? In a big backyard the sight of tall flowers spilling over may need a sure je ne sais quoi enchantment however in a small plot my expertise has taught me in any other case.

I had already determined to offer over a piece of the plot to flowers, envisaging tall opium poppies, cosmos, rudbeckia and sunflowers. However, as we all know, nature abhors a vacuum and the soil has now  been populated by calendula, antirrhinums and even a reasonably stunning white campanula. None of them sown by me. When the wind blows …

View of the veg garden and it's self sown wildflowers

However the star self seeder this 12 months has been Leucanthemum vulgare, in any other case often known as the Ox Eye daisy. Oh, how I wished this plant after I noticed it rising on the verges of nation lanes! Think about my delight at discovering a tiny plant on the market domestically!  Roll ahead a few years and it has develop into one more of these ‘watch out what you want for’ vegetation in my backyard.

This one tiny plant has seeded its manner below the quince tree, over the asparagus mattress, alongside the trail, between the strawberries, below the redcurrant bush and even snuggled between the capping stones of the low wall.  Overkill? Actually.

I’d already dug up the stragglers and a number of other clumps earlier than I learn that that is an edible plant. Oops. Though, would I eat it? In all probability not. Earlier than flowering, the plant grows as a basal rosette of darkish succulent leaves.  If picked younger, they’re alleged to be a worthy addition to a salad, albeit not precisely leaping into the ‘scrumptious’ or ‘important’ classes of salad creation.

Carder bee sitting on ox eye daisy flower

I nonetheless have two giant clumps below the quince tree.  One has flopped, I believe helped on its horizontal trajectory by fox cubs; its destiny remains to be within the stability. They’re fairly straightforward to dig up, being comparatively shallow rooted however for as we speak it has a reprieve, helped by this widespread carder bee.  Till this sighting, I’d solely seen backyard flies on the flowers; the truth is, I’d by no means observed carder bees within the backyard in any respect. I’ve since seen many extra, simply recognisable by their trendy purple fox fur jackets.

So will there nonetheless be Leucanthemum seedlings subsequent 12 months? In all probability. And hopefully joined by these different self seeding daisies within the backyard – Erigeron and chamomile.

a clump of tall while chamomile flowers over feathery foliage
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