Tuesday, 8 January 2019

School Street, Drayton

A chilly but nevertheless lovely morning with a clear blue sky showing only a few wisps of cloud. And even these, on closer examination, proved to be the disintegrating remains of aircraft vapour trails.

I took Chris in to work for a couple of hours with the Air Ambulance. Not only is it voluntary and therefore unpaid but only rarely do I collect her without she has found a  'lovely vase' or a 'really nice set of banana straighteners'. I sigh and kiss a few quid goodbye. This voluntary work can be expensive.*

Leaving town I drove out to our allotment to drop a load of dead flowers, lettuce leaves, banana skins and coffee grounds on to the compost heap. Lots of 'ferns' are growing around the cherry tree; in fact they are young plants of Phacelia tanacetifolia.

Young phacelia plants are popping up around our allotment.
Drayton, Daventry. 8 January, 2019

I grew the species last year as a green manure and subsequently many are popping up in unexpected places. I may leave a few plants for their attractive blue flowers growing in little clusters. (The word phacelia comes from the Greek phakelos, a bundle, and refers to these flowers.)

Having locked the allotment gates I set off for a walk down School Street. The school has not functioned as such for several decades and is now a most attractive private residence.

The former school in Drayton, now a lovely house.
8 January, 2019
Almost opposite the school stood a clump of bamboo. Nothing unusual about that you might think but it is by some distance the tallest bamboo I've ever seen in Britain, certainly reaching roof-top height. It may be Phyllostachys bissetii but that is purely a guess. Bamboos are tricky.

Wow! Reaching the rooftops. Bamboo in Drayton.
8 January, 2019

Several gardens held specimens of a neat, flat-topped birch. It is, I believe, a form of our native Silver Birch, Betula pendula, known as Young's Weeping Birch. None of the specimens grew above about three metres in height, making it a very useful tree for small gardens.

Young's Weeping Birch? A very popular small garden tree.
Drayton, 8 January, 2019
Only a mile or so today but that was plenty. I'm feeling smug having lost another pound, and I don't want to be reckless with my walking.

* Today's booty proved to be a pair of heavy, tapestry-like curtains with a medieval motif although, to be fair, they were for our son-in-law Dean, who will doubtless put them to good use.

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