Friday, 8 April 2011

Reasons not to cut the lawn No.37

I do like alpine plants though there's not many around Waldridge. However I make up for this by growing them from seed. I'm a member of the Alpine Garden Society and one of the perks of this is they have a seed exchange. So we all swap seed and grow many different species of alpines and other small plants in the garden. One of my favourite groups are the violets (Viola), not the big flashy winter pansy but the little delicate blue, white and yellow species.

 A number of years ago I got the seed of the Heath Dog Violet (Viola canina) and raised a couple of  plants which have lived happily ever since in a trough at the front of the house. This British species I have seen in the wild in only a couple of spots, the best being Holy Island. The Flora & Vegetation of Durham says "it is doubtfully native, though found on the dunes of Northumberland, it status in Durham is difficult to estimate as no site for it now remains". Now I know where there is a thriving colony in Durham - in my front lawn! Those quiet little plants in the trough have hardly spread in their trough but have cast their seeds which explode from the pod onto the lawn. Now the lawn is quite sandy, as is the rest of the garden, and the little viola is obviously very much at home here. At the moment they are all in or coming into flower, so I can't possibly cut the lawn.

Heath Dog Violet 

As I was taking the above photograph something dropped down beside me on the lawn. A Wood Pigeon's egg, of which the young must have just hatched and the parent had just got rid of it. A lot happens on your lawn.
The near miss Wood Pigeon's egg

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