Coun­try Mouse

A splash or a soak

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

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

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