Common name: Corkscrew hazel, Harry Lauder's walking stick
(Photo with red background by Midge Oke)
Common name: Horsetail
Equisetum hyemale are common nuisance weeds. Their Latin name Equisetum derives from equus ('horse') + seta ('bristle'), and they have been survivors since the time of the dinosaurs. Like the heathers, horsetails thrive in well-drained, acidic, sandy soils and full sun. Unlike heathers, the common horsetail (E. arvense) reproduces by spores and can readily re-grow from small fragments of its thin root-like rhizomes. Unfortunately, as many gardeners know, this makes them almost impossible to eradicate once they get a foothold. The silica in their stems made them useful for polishing and useless for grazing.
Equisetum hyemale is a survivor of the carboniferous age, multiplying by spores; small particles of silica make them useful pot scourers for campers, and they are used to sand reeds of oboes and clarinets.
The Gazebo is sometimes called the Lover's Lookout. It is located at the high point of the Heather Garden and is sometimes graced by a piper. The bench by the Heather Garden pond is a good spot for a wee rest.
Common Name: Spring sowbread
Cyclamen repandum, with its distinctive heart-shaped leaves, is native to the Mediterranean but does well in our damper climate. It blooms in spring, with erect, purple-pink flowers (hence, the species name - repandum is Latin for bent back or turned up.)
From Erica's Notebook: Cyclamen are mostly from around the Mediterranean; their greatest concentration is in Greece, Italy and the former Yugoslavia. They may bloom in the spring, e.g. Cyclamen coum and C repandum, or in the fall after the first rains, such as C. hederifolium. The tubers may live to a ripe old age, 100 years or more! Cyclamen are in the Primulaceae family, and ants are largely responsible for dispersal of their seeds [myrmecochory].