Monday, May 30, 2016
Searching For Wild Pinxter
At this time of the year, garden work demands more of our time time than there are hours in a day. Since the oppressive heat wave makes outside work impossible for us each afternoon, riding around in an air conditioned car seemed the better choice. We have known about this location for pinxter growing wild for years but seldom visited here during the time of the flowers. This land is owned by a former student but we never sought permission to take plants here. There is something wrong in our minds about taking protected plants from the wild even with the landowner's permission. Our need to uphold the supposed standards of a teacher in front of students made seeking permission to dig here impossible. The view from the road is fabulous. Seeing these plants made our day special.
As great as these pictures are, we were shocked to find that the road crew had severely impacted this once huge area of pinxter plants. What had been a shallow roadside perpetually wet drainage area had been transformed with the digging of a deep wide ditch with steep sides. This artificial and unnecessary ditch could not be safely crossed to get a close up view of the plants. Too wide to leap across and no footholds available to descend into the ditch, we were forced to view these plants from road's edge. Countless pinxter plants were destroyed during the digging of this ditch. What had been a shallow wet area is now well drained and dry.
After spending many pleasant moments taking in the splendor of this native treasure, we traveled to a nearby village to visit the site where we did take wild plants. We found that this area, adjacent to a village street, had been sheared of all brushy growth. No trace of pinxter bushes could now be found in this area. Actually, that made us feel better about taking plants from the wild. The bushes that we took are alive and well at their new home. Had we left then where they were growing, they would now be wood chips rotting alongside of the street.
In view of our rather extreme lack of recent rainfall, we have added our pinxters to the list of plants that get a sprinkling can of water every other day. Their floral display is impressive and we carry water to them in the hope that they will set viable seed. Taking plants from the wild can bring with it the responsibility to provide them with complete care. They respond to a fresh drink by releasing a sweet cloud of inviting scent.