The Cottage Smallholder

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Can you identify this small white flower?

mystery flowersI am working in the village at the moment. A good job working outside in the sunshine for and old friend.

I don’t even need to drive to work so Jalopy snoozes in the drive. Sometimes I cross the road to retrieve a tool from her capacious boot or make a fresh cup of tea to take back to the job. For a few weeks I’ll enjoy the sort of life that I might have led a hundred years ago. Quiet and sedentary.

I can hear the gentle buff of the cottage door opening and see the place as others must. I can observe Danny, identify the familiar rumble of his engine as he turns left to John’s shop or right to Newmarket.

Returning on foot I notice different things. The flowers hidden beside the gate. The butterflies. And today these flowers. If I hadn’t come back mid morning I would have missed them. John was in strimming mode.

This is always a bit of a tinder box each spring. John wants things to look neat. I want the daffodils to die back. I knew that he was eager to tidy when he leant back in his chair, put down his mug and announced.
“I’ve got the strimmer in the boot. I could clear the front. You know there’s a long bank of Daffodils on the turn into Mildenhall. They are cut down straight after flowers each year and it doesn’t affect them flowering the next year.”
He gave me a strong look and added.
“They make a lovely show.”

We agreed that if he had time he could tackle the front. Avoiding the daffodils.
I returned home mid morning to find John examining Jalopy’s voluminous interior.
“I need the extension lead!”
He pointed to the giant roll of cable lolling on the back seat. Jalopy was locked.

As John passed Danny the plug through the sitting room window I noticed these beautiful flowers. I have never spotted them before. John started working in the garden much later this spring. Perhaps they have always been there and strimmed before they had the chance to flower.

Even though John was poised on the starting blocks, strimmer in hand, the race was delayed as I picked this bunch. In the sunshine they were open wide like tiny white stars.

Has anyone out there any idea what this flower is called?

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Judy

    Thank you so much for identifying this flower for me. They are lasting well in a vase but have to be in a sunny window for the flowers to open!

    Hi Pat

    Initially I thought that they might be a form of wild garlic too!

    Hi Magic Cochin

    Thanks for your input. I must check out Standon!

    Hi Kate(uk)

    I’m so pleased that they multiply they are such pretty flowers!

    Hi Gillie

    Now that’s interesting – rescue remedy and good for flatulence both very handy uses!

  2. gillie

    Star of Bethlehem is a key constituent in the Bach Flower Rescue Remedy and I rather romantically used to wonder if it was named for its healing properties. My herbal apothacary tells me it is also good for flatulence …. send me your bulbs please, the lovely husband can no longer blame the dear departed labrador!

  3. Kate(uk)

    Yes, Star of Bethlehem, they do indeed multiply!
    I agree, Standen is FABULOUS.

  4. magic cochin

    Judy’s got there first – Ornithogalum umbellatum or Star of Bethlehem.

    Coincidently Cliff asked the same question when we were at Standon (the Arts & Crafts house – a must-see!!!!) on Saturday.

    Celia 🙂

  5. It isn’t wild garlic is it? I think it has flowers like that too. Only the leaves are rather large and broad.

  6. I think it is Star of Bethleham, Ornithogalum umbellatum.The leaves have a white stripe, sort of like crocus leaves do? If it is what I think it is, they’re very good at multiplying . . .

    Happy gardening.


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