Saturday, June 04, 2016

WE`ll GATHER....

We`ll gather lilacs in the Spring again
And walk together down an English lane....


So Ivor Novello`s song goes.  Well, this is a photo I took just over a week ago and it shows what I suspect is the essence of an English lane - or in this case a Cornish one.   What always astonishes me is the profusion of Valerian growing in hedgerows, out of stone walls and anywhere where the soil is poor and alkaline.

There wasn`t much sign of lilac down this English lane but various shades of Valerian - deep red, purple, white - and I wonder why the plant isn`t more popular than it is.   Maybe because it grows almost anywhere and has a habit of seeding very freely so that you see Valerian springing up all over the place - sometimes aggressively taking over from and displacing other plants and flowers.

It goes by several names as well as Centranthus Ruber - Red Valerian, Spur Valerian, Kiss-me-quick, fox`s brush, Jupiter`s beard, etc. and apparently can be eaten with salad.  Not sure I want to try that but I confess to having gathered a few bits and relocated them into my Kent garden where, surprise, surprise they seem to be aggressively taking over from and displacing other plants and flowers.   May be a good excuse to take them back to this quiet, hidden English lane.......please click on the picture for a much better image.


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