Hen-and-Chickens

North is in the top right corner and the lawn slopes gently down towards the pond. Maximum dimensions: 7.7 x 5.5 metres.

OUR LAWN wouldn’t win any prizes either as immaculate turf or as a wild flower meadow but wild flowers, weeds and garden escapes manage to find micro-habitats within the 40 square yard south-east-facing slope where they can take hold. On the worn route to the garden path by the shed, on the shadier side of the lawn, there’s a patch of White or Dutch Clover, Trifolium repens; the most luxuriant growth of moss amongst the grasses is in a flattish area near the middle of the lawn and Dog Daisy, Chrysanthemum leucanthemum, has crept in from where it originally grew in the flower border.

Height: 20 - 37 cm, diameter of flowerhead: 2.5 cm (1 inch)

Orange Hawkweed, Pilosella hieracoides, also known as Hen-and-Chickens or Fox-and-Cubs because of the way the unopened buds group around the flowers, grows at the top end of the lawn near the patio, where it’s drier and sunnier. It’s a naturalised hawkweed that grows in grassy and waste places. As it spreads by underground rhizomes and can become a weed, I had better remove the few plants that have become established during this dry summer before it takes over.

Cherry Log Fungus

‘It looks as if someone has put a dollop of mashed potato on the log!’ says Ellie; this fungus is growing on a log – the trunk of a flowering cherry – that has been left as a makeshift bench at the corner of the car park at the Denby Dale Road entrance to Thornes Park (or to be more accurate, Holmfield Park).

I didn’t get chance to draw enough of it to identify it. Some kind of bracket fungus presumably, or possibly something similar to Dry Rot.

Ellie has asked me to come along to Thornes Park to film an interview about my booklet Walks in the Rhubarb Triangle. One of the walks starts here at the statue of rhubarb at the corner of the park. The fungus provided me with a subject to draw as I waited for the film crew to arrive.

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