Or the lion's tooth.
This is Taraxacum officinale, a herbaceous perennial, sometimes grown as a medicinal herb. What ? What do you mean, it's a weed ?
And here it is growing with Honesty. Oh alright then, I suppose some people would call it a weed. In fact, everybody calls it a weed. Yes, it's the humble dandelion, named from the French phrase 'dent de lion' meaning lion's tooth, a reference to its jagged leaves. Much has been written about its medicinal and culinary properties, but I intend to concentrate on its advantages to the garden. Yes, there are advantages. Really.
Firstly, one thing to bear in mind if you do decide to allow a few to grow in your garden; one plant can produce 5,000 seeds in one year. So on no account allow it to go to seed. And now for the benefits; it attracts pollinating insects. So do a lot of cultivated flowers, I hear you say. Hang on, I haven't finished yet. It releases ethylene gas that encourages fruit setting and ripening. So does a banana, I know, but there's more; its deep taproot brings nutrients and minerals to the surface, enriching the soil especially for shallow-rooted plants.
So believe it or not, and you probably don't, but I do allow a few dandelions to grow amongst the fruit trees on purpose. I always pull off the spent blooms before they seed, and occasionally I pull off some leaves for the compost bin. I bet you feel better about the dandelions in your lawn now, don't you ?
The full moon this morning has been described as a 'supermoon.' It looked 14% larger and 30% brighter than normal, because it was so close to the earth. Hope you all remembered to plant and sow 48 hours before the full moon. I didn't. Forgot. Whoops.
And finally, the blue tits. Yesterday I saw a delightful and disturbing sight; the male blue tit enticed the female out of the nestbox with a big juicy grub. The disturbing bit ? He got the grub from the tree at the bottom of the garden. I walk under that tree. Today both birds are in and out of the nestbox, looks like the eggs are hatching.