Monday, 23 May 2022


 Jack-By-The-Hedge is a very common plant on the banks and under hedgerows everywhere but I came across a huge patch of it in one place where I walked last week. It's just beginning to go over now.

It's Scientific Name is Alliaria petiolata but apart from Jack By The Hedge it's also called Garlic Mustard, Hedge Garlic, Sauce Alone and Poor Man's Mustard.  

I read that the plant contains a natural antifreeze so the over wintering rosette can be found and eaten even in the depths of winter. Although I've tried it and have never found much flavour of Garlic or Mustard even in early spring on the fresh leaves so I can't imagine it being very tasty in winter. 
 I thought I would find it mentioned in The Folklore of Plants book - but nothing. Although I did come across the possible reason for it's common name. Perhaps once called Jakes by the Hedge and Jakes were the old name for a toilets and this plant is supposedly to smell like an old toilet! but can't say I've noticed that either.

It's uses were described in a mid 18th century book of edible plants

"The poor people in the country eat the leaves of this plant with their bread, and on account of the relish they give, call them Sauce-alone. They also mix them with Lettuce, use them as a stuffing herb to pork, and eat them with salt-fish"

And of course I had to find the Jack-By-The-Hedge Fairy from Cecily Mary Barkers book of flower fairies

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Saturday, 21 May 2022

Saturday 21st

What have I been doing this week?

 Well, it was dire week for interesting things on TV so I've been frightening myself by watching Luther on iplayer - I didn't watch it way back in 2010 when it started or anytime up to 2019 when it finished. Blimey it's a violent series! but I can see why Idris Elba  is such a popular actor. I think he might have replaced Kevin Costner as my favourite.
 I see Silent Witness is back for a short series next week - looking forward to that.

In the  glorious warmth and sunshine on Tuesday and Wednesday  I sat out for a little while just lapping it up. Overnight Wednesday/Thursday there was supposed to be thunderstorms and heavy rain which were going to fill my new water butts but we had no thunder or lightening and just a bit of rain but then yesterday morning there was another few hours which has done the plants a power of good and at last filled the water butts.

Lots more gardening done with Alstroemeria, Osteospermum, Sweetcorn, Leeks and French Climbing Beans planted out.The canes are up ready for Runner beans later and I've left a space for some Brassica plants coming in July. That just leaves me with 3 squash plants to squeeze in somewhere they can spread.

After visiting the midweek boot sale I popped into town for fruit and veg and to check out all the dire warnings of food shortages. Someone had mentioned Aldi were limiting how much people could buy of some items but everything looked OK to me, so shortages haven't reached Suffolk yet but I have a feeling it may well happen as so much of last years wheat is stuck in Ukraine and there will be nowhere to store this years crop if it gets harvested.

My Flowers on the Table  bookshelves this week is the only Iris from the garden. It was hidden in the border behind the greenhouse, so might as well bring it in for a day or two where I can see it.

This week I've been grateful for

  • A visit from my cousin and her husband
  • Lots of gardening done 
  • Discovering something new to watch on TV

So that's what I been doing this week .......Not a lot really.....nothing to moan about or to get stressed about ....I try and avoid all that!

The diary is a bit empty for the weekend but I shall find something to do.

Back Monday

Friday, 20 May 2022

View Over the Village Mid May

 Thought it would be interesting to chart the changing seasons over the village by walking up the lane and taking photos from the one very small hill close to home.

My May walk was on the 17th and I saw my first Painted Lady Butterfly of the year

This singing fella below sounded like a skylark but it was so far away it could be something else.
From part way up the lane without zoom


First Dog Rose of the season and Cow Parsley everywhere


Zooming in from a bit higher and the church tower appears, wheat field on the left.

Spotted an Elder that I'd not noticed before. There are surprisingly few around so I like to note where I see them ready for making Elderberry Syrup in the Autumn. Last year I picked most from just over the road from home because the road was closed and there wasn't much traffic and I could climb up the bank without fear of being run over!. But this Elder tree will be easier to harvest.
And finally zooming in from the 'highest' part of the lane (not high at all compared to most of the country!) Sugar Beet growing in this field and in the centre of the photo a huge pile of sweet smelling pig or cow muck that has been dumped, somewhat oddly, in the middle of the wheat field. It will be even more pongy when it's spread after harvest.

 Then half a mile back down the hill and home.

I'll write myself a note to remind me to take the photos again in mid June.

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