April 20, 2016

Cuckoo Flower

ladys smock blog

So nice they named it twice: this is Lady's Smock, or the Cuckoo flower, depending on your preference. The latter title was bestowed on account of its appearance at around the same time as you might hear the first cuckoo in Spring. These delicate lilac beauties suddenly appear in a purple haze across our meadow in April. And, according to my friend Ed, owner of Edinburgh's famous Gardener's Cottage restaurant, and a man who knows about these things, the flowers are both beautiful and delicious in salads, and the leaves taste a bit like horseradish. I've yet to test the theory, but I'm planning to...For the past two years we have been gently encouraging the land around our cottage to revert to meadow, and from the first crocus in January, til we take a scythe to the whole tangled and tired mass of grasses and seed heads in late August, it is a source of endless, ever-changing delight. The other day I began to scribble its floral inhabitants for the first time, and it has been such a simple pleasure that I am going to try to draw every single one as they appear throughout the year. Unfortunately, the thought came too late for the jewel carpet of crocus, snowdrops and tiny narcissus in early Spring, but from this moment on I'll try to catch them all...#inthemeadow