Four-Leaf Clovers To Share

Four leaved clover growing in a patch of three leaf ones

When I’m out walking, I sometimes amuse myself by looking for four-leaf clovers. Ever since childhood, I have followed the custom of nominating a person or a reason before searching, so when I find the clover, I already know what it is for.

My eye enjoys patterns so will skim over the patches and highlight an anomaly that looks a bit four-leafy for further inspection. I just have to pause, retrace a step or two, and be willing to appear goofy to any fellow walkers. Nothing new there then. Often, as I tease the leaves apart, I discover that the spurious leaflet belongs to a neighbouring stalk, but once in a while it’s a four-leaf one. Continue reading “Four-Leaf Clovers To Share”

Variations on a Theme: Forget-me-not, Heartleaf or Green Alkanet?

Why is it that we like to identify plants? To check whether it is safe or to eat or not, perhaps, or as a first step in working out how to buy one. To check if it is generally regarded by tastemakers as a weed or as a fit plant for a garden. But there’s also a great satisfaction in being able to name a plant just because we can. We feel closer to things we can name.

In April and early May, walking through fields and woods and peeking into gardens, we’ll often see plants with tiny, blue flowers that lift our spirits. They can be solitary, but more often, they are spreading.

Their pure blue flowers are classic forget-me-not style, the simplest of flower shapes with a starry look. Tiny, open flowers about as big as our smallest fingernail contain five rounded petals around a yellow, orange or white centre. But is it a forget-me-not? Perhaps it is, perhaps not.

Myosotis (forget-me-not) with a few pink flowers
Myosotis (true forget-me-not) with a few pink flowers

Continue reading “Variations on a Theme: Forget-me-not, Heartleaf or Green Alkanet?”