Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Chelmer

the river curving its way down to the sea

Hemp Agrimony; Grigson says of this plant that it lines the highways and byways of England and is a nondescript flower, but I love it for the buzz of bees, hoverflies and butterflies it attracts, had loads in the old garden.

a family of five young swans

Common mallow; 'common wayside plant', according to Grigson, the children preferred the disks of  nutlets or 'cheeses' in his time to eat. He likens it to monkey-nuts, but the roots were more used for poultices and soothing ointments.

The burdock plant- anyone who remembers dandelion and burdock pop of their childhood, will recognise the name.
Apparently around since 1265

purple loosestrife

The working lock

Eager anticipation but rather worried children as they begin to sink

Going down

Through the gates


  1. How I miss walking by the Chelmer... On a Sunday when I was a child, I would get up before the rest of the household and go for a long walk from the First Lock down to the second then back up and home in time for breakfast.

  2. New England having been my childhood home and for many decades thereafter, I'm most familiar with wild plants there. Hemp agrimony looked familar as I enlarged your photo. A bit of searching indicates it is one of the eupatoriums--similar to the Joe-Pye weed of North America--which grew abundatly in marshy areas of Vermont. Burdock, yes--the bane of country dwellers--and especially when we had horses whose tails and manes became tangled and matted with the burrs in fall and winter pasture.
    Purple loosestrife has colonized in much of this country to the point of being labeled an "invasive" species. I tend to think of wild plants as picturesque--to be welcomed and enjoyed, unless, of course, the invasive thing has taken over my garden.

  3. It is a beautiful river Jarmara, very peaceful, people flock to Paper Mill on sunday but I expect it's for the tea and cakes in a good old fashioned tearoom.
    Hi MM, are you saying that British wild flowers came over with the settlers, wish we could call them invasive in this country, fertilisers and herbicides destroy a lot of wild flowers. Interesting about the burdock being a drink in this country because the link says that sarsaprilla in America (don't know how to spell it) is also made from burdock. I have been informed that the young shoots of the plant are eaten in Japan, but that they can make you ill! Know what you mean about tangled tails and manes in horses, the 'gypsy' horses by the river have the same problem.


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