Musk Mallow Monday & Communing With Bees


This morning I took my grumpiness to the allotment in hopes of leaving it there. This plan did not altogether work, though I did have a very lively chat with Phoebe, the allotment’s star maker-and-mender of abandoned plots. At the time she was hauling a grass mower over a rough bank that she’s been busy clearing, and going at it with all the vigour that supposed a new career in all-in wrestling might be appropriate.

She turned off the mower and we talked of how the world used to be, and no longer was. And I said how nice the green chairs were, placed by her under two reclaimed old apple trees; chairs I had donated to the cause last week because I’d inherited them with my polytunnel and never sat on them there, not in four-plus years. They are only plastic, but pleasingly weathered, and now, re-sited, offer new possibilities for sitting in a quiet and shady spot. Phoebe said she’d been eating her sandwiches there.

I told her I was feeling very cross, and had spent a couple of hours simply faffing about. This included scrumping gooseberries on an overgrown plot. I never used to care for them but the fruit on these abandoned bushes is now claret coloured, almost black when fully ripe; sweet enough to eat straight from the stem. I’m thinking of a luscious gooseberry fool or a wine infused jelly.


I also spent some time with the bees and butterflies. All annoyances are forgotten while one watches them. It’s akin to meditation. The bumble bees were literally bathing head-to-toe in the pollen of the musk mallow. This is a wild plant that insists on growing in front of my shed door. I’ve cut it down to the roots once, and transplanted a residual shred of it to a less annoying location where it is now also thriving; but the mother plant has come back with a vengeance. And since it’s such a hit with the bees, it had better stay for now.




A focused perspective – making a bee-line


Square Perspective #20

33 thoughts on “Musk Mallow Monday & Communing With Bees

  1. Happy bees, and doesn’t the Musk Mallow look pretty by your shed door 🙂 understand though the need to control it!

    Hope the grumpiness has now completely passed. I had a dreadful few days last week, so very grumpy. But then they were followed by a few days of pure joy.Yesterday after a great morning, i then got struck by depths of sorrow. However it too has passed, and this morning feeling much chirpier. A sign of the times I guess, and just learning I need to go with the flow – or nip outside and watch the bees, birds and butterflies for a while 😀

    1. Going with the flow – that’s where I’m going wrong! I’m definitely paddling upstream. But so sorry to hear you’re up-and-down too. More bee medicine called for all round, methinks.

  2. It was a bee day for me yesterday too, and Jude, how funny! Your pictures are so lovely – they evoke a gentle warm summer’s day. I’m glad the grumpiness was helped by time on the allotment – being out in nature is definitely good for the soul.

  3. happy bees indeed! the shed and the flower studded musk mallow look very charming. 🙂 i agree with Elaine that being out in nature is good for the mind and spirit 🙂 🙂

  4. It is a wonder how some plants – like this beautiful mallow – do not have cultivated forms and remain ‘wild’, as you say.

    Also, a certain childhood annoyance has risen in my breast: why did ‘they’ make us eat gooseberries – which I dislike to this day but have never seen for sale in the US – in their green sourish state if there is an almost black sweet state? Sarah

    1. That’s an interesting point about plants that remain ‘wild’. And as for the gooseberries, I couldn’t agree more (memories of nasty insipid green squidge). I gather from the gardening club notes my deceased aunt made about her growing up on a country estate where her father was head gardener, that there used to be fantastic huge berried varieties in the fruit cages there – that could of course be eaten straight from the plant. Her researches seemed to indicate that these varieties have now been lost.

      1. Tish…….Perhaps I am not thinking straight (the orange-faced Trump screaming every day; COVID etc) but this musk mallow does belong to the same family as hibiscus which has been heavily commercialized! Sarah

      2. Thanks!
        Shame on me, actually. It seems that your mallow is cultivated for its seeds in India for perfume! I must try harder not to be so ethnocentric!

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