Morning Walks and Plant Talk
You’re never too old to learn
Every morning on the way to work, I get off the bus just outside Colchester Castle Park in Essex and take a turn around the grounds. Noting the progress of the planting and flowering. It’s just a nice way to start the working day.
Whilst walking and looking at the various selections of trees, shrubs and flower arrangements I generally have one question in mind. ‘I wonder what that’s called?’.
So this morning I thought I’d begin to share a few of the individuals that catch my eye. One at a time, in no particular order and for no particular reason other than curiosity.
I’ll begin this random index of interest with an area no doubt inspired by the relatively local and wonderful Beth Chatto Dry Garden, And because the county of Essex is one of the driest in the UK. Colchester Castle Park has its own dry garden opened in 2011 near the play area, if you’re visiting.
A fascinating collection, most of which has yet to fully reveal itself to me as it’s May and most of the plants have yet to flower.
One plant however that completely captives with or without flowering, is called ‘Verbascum Bombyciferum-Mullein’.
With its velvety soft silver leaves, you have no option but to stroke it. The foliage is covered in fine soft hairs , like a giant version of the ‘Lamb’s Ears’ plant (also present in the dry garden). Both of which would be favourites in any sensory garden collection.
In addition to these irresistibly tactile leaves, it also produces a stem of buttery yellow flowers. That not only catch the sun but are no doubt magnets for the bees. According to the RHS this will grow to about 1.8m tall.
I have read that these stems will eventually produce seeds, at which time I shall be collecting a few for propagation. How could I not?
Cultivation tips can also be found on the RHS site here.
Hope you’ve enjoyed my first snap shot of my walk around Colchester Castle Park, a lovely place to visit if you’re passing.
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Keep it green