The Garden’s Poet in Residence is Mab Jones.
Here’re her first thoughts.
Mab came along to our first Wales Wildflower Day in July 2013 and a couple of weeks later, after the Royal birth, she wrote this about about the creeping buttercup, a species which we have recently learnt may live for over 1000 years.
I am trying to find the beauty in you, buttercup.
I am looking only at your golden heads.
I am attempting to forget what the expert said:
That your species is invasive.
That your style is ‘creeping’.
That your taste is acrid.
That your sap can cause blistering.
You carry your poison so prettily,
You are lovely to behold, intermingled
With the daisies, as if you were one of them.
As if you could ever be ‘common’.
You will live for a thousand years
And gradually those daisies will be crowded out.
You will block the light from them, put them in the shade,
Steal the soil’s potassium from beneath their roots,
Secrete toxic chemicals from your own that
They will drink, unknowingly.
Thinking that you are a friend.
They will feed it to their children and their children
Will become weak. You will smile as their heads grow limp,
As each generation is born smaller, feebler.
One day, there won’t be any births at all.
And still the passersby will look at you,
And marvel at your pretty golden heads,
So many of them, like cups, reflecting the sunlight
From above, so beautiful, full only of themselves.
The soil beneath now richer than it ever was.