|Carpet Of Green|
A large area beneath the Yew, Beech and Hornbeam is covered with a carpet of green, but what is it? Identified for the gardeners by a very knowledgeable visitor to the gardens the plant in question is Claytonia perfoliata, Miner's Lettuce (eaten by the miner's in the California Gold Rush to prevent scurvy). Over the last few years the 'lettuce' has spread prolifically beneath the trees to create this carpet. The very moist leaves are round with the stem piercing through the middle and, on maturity, has a tiny white flower, the Provost's chickens and the Canada Geese love it (It's edible for humans too, a superfood apparantly, but hasn't been tried by the team yet!).
|Wildfowl Love Miner's Lettuce|
This year's Canada goose family, six goslings hatched on the 2nd June but only three remain, are often found feeding on this huge patch of 'superfood', it's full of vitamin C, beta carotene and protein, so they are growing fast. (Update, 21st June, the smallest of the goslings was deserted by its parents today and, although rescued by the gardeners, died before they could get it to the local wildlofe hospital).
|Canada Geese And Their Three Goslings|