Saturday, July 10, 2010

Elder



Elder (Sambucus nigra)

Elder (Sambucus nigra)

I've left it too long.

I've wanted to write a bit about the Elders and other things got in the way.

Elder is one of many plants used in the dense hedgerows that keep the livestock in the pastures and the cars and tractors on the road. When Hawthorn stops blooming in late May, Elder takes over so seamlessly that if I wasn't paying attention I wouldn't have noticed. Now, with July in full swing, the Elder has faded and the hedges are solid green with no more splashes of white.

Elder (Sambucus nigra)
Elder (Sambucus nigra)
Elder (Sambucus nigra)
Elder (Sambucus nigra)


Ground Elder (Aegopodium podagraria)

Ground Elder (Aegopodium podagraria)

Ground Elder is like Elder's little sister. It's not a shrub at all but a much smaller plant, growing to about a foot or bit more in height. It seemed to bloom at the same time as Elder and the flowers of both are very similar although I think Ground Elder has a whiter white. It wasn't uncommon to see Elder in the hedge blooming wildly with Ground Elder, underneath, just as comely. Ground elder was superb as a cutting in my flower vase (unlike its uncooperative big sister).

Ground Elder (Aegopodium podagraria)
Ground Elder (Aegopodium podagraria)
Ground Elder (Aegopodium podagraria)
Ground Elder (Aegopodium podagraria)

This past week, local sheep have been clipped, marked, sprayed, and had a foot bath. [Sounds a bit like a trip to the spa.] They're all now back in the fields, looking spiffy albeit with a big splash of red on their backsides. Next on the farmers' list of chores was to trim back the hedges along the roads. And that trimming was what put the end to a particularly lovely section of ground elder.

Now, their seasons are over and my attention turns to other lovelies.

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