A splash or a soak
COW parsley remains the triumphant flower of spring. Its frothy white flowers line the verges, the plant having grown prodigiously in recent weeks. It’s an ugly name for such a charming flower, but unlike its woodland partner, the bluebell, it continues to flourish everywhere. Occasionally, people have tried to encourage its alternative name of Queen Anne’s lace, but it’s never truly been successful as a replacement. Humble cow parsley it is, but what delight it gives us all.
Gardeners have been fretting over the long dry spell that we’ve had, punctuated by a sharp frost a fortnight ago that did significant damage to fruit trees and the vine flowers of the everincreasing numbers of wine growers. Folklore suggests that the drought is set to stay, as I can’t recall the oak so decisively coming into flower before the ash. As the old saying goes: ‘Oak before ash, we’re in for splash; ash before oak, we’re in for a soak.’
I spotted several mayflies while fishing on the River Meon on Sunday, however, the trout had not yet got their heads round them—each year, it takes a few days for the fish to adapt to eating these huge insects. A fortnight from now and they’ll do little else. MH