As we continue to bask in this sunny weather and our vines go from strength to strength the rest of the Estate looks a little parched in places and this means that the wildflowers are out in force (nature moves in mysterious ways). So for my blog I thought I would provide a few images of some key species and attempt not to mention gin, sparkling wine or still white wine at all! So here goes.
The opening image is the Round-headed rampion which is commonly known as the Pride of Sussex. I’ve included different images before and these plants are now out in full bloom at the top of our Trail, holding court above our vineyard. The deep blue to purple florets would make an ideal ’emblem’ for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in my personal opinion. They could gaze at these wildflowers while sipping a glass of Sussex (Ed. didn’t manage a non alcoholic blog for long!).
The flowers above are from the umbellifer or Apiacae family, their more well known cousin is the cow parsley, which is often seen beside roads and trails. The image on the left may indeed resemble cow parsley, and its not until you look down from above that you can clearly identify this particular wildflower. The small reddish ‘dot’ in the middle of the floret distinguishes it from others. Just like that!
Many wildflowers have medicinal purposes but I wouldn’t suggest you try to eat any wild plant unless you are 100% sure. The wild carrot has been used for many bladder and stomach problems through out the years dating back to Roman times. The whole plant, seed, root and leaves have been used, but please I must highlight that there are many species that look a like and some you would not wish to digest!
Above we have wild mignonette which has formed some glorious golden yellow patches within the chalk grassland on the southern edge of the Estate. The name mignon is from the French for ‘dainty’ and fits in well with the recent Bastille celebrations. I was there for the celebrations last weekend frantically chasing the Tour de France on my bike – the party atmosphere was the usual and the ‘banger'(fireworks) were anything but dainty. I could also attempt to find some correlation with our winemaker, but dainty isn’t usually a word I use to describe Jonathan!
Something to look forward to – I’ve mentioned before about the Adonis blue butterfly. This is a very vibrant electric blue species and has two broods per year. The 2nd brood should be on the wing in early August so keep your eyes peeled for these flitting up from the grass as you walk along.
There. Done it. Only one alcoholic reference in my entire blog!
I’m off for a G&T….