Shepherd’s purse, like other members of the cress family, has four-petalled flowers but it’s easier to identify its heart-shaped seed pods which are the shape of the sporran-like purse worn by medieval shepherds.
This plant has so far survived our autumn weeding of the veg beds, hanging on in there in the last square metre of the L-shaped bed next to our little meadow area, growing alongside spurge, bush vetch, forget-me-not and creeping buttercup and a few rosettes of sow-thistle and foxglove.
2.30 p.m., overcast, 58°F, 14°C: Warps are methodically working the pale yellowish green flowers of the ivy. These must rank as the dowdiest of flowers but the sweetish heady scent has also attracted a few bluebottles which have a more skittish approach to imbibing this autumnal supply of nectar. One sunny morning last week, hoverflies and drone flies were also joining in this end of season feast.