Friday Flora 19.5.17

It’s been an uninspiring Spring so far with lower temperatures, brisk winds and essentially dry weather (until the recent deluges). All the same, the season has marched on, seemingly at the same rate as ever, and whilst absorbed by other events, I’ve missed seeing the much sought-after spectacle of bluebell woods.

the stem
like a green vein, and balanced above—time
as an exploded diagram*

Already the filamentous achenes of Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ) are quite evident, giving me the uneasy feeling that the spectacle of Spring is passing by and I’m playing catch-up with the time of year. Maybe it’s because as children we called these seed heads Dandelion clocks and the number of full-cheeked puffs to parachute off all the seeds told us the time.

“It was May before my
attention came
to spring and

my word I said
to the southern slopes

missed it, it
came and went before
I got right to see…” **

May is my favourite month, not least because it conjures images of country lanes filled with Wild Chervil – or Cow Parsley. This common-or-garden plant drifts in green and white frothy clouds far and wide with an aroma somewhere between hawthorn and parsley. It has all the grace of an umbrella-headed architectural plant much given to wafting about in the slightest breeze like a reluctant portrait sitter. wild_chervil_mono

*Dandelion clock poem by Ella Standage
**Eye Sight poem by A.R. Ammons

Note: Cow Parsley is becoming more invasive with less grazing/more mowing of verges as well as leakage of fertilisers from agricultural fields.This gives Anthriscus sylvestris a head-start over other wildflowers that prefer a less nutritious soil (see Cow Parsley: A Countryside Killer)

Friday Flora – Trees, Shrubs and Flowers in and around London streets, parks and gardens, including my windowsill


9 thoughts on “Friday Flora 19.5.17

  1. Donna Donabella

    I love May too, but this May has been too wet and too cold…oh well we make due don’t we.

  2. Learned yet another word today (achene), love the poem excerpt under picture one, and got a cooking inspiration from your text – I don’t think I’ve used chervil before, so I’ll do some research and thinking this weekend!

  3. May is my favourite month as well – but as you say, this year it has been far too cold. And for the first time in history (at least mine) my magnolia got all its flowers frozen. Also the lilacs were frozen and sit, black and rustling in the wind, giving the few flowers left a sad appearance.
    Lovely pictures – the Wild Chervil a dream!

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