Beautiful purple visitor

A few weeks ago I noticed a new plant growing in the herb bed. Just a couple of stalks with vetch-like leaves and tendrils. Nothing that I’d planted, but I decided to leave it and see who it was. The herb bed filled out with it’s permanent residents – skullcap, sage, marjoram, thyme,  rosemary, St.John’s Wort, chamomile (amongst others!) and this year’s plantings – pinks, rue, wood sage, bergamot…and I thought no more of the newcomer.

I managed to put my back out earlier this week – gardening in a silly position! – and so I haven’t paid much attention to the herb bed for a few days. Then yesterday I went to say hello to it, and there was the new plant, flowering abundantly in the heatwave, and clambering through the seeding skullcap. It is beautiful, and obviously a vetch, but I didn’t know which one till I looked it up – it is tufted vetch! Not uncommon, but not a plant I have seen in the wild either. It’s flower heads look very like melilot, except they are purple, and the leaves are very delicate. I’m so glad it chose to visit, and hope it stays – I am not the only one  to love it…

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