Lords and ladies

Our beautiful garden is really springing forward, which means it’s time to impose some order. 

We actually have done relatively little, structurally at least, most of it was already in place when we bought the house. However we noticed last year that the cuckoo pint, or lords and ladies, Arum maculatum, a native species was starting the appear everywhere. 

I rather like it. The flowers are spectacular (and spectacularly phallus like), followed by gorgeous glossy red berries. Unfortunately just about every part of the plant is poisonous, and handling it with bare skin is likely to leave irritation behind. 

The plant also has the unfortunate habit of blending in with both my spinach, our host as and other spring bulbs, so I have spent a satisfying half an hour digging it up. 

I don’t expect it’s all gone, the rather withered and misshapen bulbs are

 only fragilely attached to the rather lovely heart shaped leaves, so no doubt many of the bulbs are in the ground. Hopefully however, my attempts to play referee will mean slightly fewer providing temptation to small children this autumn… 
It’s often surprising what you find after you’ve started looking, I hadn’t expected to find so much in the garden that I would fill one of our big plastic buckets (below with our trusty sneeboer trowel for scale).



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