Monday, 28 July 2014

Summer Flowers

Fortunately, the temperature has dropped a little, making our walk this morning, far more comfortable. But, the sun is still shining, so we set out for Shipley Hill, to take in the views.  The wild flower meadows are being mown all around the area right now and the fresh, sweet scent of the resulting hay is quite heady at times.  The field edges are still standing and blooming despite the recent heat and among the more noticeable of the summer plants are the Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris).
Mugwort has a long association with the medical fraternity, having been used as stimulant, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial, antispasmodic, appetiser, diuretic, purgative and treatment for what used to be described as 'women's complaints'.
As if all that were not enough, Mugwort is a particular favourite with many of our butterfly and moth species. And it has to be said, it is a favourite of mine too.
The second of today's flowers, belongs to the Yarrow (Achillea millefolium). Another useful plant for medicinal purposes, it too has been used as a stimulant, but also as a help to gardeners as a composting agent.  Its effectiveness as a liquid feed for garden plants is said to be matched in the hair salon as it has been used as a hair tonic for those follically challenged.
It too, is a great favourite with a host of insect species and a welcome sight in the hedgerows of high summer.
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