Friday, 5 June 2015

Periwinkles & Pokers

On my walk along the seafront today I could see that the red hot pokers were in full bloom.  These always grow on the cliffs every year in some profusion, and are yet another garden escape that has become naturalized.  It is rather depressing to see how few native wild plants there are around here, maybe they have been crowded out by these brash, robust incomers.  This plant origiinated in South Africa and is hardy - after all, it has come from a place chilly enough to have penguins!  There are many cultivated varieties and you can find out more about growing them in your garden here and buy them from Mr Digwell here if you live in the UK.  In their native country they are pollinated by birds, here by bees.  When I was a child just about every garden was full of them including ours.  Now you don't see them so often.
Note the slightly bigger photo.

Growing on the edge of the beach and in clumps in various other spots I also spotted periwinkle.  This is lesser periwinkle vinca minor, and you can buy this pretty plant here which is pollinated by bees and is poisonous so no tasting!  It is a hardy, tough plant that grows just about anywhere and can be invasive, but makes a good ground cover.
I had no idea how much I was going to learn doing this! 

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