I planted my small comfrey out several years ago on the boggy side of our pond - I think leaky might be the correct term for it as it stays moist on this far perimeter side whilst everything wilts from lack of moisture on the other, garden side. I'd heard comfrey was tough and spreads like crazy so thought in amongst the nettles and wild bog type umbellifers it should manage to hold its own. I was not disappointed and it's spread really well over the last two and a half years and hasn't been swamped by any of these other rampant plants!
|The comfrey is the plant with the white flowers|
|You can see its oval shaped leaves better in this photo. |
It's not the leaf in the centre foreground though, that's some big boggy plant that loves
the growing conditions here and in the ditches.
Once I'd collected all the leaves in my bucket I added water to just about cover the leaves. The bucket originally had fat balls in it for the wild birds; I thought this would be perfect as it has a tight fitting lid and I have heard ALL about how vile comfrey smells as it rots down. I'm quite looking forward to finding out just how horrible it is! Yes I am a bit wierd but I need to know these things!
I thought that would be it and leave it for a few weeks with some sniff tests along the way, until something caught my eye in the bucket. Luckily for it.
Uh-oh, poor spiddy spider drowning. I quickly fished him out, along with an earwig and checked for other bugs. Popped them on the leaves on the ground so they could dry out a bit and amble off. The earwig ran around a lot enjoying its freedom whilst the spider just looked at me. And probably said something I wouldn't want to repeat on a nice blog like this.
Actually, there is a bit of a story behind this comfrey. Originally it came from my mother's garden, who has quite a bank of it. Mum brought me over 3 teeny tiny little plants in her luggage which I duly potted up and nurtured. One day it became apparent that actually one of these plants was slightly different from the other two. As they grew it became apparent that one was, in fact, very different from the other two, so the two were nutured and repotted better than the one. As I was curious I posted this photo on a self sufficiency forum asking what the rogue plant which wasn't comfrey was.
|So which one is the comfrey?|
OK I don't mind you having a laugh at my expense all you comfrey growers out there. Yup, the answer came back - the rogue plant IS the comfrey. The other two plants you have been tending, nuturing, talking to and repotting are teasels!!!
So comfrey quickly got repotted and tended to whilst the teasels were planted out in a wild patch near the pond on the dry side, where they flowered pathetically, never to be seen again (it's just too dry on that side). And yes, on further questioning my mother she does have teasels in her garden from time to time..... I will be wary next time she brings me small seedlings!
A teensy edit to say: it has been pointed out to me that the spider is more than likely a Harvestman, which although of the family of arachnids, is not actually a spider. Also it's missing one leg which I hadn't noticed!