I saw many lovely places and sights on our holiday in North Cornwall last week, but one of the abiding images I have is of vast tracts of Montbretia marching across the landscape. I have to say that they injected a bit of sunlight on some otherwise dull days.
It is hard to believe that the plant was only introduced to Britain from South Africa something like 130 years ago. Montbretia or Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora is a hybrid which was created to produce a select plant with adequate hardiness for our climes.
Apparently it was sought after for the grand gardens of the time, but eventually lost its appeal. By that point though it had managed to escape to the other side of the garden boundaries.
Along with ferns, it is one of the main plants that disguise/cover the plaited slate walls edging the winding, narrow cornish country roads at this time of year.
The orange, dusky pink and yellow combination is a common wayside sight :
Montbretia seems to love the conditions in the deeply incised valleys as much as the clifftops:
We visited Tintagel Island, with its wonderful ruined castle (English Heritage) and its links to Arthurian legend (initially in 12th century by the work of Geoffrey of Monmouth). The South West Coast Path around the Bossiney headland cuts though more swaths of Montbretia, as does the steep valley footpath down to Tintagel Castle.
Oh and I found another kind of maze, this time marked out in Montbretia: