Teasels are getting ready to flower, the soft, green buds are getting larger everyday. A shower of rain has filled the cups formed by the leaf bases. Already collecting is a fine collection of teasel-cup crud, and now small insects will drown in these pools. As their tiny bodies rot, the nutrients released will give the teasel a boost - teasels with cups full of prey produce many more quality seeds than 'un-fed' individuals.
Three-cornered Leek, Allium triquetrum, is the only plant growing at the Phoenix that our gardener truly considers a weed. Just coming to the end of it's flowering, the white-with-a-green-stripe pixie-hat flowers have been busy with bees and as pretty as can be, but, he says "don't be lured into planting it". Described by less reputable bulb companies as 'suitable for naturalising', Three-cornered Leek is extremely competitive and a menace. The rapidly multiplying bulbs spread quickly through borders and it seeds incontinently. The leaves first appear in early winter and grow throughout the colder months, to form an impenetrable blanket that smothers neighbours - herbaceous plants rot beneath the dense foliage, the lower branches of shrubs likewise, even rough grass cannot compete. From the strong scent of the bruised foliage, it is often mistaken for wild garlic, but it is easily identified by the triangular cross section of the flower stems and the flabby, linear grey-green leaves. Wild garlic is much smaller with wide dark green shiny leaves and a clean garlic scent - it is altogether better behaved.
Three-cornered Leek. Impossible to get rid of and a dirty killer. You have been warned.