ROLLING IN THE CLOVER
Some plants exceed all expectations.
When I chucked a bulk packet of crimson clover ( Trifolium incarnatum) seed over a ploughed up patch of virgin soil in our meadow paddock last summer, I had no idea it would prove to be this season’s wow-factor plant.
I sourced seed from Kings Seeds, who describe Trifolium incarnatum as a “multipurpose nitrogen fixing legume and beneficial insect plant. Sow late summer for rapid bulky upright growth. It goes dormant in the cold of winter before resuming growth in spring, growing up to 1m high and sporting a striking crimson bloom in summer.“
Because crimson clover is traditionally used as cover or green manure crop, the Kings Seeds catalogue recommends either chopping and digging in prior to flowering, or leaving it as “a valuable nectar-rich food supply for bees and beneficial insects.“
I say take the second option! Don’t chop and dig because it’s absolutely fantastic in flower, with 5-6cm long, blood red, bunny tail-shaped flowers that stand bolt upright and demand your attention. I’ve been picking it by the basketful and even though it wilts a little on cutting, as soon as it hits the vase it immediately perks back up and stays looking fresh for up to a week.
I want to sow an entire paddock next!