I had poached eggs for lunch today.  But this isn’t going to be about the virtues of free-range chickens (if only we could – foxes and resident goshawk preclude the ‘free range’ bit)

Mother Hen (white) and the "chicks"

Mother Hen (white) and the “chicks”

The poached eggs for lunch reminded me that I have been wanting to write something about Limnanthes douglasii (Poached egg flower) and what a joy they are in the garden at several times during the year including now –in the depths of a wet and gloomy January. Even in the cold and frosty Januaries of recent years they seem to happily cope with really hard frosts and snow and still bounce back with their fresh, up-lifting bright greenness.

As seen today

As seen today

Of course it’s in early summer that they really come into their own with their cheerful mass of delicately scented yellow and white flowers which will be humming with bees and hoverflies.

They started edging the herb bed

poached eggs and cardoon

And then seeded into the path

poached eggs in path

Then somehow the next bed seemed to have acquired some

poached eggs

I now have 2 (supposedly veg) beds devoted to them.

poached eggs bed of

I justify this on the grounds of

–       good for wildlife, encourages pollinators (true)

poached eggs wirth bees

–       provides useful ground cover in the winter thus preventing loss of nutrients (also true)

–       lovely splash of colour to cheer me up

–       they seed themselves freely no so cost and hassle of re-sowing every year ( see post on self seeders coming soon)

–       slugs don’t seem the least bit interested in eating them (a real bonus in this garden)

BUT these beds are in one of the sunniest and most productive parts of the garden (much of the garden on slopes, difficult to work and is increasingly in shade due to the forest trees around us getting taller all the time).

So I shouldn’t really squander some of the best growing areas on them, should I?  Perhaps I could sacrifice one bed this year and reclaim the other to veg production?  We shall see.