They are everywhere these days. Fields and ditches are covered with Queen Anne's lace, also known as wild carrot or bird's nest.
Since we don't spray for insects or weeds, our lawn is sometimes green, though often variously coloured by weeds. This year, the wild carrot has its moment in the sun, sending forth its stems and blossoms. It's time to mow, again.
"I'm going out to mow the carrots," my husband says as he heads to the garage. Within the hour, not a stem remains. Before long though, they're back, determined to reach towards the sun. The plant which is so pretty in the fields and ditches, is frustrating in your lawn.
A closer look at the root system of the plant makes it easy to see why the plant devastates a lawn.
It is difficult to pull this root out of the soil. Its wild carrot name comes from this root, the young plant tastes like carrot and the leaves resemble carrot leaves.
As the plant matures however, the root becomes woody and inedible.
The flower is a circle of blooms from a collection of branches off a main stem, each branch full of individual blooms.
The blooms appear as a unit, making a flat or slightly convex circular flower.
This construction is a wonder in itself, but the purple or red non-reproductive flower in the middle of the central branch is a total surprise and a mystery.
Legend has it Queen Anne pricked her finger while sewing lace.
A single drop of blood fell on a lace flower, hence the name.
As the blooming finishes, the flower head curls up in a nest-like structure which is curious also.
Inside this nest, the seeds are forming. How many billions of seeds will be carried on the breeze across this island this year?
Wild carrots are biennial plants, producing flowers every two years. We will have to wait for the flowery fruits of this year's growth until 2018. We may not have a lawn left at that time, though losing it to the beauty of this wildflower may be worth it.