Seven Lady’s Smocks

Now, you might think I have changed the style of my wardrobe but that is not the case. Rather it is the celebration of a little moment in the garden. We have a small area which has changed over the years from being a “bulb lawn” to a wildflower patch. Originally, we planted a large number of snowdrops – several thousand – in the grass patch which was enclosed within two large garden beds and added crocus, daffodils, fritillaries, camassias and a few other bulbs in smaller numbers over the years. A gift of some native orchids from a friend’s garden forced us to leave the date for the cutting the grass much later and, of course, the grass grew quite a lot taller and, without any intervention on our part, wildflowers appeared. We have had some especially exciting years – a year of a blue cover from the native Forget-me-not and another of yellow from Smooth Hawk’s Beard, a plant which would be unwelcome in the garden beds. There are always daisies, dandelions, creeping and meadow buttercup, broad-leaved and lanceolate plantain and those introduced Common Spotted Orchids have seeded about and are now in greater number. However, some wildflowers are considered especially pretty and so particularly welcome. In the last few years we have had an odd Cuckoo Flower – or Lady’s Smock – and this year we have seven! It is a small reason to be happy, to celebrate and to be amazed at how nature can reclaim a small patch of land which was farmed for generations and a garden for the past twenty.

And the highlight plant of this year for me has been the appearance of seven plants of Lady’s Smock – Cuckoo Flower, Cardamine pratensis. I hope they increase in number over the coming year.

10 thoughts on “Seven Lady’s Smocks

  1. Hi Paddy I love Lady’s Smock. We had masses of it in all our meadows, the small, flat damp fields near the stream, when I was growing up and I used to pick bunches for my mother as she loved it too. Delighted it has reappeared in your garden, well done. Maeve

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    1. These are in good number in a nearby riverside field but not immediately close to us so it was a surprise when they appeared. I’m delighted with them.

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  2. Wonderful! You might be surprised to hear that they are also growing all over over neighbourhood in Brussels. It is the town hall’s policy to leave the public grass verges ‘wild’ – the grass is long and full of wild flowers – you’ve done really well with yours.

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