And Now for Something Larger21st April 2017 • Places to Visit • Stephanie Donaldson
Not all our time was spent crawling round on our hands, or scrabbling through the undergrowth – sometimes the plants were large and abundant. At this time of year the giant fennel, Ferula communis, was an architectural presence along the verges, in the hills and at the seaside. Having seen where they like to grow, I think it is time to move my own plant that never achieves the stature of its wild relatives and has only flowered once. Astragalus lusitanicus, a leguminous plant had fabulously pleated leaves and pea-like flowers, especially when young, but I’ve never seen it grown here, so I suspect it’s too tender and may also be rather poisonous. As umbillifers are all the rage these days, it was good to see one of my favourites, Orlaya grandiflora growing wild in dry meadows and I’m sure it won’t be long before another, Zosima absinthifolia puts in an appearance at Chelsea.