Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Mystery solved

Well the mystery is over. The plant by the pond is comfrey, as many of you suggested.
It has reached dizzy heights and it's pretty flowers are now drooping over the pond.

I have grown comfrey for around ten years now and wonder why this had me foxed.


I have never seen one this large. I suppose it is in the perfect spot. I know that comfrey like moisture and of course the pond will supply that......
The bees will love the blooms......and this plant is dripping with them.
I am assuming this is rough comfrey.....which used to be widely grown as a fodder crop for cattle. Those of you with an eye for colour, would you call the flower blue, purple or something different?
It is a keeper, apart from the fact I will never get all the root out, and to be truthful I cannot be bothered......the bees will love it. I think next spring I may divide it and plant one the other side of the pond to balance things a little.
We had a frost again last night. I cannot believe at this time of year we are still having such low temperatures. It has only reached 9C (48F) today. The wind is coming from the north and it has been raining ice. 'Oh to be in England now that spring is here'
Hope things are brighter with you.


24 comments:

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Hi Cheryl, Glad you solved the mystery. I haven't grown comfrey, but may do. I have one particular spot that is wetter than others. :)

Roses and Lilacs said...

Good morning Cheryl. We are 'enjoying' the same weather here. Well, I really don't mean to complain. The flowers are lasting longer than ever in this cold. My bleeding hearts have been blooming for four weeks, the allium and iris too.

I've never grow comfrey, but it is a pretty thing. I'm terrible with color names but I would say purple.
Marnie

Dan said...

Hi Cheryl
We've had hail here in North Wales - no frost though.
Your comfrey plant looks lovely - I would say it is a velvety purple. I have some comfrey seeds, but have always heard of it being grown as a green manure.
How's Nella?
Dan
-x-

Cheryl said...

Hi Monica....the comfrey will be put to good use. I always put leaves in the compost bins to break down the contents more quickly.

Cheryl said...

Good afternoon Marnie. the plants are enjoying the cooler weather, I wish I could say the same. I am still gardening with a coat on......ridiculous.

Cheryl said...

Hi Dan....comfrey is a green manure, a very good one.

Nella is fine. Terriers do not like the cold, so she is waiting for things to warm up.
Hope you hubby and dogs are coping with all the chaos at the cottage......

Rose said...

I've never grown comfrey before, so I'm glad someone else could identify it for you.

I just got back late last night from Oregon and was surprised how cool it is here, too. We might have had some frost this weekend--I had my husband throw a blanket over the seedlings I left outside to protect them, but they're not looking the best. I'm hoping for some sunny and warm days--I've left too much undone in the garden!

Cheryl said...

HI Rose.....I hope you had a wonderful time in Oregon. I suspect you enjoyed the sunshine and warmer temperatures.

I hope that your seedlings survive. You have put so much work into them.

Printed Material said...

Cheryl,
So glad the mystery is solved. I was taking photos of our comfreys yesterday and nearly posted one of the monster plant we have as a comparison. Our giant one flowers in a pretty pinkish red but we do have a smaller purple one.I think it is a beautiful velvety purple and I hope you will keep it as they have so many benefits for gardeners. Perhaps a chop back before it gets like a triffid might encourage it to stay bushy instead of getting too tall and then falling over with the weight - there speaks the voice of bitter epxerience! Lesley

Cheryl said...

Lesley....thank you once again for your sound advice. Experience is the greatest teacher of all.

I love the colour, I think it is stunning. I shall be keeping it.
I will also make some comfrey liquid feed. I have done this before and find the plants benefit no end.

Liz said...

Hi Cheryl,

Glad to hear the mystery is solved!

I've never seen them so large either, we have them growing along the side of the house and they're definitely no where near close to flowering yet - they are in shade for much of the day though.

