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
33 thoughts on “Musk Mallow Monday & Communing With Bees”
Yes…If the bees are happy we need to be happy too.
Great…happy bees are a result…and you’re de-grumped
The musk mallow kind of reminds me of chicory.
That’s an interesting observation. A similar petal structure.
Lovely photos — and the bees look very happy!
And doing an awful lot of gobbling.
Lovely bees. Musk mallow is great, in the right place. Otherwise it can be a bit of a thug. The gooseberries sound delicious 😋
I’ve noticed a few seedlings recently. I think they might be moving to the guerrilla garden where they can flex their ‘muskles’.
Lovely captures! The header image is stunning…
Thank you. A very pollen-dusty bee 🙂
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 😀
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.
I agree, bee medicine is the best 🐝
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.
You’re absolutely right about being out in the natural world, Elaine.
It’s only in recent years that I have realised this! 🙂
Never too late!
Love the pink Musk Mallow flowers
Once you start looking at the individual flowers you see how beautiful they are; such delicate structures.
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 🙂 🙂
I’m really enjoying the mallow. It’s a good excuse to avoid getting the lawn mower out of the shed 🙂
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
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.
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
There seem to be about a dozen wild varieties – some malva and some lavatera and some althaea. They all seem to have pink flowers. The bred varieties seem to have a wider colour range and look less wild and straggly in their habits. I also realise they are cousins of hollyhocks too. There’s a rather lovely garden bred lavatera which I’ve long fancied: https://www.thompson-morgan.com/p/lavatera-x-clementii-barnsley-baby/p8030TM
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!
I think you have a pretty extensive world view, Sarah – wide ranging vistas compared to most people’s shortened perspectives 🙂
It does seem as though grumpiness is (entirely understandably) doing the rounds. I wish you more sunshine, bees and wildflowers as an antidote.
Thank you for the kind thoughts, Su. I’ve hoarded them up for the day ahead 🙂