Hastings Battleaxe gets botanical – wild flowers are difficult

It has been so hot….. last week we went for a cool walk along the Royal Military Canal, stopping for a shady picnic by the water.  During our walk, I was struck by the different varieties of wild flowers beside the path. 
     I’m not good at flowers. I can learn a name one day, and have forgotten it the next. And so many look the same, particularly little yellow vaguely dandelion-ish things – they are the equivalent of little brown birds.
     My sister is much better than me – I can remember admiring her carefully-compiled and labelled pressed flower albums. Not surprisingly, she grew into a very skilled and knowledgeable gardener.
     Philosopher and I often reflect that modern kids don’t seem to have hobbies in the same way that we did. Both of us collected stamps when we were children, involving much agreeable palaver around soaking the stamps off envelopes, tweezing, licking stamp hinges (which came in little tins), arranging them in albums, comparing contents of swap books with friends etc. This article in the Telegraph is among many speculating about why that particular hobby has declined.

Stamp hinges

     But back to the flowers. Being a modern sort of person I photographed them all then tried to identify the names when I got home, not always correctly, I fear.  Why are decent pictures in flower books so rare?  This may look like a boring list but there are thirty-seven different flowers here, just on one short walk. Also, the numerous umbellifers (cow parsley family to you) are now largely over. If we had gone to the sea-shore we would have found many more different flowers, like sea-kale and yellow horned poppies.
Navelwort                                                            Willowherb
Speedwell                                                             Self-heal                                                            
Scarlet Pimpernel                                                 Dead-nettle                                             
Yellow flag                                                           Woundwort
Buttercup                                                              Foxglove
Hawkweed                                                            Marsh Thistle
Daisy                                                                    White water lily
Ox-eye daisy                                                        Corn chamomile
Hedge Mustard                                                     Shepherd’s Purse
Rape                                                                     Angelica
Bird’s Foot Trefoil                                                Hedge Bindweed
Wild carrot                                                            Plantain
Ragwort                                                                Honeysuckle
Sow thistle                                                            Dog rose
Field poppy                                                           Black medick
Opium poppy                                                        Red and white clover
Tufted Vetch                                                         Herb Robert
Cut leaved Cranesbill                                           Mallow

The reeds were full of electric blue damselflies. Here are a few pictures from our walk.

Navelwort on old wall
White waterlilies
Bird’s foot trefoil plus bee
Philosopher, plus poppies, field chamomile and yellow rape
Tufted vetch
Blue damselfly

     To change the subject completely: you remember I mentioned in a previous post about having our staircase ‘retrofitted’ to its 1970’s appearance. Well, it is done now, and Philosopher has just finished painting it.  Here is before and after. The new look is much lighter, and far more in keeping with the house. We are very pleased.
      That’s it now.  Downstairs to watch Wimbledon with a cold glass of fizzy wine.




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