Just waiting to chop its leaves and make them into tea for the plants!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Brrrrr it is chilly over at your place. I have comfrey in my garden. I love it but with all the rain we have had it has keeled over. It is flopping all over everything. I am going to take the hedge trimmers to it and hope for the best. I really don't think i can kill it. We will see. Your comfrey gets more sun than mine probably. The blooms on mine are more lavender to purple with a tinge of pink now and then. Yours look a deeper color than mine. It makes me feel closer to you since we have the same plant in our garden. Wicked thunderstorms passed through last night. More to follow tonight. Sigh~~

grammie g said...

Was out visiting blogs when I came across yours!! Well you had a question about your plant of which I am very familiar because I have some and they get at least 3 to 4 feet high and are very invasive but,they are a beautiful color of royal purple!! Now your blog answered something for me----because you said it was used for cattle feed---so now I know why the deer love to eat the comfrey leaves!! Thanks!! Pretty photos!! pictures!!!

BilboWaggins said...

Excellent news, glad we got that sorted out!

Just think of all the lovely liquid fertiliser you can make, and the wonderful addition to the compost heap. Will you be saving seeds?

Cheryl said...

Hi Liz....it is still growing, there must be hundereds of buds on it. I am actually beginning to like it. Just need one the other side of the pond.

I made liquid feed a couple of years ago....looks like I will be doing it this year. The leaves are also a great addition to the compost bin.

Cheryl said...

Hi Lisa.....you can certainly chop it down. You won't kill it. Lesley tells me that it will just grow bushier, which might be better?
Nice to have the same plants. How are your cardoons doing??

Thunderstorms......I love a good storm.....

Cheryl said...

Hi Grammie....tku for the info...always gratefully received.

Invasive is fine....I like the wild look!!

Cheryl said...

Hi Bilbo.....I shall make liquid feed again and have always added comfrey to the composter. I garden organically .....

Did you want seeds? I am always willing to collect them if there is a need......

NCmountainwoman said...

We also had frost earlier in the week. Today it is 83!!!

Beautiful comfrey.

marmee said...

hello cheryl,

i am so glad to be catching up with the last few posts of yours.
as always i can just take a breath and just enjoy being in your garden. i am not reading too much these days due to the amount of real life things this busy time of the year brings. i miss everyone's blogs but can't do it all. i love seeing your garden as a whole picture including the front. i did the same thing with abbey recently...letting her have at it with some plants. it will be fun to discover where she put things...like poppy.
i haven't been gardening as much with all my allergies. i do have some better days now. i wear a mask sometimes but it is so hot and cumbersome.
enjoy your may garden days.

Cheryl said...

Hi Marmee.....I quite understand. So difficult when you have a farm as large as yours. There must be so much to do and there are only 24 hours in a day.

Glad that Abbey enjoyed her planting. Such a lot of fun.

Happy May Marmee......

ShySongbird said...

So glad the mystery is solved, Cheryl :) I love the colour, which I would call purple. There are some very interesting facts about Comfrey on Wikipedia and I see that its leaves contain 2-3 times more Potassium than farmyard manure! As you say it must be particularly happy in that spot and I'm sure all the insects will be happy to have it there.

It is sooo cold here! Much more like February or even NovemberI had to sit on a football field for an hour yesterday watching a 5 year old girl and her contemporaries being schooled in the art of the 'beautiful game' which isn't beautiful to me at all but she is :) so that made it worthwhile but it was unbelievably cold, absolutely freezing!! It must get warmer soon...surely.

Cheryl said...

Hi Jan.....the comfrey plant is here to stay. Far too useful and way to pretty. It was covered in bees yesterday.

For the love of a child.....we would not do anything.

It warmed up yesterday....15C. I cannot tell you how good it felt to be wearing just a T shirt and feeling the warmth of the sun on the back of my neck.

I do hope the sun will be shining on you soon.....

Q said...

Dear Cheryl,
I do hope your blooms survive the cold snap. It has been very wet and cool here but not freezing.
It is curious how the comfrey vexed you. It must have been the size...so huge.
It has a very pretty flower...I bet the bees love it. In my backyard if it is good for the bees it is good for me.
Stay warm,
Sherry