Long ago, way before Monty Don took over the BBC’s Gardeners’ World series, Geoff Hamilton (my 2nd favourite television gardener) created a flowery mead, and that episode attached itself indelibly in my memory. A flowery mead is a medieval-style garden of diverse wild or simple flowers sown in grass. (I can still hear in my mind the way Geoff Hamilton (RIP) pronounced the words “flowery mead.”) Since then, I have tried to create one of my own. With little success, alas.
But here at last is a flowery mead of my own, bequeathed to me by the good fairy of gardeners herself – Mother Nature. It is largely pale pink at the moment from the field scabious which have been blooming so well since May. Summer’s heat doesn’t affect them. And there are points of blue, my favourite flower colour, scattered here and there: powdery blue spires of wild chicory just getting into their stride. I am rather impatient to see the chicory blooming en masse, as I would prefer my flowery mead to be mostly blue than mostly pink. However I don’t wish to be ungrateful about these freely bestowed riches. I am, indeed, I am truly and deeply grateful to have any one of these growing in my garden without any effort on my part.
A zingy counterpoint are some late yellow flowers that have shown up — not too many though. Not as many as the sea of yellow in spring. These latecomers make up for their tardiness by their arresting beauty. One in particular has quite tall (30-45 cm here) stems, covered with grey-green fuzz. Its leaves are fuzzy too, and it has lemon-yellow rayed petals. It took me quite a while to track down its identity. Its name is Andryala integrifolia. I hope you agree with me that it is quite charming.