poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘ditch flowers

garden escapes: lupins

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In late June and early July, the ditches of some roads in New Brunswick are filled with colour as lupins become the dominant flower.


Lupins are legumes and enrich the soil with nitrogen. In spite of this, there is an old tale that lupins impoverish the soil, hence the name derived from  lupe,’  the word for wolf.


Lupins make pretty bouquets but, in my experience, have an unpleasant, peppery smell that keeps me from ever bringing them into the house.


Lupin has been grown as an ornamental and, in earlier times, as a food source. They are great escape artists and spread easily into the countryside. Some species are considered invasive in Europe, New Zealand and places in North America.


Lupins along the road


Lupins do not occur along all roads, but when they do, they may have originated in the gardens of early communities. For example, lupins line the ditches of the road to Giants Glen, north of Stanley, New Brunswick. Giants Glen was settled by the Irish in 1850.


lunpins Giants Glan


The Giants of the Glen


lupins escape The Glen

scramble to roadsides

fix nitrogen

repair poor soil


fingered leaves like hands

collect the river wind

lean together

work as one


stand tall in spikes

pink, purple and blue

grey as summer wears

rattles their seeds



All my best!

Stay safe.




Written by jane tims

July 20, 2020 at 7:00 am

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