I am called Valerian and when you open the gate
You will see me standing there, tall and very straight.
My stems are smooth and darkest green, elegant and true
Inside them they are hollow, a little like bamboo.
And they are fun to count you know, in groups of one, two three
And on the top of every stem, a flower you will see!
My blossom shape is kind of like an umbrella upside down
Flat and wide upon the top and on the bottom round.
All kinds of insects land on me! They stop and say "hello!"
The dragonfly and ladybugs and beetles on the go.
Sometimes there is quite a crowd on my blossom white
But I do love to offer rest to winged ones in flight.
My roots you can dig up you know, they are not so deep
Put them in your tea at night, they will help you sleep.
So when you close the garden gate, do remember me
Valerian, maiden-white, strong and wise and free.
written by Christine Summerfield /June 2016