Monday, 1 June 2015

37. Aquilegia, valerian and foxglove

May blossom lies like snow on the grass
June started today with a storm and a splash. The sun finally came out in the late afternoon when I was showing a group from New Zealand around the Garden. The wind was still strong, and as we stood in the Imbolc Garden we were showered by May blossom blowing off the hawthorn trees. It was like a blessing, confetti from the trees covering the ground at our feet with white stars.

Below the stone wall the sunken garden is a riot of early summer colour - blue Aquilegia and red Valerian jostling together.

Aquilegia and Valerian

And then I spotted the first foxglove of the season, standing tall and beautiful. It is thought the name was originally 'folksglove', the folks in question being the fairies. Another name for the flowers is fairy thimbles, and the tubular flowers are just like thimbles - soft, velvety ones that fit over a finger perfectly.

Foxglove's Latin name is, of course, digitalis, and the plant is well-known for its powerful medicinal value for the heart. I can offer testament to its effectiveness - even without ingesting any extract from the plant it lifted my heart and provided a beautiful end to a previously grey day.


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