I am going to stick my neck out and go wild today! By this I mean that I am going to mention some weeds or even unwanteds. I never fail to knock Oxalis as an unwanted weed in the lawn although on the grass verges along the lanes and even main roads its bright yellow flowers fill the highway with colour. Besides that, if you are near enough to a large clump of this weed you will hear and see the bees are really busy, so really every weed has its uses.
Now to look at that word 'wild' a wild garden can mean literally gone wild with rubbish and weeds, it can also mean lovely wild plants that have found their way or been planted in a garden giving the whole a natural look. It is this latter wild garden that I want to mention today.
Majorca is full of lovely wild flowers and we see fields full of them filling the whole area with colour. Oxalis has been one of them, soon it will be the minute wild Marigold, another flower that simply covers the ground with colour and also coming soon will be the turn of the wild Gladioli. Now last week I suggested mowing the lawn of weeds to allow the sun to get to the grass, having said that, I have a long border of wild Gladioli that are already showing signs of coming into flower, those I just couldn't simply mow down, they were left standing waiting for their wonderful deep pink flowers. These were never planted there, they just came up one year and have continued to do so year after year increasing in number every year just as if they had been planted there.
Neville James-Davies mentioned on his 'Wild Majorca' page about a month ago that he had spotted the first wild 'Giant Orchids'. Well believe it or not, I have a corner of the garden that has wild Orchids and here again they extend further along that patch of garden every year, this year there seem to more than ever, there is no way I can dig them up. They actually pop up where there is a large patch of self-seeded Nasturtiums that also looks after themselves every year so really do fit into the wild garden bracket. This week Neville speaks of the wild Iris, these I have seen but not in my own garden.
Already waiting to die back are the leaves of the Jonquils, those in my garden have been in under a lawn area for all of forty years. Our house was the first to be built on an area of pasture land, long abandoned before being built on. We were surrounded with wildlife so we dug up a few Jonquil bulbs to transplant and save from being built over. Now we have a lovely big patch which extends every year and is always full of flowers. OK so they do look untidy until the leaves all die back but it is worth it to enjoy these early flowering bulbs in the lawn. And, in this same lawn all through the winter months and well into May we have wild Mushrooms, these do as this species does, simply comes up overnight, sometimes we can pick a kilo of them, they also grow out of the bark on the trunk of a Weeping Willow tree that is the middle of that lawn.
Next to come will be the Poppy either bright red or a lovely dusty pink. I never know where they are going to come up, they just seem to pop up where ever they want just like in the fields they cover every year. Being an annual their seeds blow on the wind, I don't care, they fill a corner with colour that has taken no effort what so ever to plant.
Another edible wild plant is the Asparagus, its fern like growth can be a bit prickly but catch the new tip before the fluffy leaves form and there you have tender Asparagus tips to pop in an omelette or some such.
I am going to finish today by mentioning the 'Cyclamen Balearicum' a delightful little Cyclamen that can be found along any of the verges and country walks. It thrives in a pot or along any flower border coming back year after year and its botanical name really refers to the Balearics. Yes we are an island full of flowers that we can all enjoy for nothing.