Wednesday 20 June 2012

Snowberries and Sunsets

We are all enjoying the fact that not only are we well north of our old location in Kent, here in Roscommon so that we get longer days than we did, but we are also well out to the West. We are probably one and a half time zones west of Greenwich, which is on the extreme east of the GMT/BST band, so that our days are also a good hour later than Kent. Mum took these pictures at the moment of sunset on Tues 19th June (22:03pm) while Dad was on the phone to barging buddy 'Boss of Volunteers, Basil'. Basil commented that his sun in Kent was long gone down.

 While standing in the lane last week waiting for the District Vet Office guy to come and check us out for the herd number, we noticed that the hedge on the far side of the lane is actually made up of this pink flowered, round leaved shrub which was unfamiliar to both Mum and Dad. Thinking they might have a rarity on their hands which was worthy of reporting to the botanical records people, they took a cutting indoors to identify it. Using a variety of flora books they finally nailed it via the "round leaves" using a key in the ancient and much loved "Wild Flowers of Britain and Northern Europe (Fitter, Fitter and Blamey, 1974, pub Collins)" book Dad has had since he was an Ecology student in 1975
It turns out to be Snowberry (Symphoricarpos), a very common garden-escape and thug. Says Hessayon in the expert books, "Few plants are easier to grow than S, this rampant shrub will flourish in any soil, in full sun and in the dense shade under trees...etc". Ah well. It was briefly exciting!


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