6th December

On the usual walk I notice that the wild kniphofia are flowering.

Close-up of kniphofia

I’m not sure if “wild” is the right word, but they pop up each winter in the corner of a patch of grass outside the bakery. Each year I wonder about their history. How did they get there? Was there once a bigger display of plants, with bedding punctuating the grass? As it is in a far, shady corner did someone working at the bakery quietly decide to plant them one day to brighten up their workplace? Did a passerby abandon them? Whatever their story, they persevere each year, and are thankfully left by whoever mows the lawn they sit within.

Kniphofia by wall

The oranges and yellows feel exceptionally exotic, especially in a dark corner, on a busy road, on a very cold day. And in their way these beacons have a far deeper, profound effect than a more classic gardening display. They bring life to somewhere that lacks it, and at a time of year when we need that most. A small wonder of nature.

Kniphofia from a distance, grass in front, buildings behind