What was in flower on Lodge Field last summer? (2008)
The short answer is “Loads” – it is just the best time of year for flowering plants. The soft purplish grass that is everywhere you look is Yorkshire Fog but along the path edges there is Crested Dog’s Tail very pretty with the evening sun glinting through it.
The Dyer’s Greenweed is doing well in some places but is completely non-existent at other markers. Not strictly on the field but – if you don’t use the entrance by Bill and Shirley’s plot – it is well worth a detour, not just to admire Bill’s veggie beds but also to see the Valerian growing out of the wall. At the opposite end of the path, in the North Hedgerow is one of the least showy plants on the field. About 30 Ali paces from the gate you can find a small clump of Hedge Woundwort fighting the nettles. It looks rather like an anorexic Red Deadnettle with darker flowers concentrated in whorls near the top. Perhaps it needs to be rescued with a little nettle clearing.
The grasslands are chock full with stuff – lots of Spiky Sedge and Oval Sedge and not so much Hairy Sedge. The ox-eye Daisies seem to be increasing and Gar has counted over 50 orchids (19 in the first year – 2004). My favourite place at the moment is up where the stream emerges from the Scrub and there are little pondlets amongst which there is Conglomerate Rush, Ragged Robin with its finely cut pink flowers and the last few blue flowers of Brooklime (with the wonderful scientific name of Veronica beccabunga. There is also a white flower there looking a bit like Hairy Bittercress. I think it is Large Bittercress (Cardamine arnara). But I need John to verify it.
On the Top Plateau are all the usual suspects – Bird’s Foot Trefoil, Red Clover, White Clover and Zig-zag Clover (deeper pink and no markings on leaves), Hop Trefoil, and Yellow Rattle with Knapweed and Restharrow just about to come out.
If anyone wants me to show them any of the plants or to identify anything – just let me know and I’ll meet you on the field.
Ali, June 23rd 2008