Monday, 27 April 2009

Wild wild garlic

On Friday, Big Bro and I headed over to Gloucestershire to see cousin Jane, visit Jekka's herb farm and grab lunch. Big Bro drove, so I could keep my eyes peeled for wild garlic - something that you don't see very often in the bosky groves of north London. BB remembered from last year that we'd seen some on the hill leading down towards the M5 and sure enough, there was the gorgeous snow white stinky carpet. But nowhere to park. Joy of joys, when we got to Jekka's, there was a pot of a fully-grown wild garlic plant for sale. Perfect.

The open day at Jekka's was good - rows and rows of herbs for us to browse (laid out on the black sheets in the picture above). BB bought two trays-worth for his new allotment. I was more restrained and got Morrocan and buddlia mint, and two types of thyme.

After lunch came what turned out to be the highlight of the day: a visit to Purton, on the banks of the Severn estuary. I'd never heard of it, but Jane has known it all her life.

On the banks of the estuary are the last remnants of ships beached here to stop erosion, and the most stunning views out over the mud flats at low tide. BB was in bird heaven, reeling off names of waders. Jane pointed over to the missing railway bridge at Sharpness, blown away after two tankers collided one foggy night in 1960. Five died. The bridge was never replaced so the railway link to the Forest of Dean was gone forever.

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