Broom is in flower at the moment. This is the native variety, Cytisus scoparius. It grows plentifully by the river where I often take the dogs for their wash. I brought this plant as a self sown seedling 2 years ago to see how it would do. It was about 6 inches high at that time. It is now about 5 feet. Think I will have a few more on the next river visit. Broom is used in homeopathy to treat irregular heart rhythms. It does not have any herbal uses as all parts of the plant are poisonous.
Honeysuckle has also started to flower. This is the wild one which grows in the area. The flowers emit a gorgeous scent. Also called Woodbine it grows easily from cuttings. The plant does well in sun or shade although it produces more flowers when in a sunny spot. Red berries appear after the flowers, these are highly poisonous.
In the polytunnel the Grape has produced lots of flowers. The variety is Black Hamburg. This is a good variety for a polytunnel as it will ripen without extra heat. There is lots of vigorous growth at the moment. I usually prune a few times during the Summer cutting back to 2 leaves beyond the truss. Last year we pressed the grapes and froze the juice, it was great to have our own Grape juice in the heart of Winter. Might try making wine this year.
Calendula officinalis or Pot Marigold as it is commonly called is a very useful plant. The leaves are edible and look so lovely sprinkled on a salad. It also has medicinal use as it has soothing, healing and antiseptic properties. The flowers can also be made into an infusion to help digestion , promote bile production in the liver and for use as a mouthwash for gums especially useful after tooth extraction.