Mallow, Buddleia and Other Uninvited Guests

This Mallow weed is usually pulled up for the offence of ‘covering the path’. This year I let it stay and now it’s a flowering bush. The chickens love lurking in it, sniffing out ants or something.

It covers up the mess behind, where they have removed turf to build a dust bath. Chickens are 100% determined when it comes to building projects and ignore suggestions of taking their work elsewhere. There is no reasoning with them.   

Mallow is like the neighbour you don’t talk to, because they look boring. Let them in and you find out interesting things and make a friend. That has happened to many of us in lockdown.

And this buddleia turned up on the wall. A gorgeous display that I try not see. When I do think about it, in the middle of the night, I can practically hear the roots tunnelling down inside the wall. Buddliea is a symbol of new beginnings. No surprise there. It destroys everything in its path. I have plans involving a ladder, a saw and the most evil weedkiller that money can buy. But they haven’t happened yet.

Buddleia is like the person you have known for years, they always break something or annoy. They are tactless and just march in and won’t even do proper social distancing, but you quite like them really. So you sort of ignore all the problems until one day you lose it and cut them out of your life. Hopefully not with weed killer.

Somebody else who keeps turning up is Ruby, the fat Labrador next door. If sausages are sizzling, she either squeezes through a tiny gap, or flies over the fence.  Nobody knows how, but there she is, welcoming us into our own kitchen. The chickens retreat to a dark corner and make warning clucks.  They can’t tell the difference between ruby and a fox.  They have never seen a fox but they have heard stories about them. 

Take Ruby back to the fence and she looks blank. Ring her owner, who comes out to call, cajole and finally climb over the fence and lug her back over. Labradors only go one way when sausages are involved.

We’ve all had a friend who does that.  Usually somebody lovely, who arrives around about dinner time.  So you have to say ‘oh do stay and eat’ as you look sadly at the huge roast dinner that was just enough for you to overeat yourself.  Pity you can’t ring somebody up and ask them to carry that person out of the house.

And the cat innocently brings a constant supply of live wildlife in. If it is a bird, all hell breaks loose. I picked up a stick once and ran after her waving it around and screaming until she let it fly away. If it is a moth I take no notice.

She probably wonders why we react so differently to her friends.  A bit like the teenager who doesn’t get it when you take against their (blatantly dodgy) new mate, straight after you offered cake to their (very nice with lovely parents) old friend. Except you don’t chase the new mate round the house with a stick.

Outside the garden another world leader of the far right has tested positive so I am back to wondering if is OK to sometimes want people to get really sick or not, scientists have decided to find out if this virus travels by air, mucus or both and I have discovered that cycling with a mask on means you don’t get flies in your mouth.  

13 thoughts on “Mallow, Buddleia and Other Uninvited Guests”

  1. Fantastic tales from the garden. Plus I now know what a buddleia is and have realised we have one that I thought I had killed off by hacking it down to a wizened old twig only to see it has revived itself and is growing at a frightening rate! Thanks Jo. X

  2. Buddleia might be the answer to a national housing shortage. Plant a circle of them and weave them into a tipi-shaped house, with roofs of purple and flying butterfly neighbours… can you ask the hens what they think?

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