Mulleins self seed in various places around the gardens but in the walled kitchen garden the plants have often been completely devoured by the caterpillars of the mullein moth. This Italian garden one escaped that fate and is flowering still: its flower stalks growing longer and longer, and twisting as they go, to form fantastic spirals. This may be another consequence of the mild and sunny autumn? (other than on the October Open Day!)
The mullein leaves and flowers have historically been used for a wide range of medicinal uses and the flowers can also make a yellow dye… another cottage industry for us?!
Many tidying jobs were undertaken today but, with no frosts yet, we are still very much enjoying the last of the flowers and the autumn leaves on the trees.