Clouds of Dame’s Rocket

Hesperis matronalis, to be Latin about it, has spread invasively along the River East Allen in Sparty Lea

But the clouds of blossom are so enchanting, and apparently its evening scent so complements the visual delight, that perhaps we can forgive this dame’s rocket for its rampant colonising along the river bank. I love the appearance of these wild flowers at the bottom of the track.

Up in our own little patch, we enjoyed a delightful afternoon yesterday in the company of dear friends, and although we didn’t make formal tours of the garden, I felt that it was possibly the most lush it’s ever been. The greens of the hedgerows, the soft grass and the elder tree sanctuary for the birds, as they flitted back and forth from feeder to nest, helped to create an ambience that we rarely experience. That was a feeling of friendly relaxation, a kind of peace with life, at least for a moment. A respite from some of the worldly cares that so often beset us.

Although there are rough areas, along borders and walls particularly where the weeds and grasses grow unmolested, the pleasant surroundings and the minimal breeze around the picnic table in the sheltered nook behind the kitchen are demonstrably a product of some gardening attention. Unlike the billowing delights of the dame’s rocket, which grows in rough robustness all by its wild self, our garden is a place that we’ve carved out for us too.

In particular, it’s the trees around us that make our garden what it is, and those trees, those delightful windbreaks with colour punctuations, they were all planted purposefully. So the relaxing spot is a kind of reward for some of those labours, years and years ago.

We were all in the mood for reminiscing, and we indulged ourselves. By incredible good fortune we seemed to have made it, if only for a moment, to a place of peace.

And far below us, in banks of colour that move gently in the soft breaths of the afternoon, the wild flowers live their lives too.

2 responses to “Clouds of Dame’s Rocket”

  1. Larry, My comments are a bit off topic this AM. British botanists didn’t only take wildflowers back to England they also brought wildflowers..Your flower of the day, hesperis matronalis,was first brought here in the 1600s. It is found across the US. You could have been here in PA or somewhere in the midwest & seen the “rampant colonizing” of dames rocket. I like the phrase rampant colonizing but I think only a writer/poet would write about rampant colonizing. I experienced a state of weed-recognition when I saw your photo. Yet I too would recognize that it is a beautiful wildflower. I have often thought if a wildflower was difficult to grow it wouldn’t be called a weed. Perspective.


    1. I had no idea that’s what it is called because you see drifts of the flowers over In Sparty Lea


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