Mr Dear Emma smiles as he roots around in my carrier bag of findings. Yes, to some they may look like weeds but for those of us who like a good poke about in the undergrowth with a stick, a trample through boggy fields or lay in hiding for hours at the prospect of even a glimpse of some wildlife, these “weeds” mark the start of a pretty special time of year.
I live in a station house on the edge of a disused railway line. Aside from the “train enthusiasts” (we have steam trains that pass through), clutching their huge booms and fancy cameras that descend on us twice a week, the disused part of the railway line is uninteresting to most but to me and a handful of others, its a bit of a secret paradise.
Cabin fever was setting in so I took myself off for a breath of fresh air and a poke about. I was only away for 15 minutes or so but it was enough time to blow away the cobwebs.
Wild strawberry plants line the gravel track that runs parallel to the line. Nestled amongst an abandoned Royal Mail carriage grow primrose, cowslip and broom.
Above – Broom and Germander Speedwell
In total (and to my untrained eye) I counted eight varieties of wild fruit or flowers which included Germander Speedwell, Common Broom, Scotch Broom, Meadow Buttercup, Purple Tufted Vetch, Wild Strawberry, Bluebell and Forget-me-not.
So, Mr Dear Emma, not bad for a bag of weeds.