Other coastal footpath plants that are giving us a myriad of colour at present are (white) Sea campion – Lus ny brooinyn hraie and English stone crop – Lus y vlayst, (blue) Sheep’s bit scabious – Bossan gorrym and Milkwort – Bollan y chee, ( yellow) Common bird’sfoot – Biddee and Bog asphodel – Lus y Columb Keeilley, (red) Thrift – Kione jiarg and Wild thyme – Teem.
Down on the sandy areas above the shore can be found a good selection of plants, Sea spurrey, Rest harrow – Camraasagh, Sea plantain – Cabbag aalin, Buck’shorn plantain – Bossan Vreeshey, Sea beet – Beetys and Scentless mayweed.
The road side hedges are wonderful at present and where the Highway Board hedge trimmers haven’t reached yet or where they don’t need to trim can be found a great number of plant species with most of them in flower, Alexanders (Cow parsley) – Ollyssyn, Bush vetch – Pishyr ny gabbil, Harebell – Mairane ferrish (fairies thimble), Hogweed – Farrain, Ribwort plantain – Slane-lus and Dog rose – Drughaig. Dog rose is another plant that was part of Mr George Quayle’s wonderful stories, If you look at the sepals on the rose, these are left after the petals drop, there are five of them. Two of them have ‘frilly’ edges, two of them have ‘clean’ edges and the last one has a ‘frill’ on one side. The stories goes “ Mrs Rose had five sons and they all had beards. One day they got up and two of them decided to shave their beards off, two of them decided to keep them, and the last one didn’t know what to do, so he only shaved half his beard off!”
An interesting plant that will be appearing in a number of places, including gardens is the Mullein – Lus vooar ( big plant) this has large leaves that are covered in a white down, it grows tall similar to a Hollyhock or Foxglove and has large yellow flowers. It is one of these plants that appear for no apparent reason and its size makes it notable.
I can’t finish without mentioning that our national day, Tynwald Day, is on the 5th July, on that day most people will be wearing some Bollan bane (Mugwort) in their button hole, the reasons for the wearing of it are not fully known. In ancient times Bollan bane was believed to have the power to protect you from evil influences in the same way as St John’s wort – Lus y choilg. Bollan bane was used as a herb for nervousness and can be smoked and it was highly recommended for women’s complaints!!. I have Bollan bane growing in my garden but I often when walking to Tynwald Fayre pick a bit of St John’s wort from the hedge and wear it as well, just in case!!