Cow parsley featured in several gardens at Chelsea this year, which puzzled a lot of visitors as it isn’t a plant you would choose for your borders. But its big sister, Angelica archangelica certainly is; in fact it’s a mainstay of my garden at this time of year. It never needs planting as it self-seeds everywhere and the trick is to leave it to grow where you know there’s going to be a gap in the spring and it will oblige by shooting up from a one foot plant in January to a massive five footer by May. It’s said to be named after St. Michael the Archangel, because it’s always in flower by May 8th, St. Michael’s feast day.
Although I grow Angelica in my flower beds, its place used to be in the vegetable patch, because it’s a medicinal herb. It’s said to act as an antidote to poisons and to give protection from witches. Witches aren’t as prevalent in these parts as they used to be, which could explain why it’s not grown as a herb anymore.
Although, as the photo shows, Angelica looks magnificent when it’s fully grown, it has served its purpose now and all the Angelica will be removed this week, to make room for a bit of colour from our Cannas and Dahlias.