The annual gift

A big old building which I suspect is now flats butts onto one end of our road. Behind this building is a ramshackle, unfenced, unkempt little plot of wilderness.

Around this time of year it erupts into a riot of colour.



The goodies lurking in there are worth a closer look!


White Nettle;



Green Alkanet, (this is not the variety of Alkanet that can be used for dyeing) also known as Evergreen Bugloss;




There is so much to notice here. Like how red the stems of the Nettles appear beside the greens of the Plantain; and how brightly the tiny dots of Speedwell ‘pop’ against their backdrop of yellow-green leaves.


How white the Nettles appear against the concrete blocks that appear to have once been part of some steps.


The specific relationship between that acid green and that purple blue, and the lurid way they ‘sing’ together whenever I walk past, demanding my attention, as if I were a bee.


Bees, by the way, just LOVE this patch. If you stand nearby you can hear, mixed with the traffic, the lovely drone of busy insects working away inside the flowers and underneath the leaves.


I love the way that the whole scene is bordered by beautiful Victorian Reading brickwork. And I feel a certain affection for this neglected place with its clutter and its giant, dumped JEWSON bags full of guff, and the fact that it’s right beside a main road and yet for a handful days each year at around this time, yields this glorious gift of colour.

In a couple of weeks’ time someone will come along and aggressively buzz-cut the whole thing, presumably to make it look ‘tidier’.

…but for now, I am loving the mess.


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