The grounds of the estate host many exotics in amongst the natives. And for a few days this week, there were two more than usual to be spotted wandering paths, admiring views and sticking noses into mosses; basically turning up in all manner of unlikely places.
Proving difficult to identify were ‘incomers’ Sara Maitland and me. Not ‘staff’ and not quite ‘visitor’, the real staff coped admirably well with having a couple of potentially ‘difficult customers’ at large within their habitat: helpful, informative and knowledgeable, they looked after us seemingly quite unflustered by the oddest requests or questions.
Perhaps – like other ‘aliens’ that need identifying – we should have worn tags (similar to the little numbered metal discs all the larger plants in the grounds wear). Though here, Sara looks quite ‘naturalised’ basking in our sunlit glade. Whilst – spotted through a rhodi-leaf viewing-frame – I have been captured ‘predating’ on magnificum leaves. After one walk we were curious to know more about a pink flowering plant we’d seen dotted throughout the estate, the response: argh, Salmonberry, INVASIVE!