They bring me much joy, my darling lupins. I love them, I am proud of them.
Not just because their huge clusters of flowers are so esthetically pleasant or because every time I burrow my nose in them I’m competing with cute scary bumblebees every bit just as intoxicated by their fine fragrance as I am, but also because they are so strong, so resilient. Leave it to them to spread through roots and seeds just about everywhere, ruthlessly but elegantly keeping all other plants in the shadow of their splendid palm leaves. I have big confidence in them.
We have a very cheeky albeit delicious raspberry bush that’s been invading the flower bed and the lawn with unbelievable tenacity. I transplanted a lupin at that end of the bed and it’s keeping its ground easily.
The dictionary shows lupinus as the origin of the name, meaning wolfish, from the belief that the plant ravenously exhausts the soil. Looking them up on the Internet, I found out that, in fact, lupins can fix nitrogen from the atmosphere into ammonia, thus fertilising the soil for other plants. Some (the sweet lupins, as opposed to the bitter ones) are edible – for instance, some beans are commonly sold in a salty solution in jars, like olives or pickles - although some varieties are poisonous.
It’s too bad that their flowers last only for a short while.
Like all beautiful and pleasant things in life, they have to be cherished while they are.
At least, their palm leaves grace us the whole summer…