Last month in Shrewsbury market hall were wild garlic flowers in glasses on the tables. We didn’t buy the garlic pesto paninis; we’d been eating it for weeks in mash and sauce and scrambled eggs, and so chose cheese oozing croissants instead, with mugs of strong Ethiopian coffee.

GarlicBetween us and the stream and all up the opposite bank, the ramsons are rampant, rioting over the new flood shoved earth, pushing the boundaries of the woods, though they are shyer at the edges of the trees, and on the sumpy path I trod to the stream. The valley is pungent and sharp and hungry with the smell of garlic.

I read once that it was brought to Britain by Roman soldiers, that they would cure their cracked feet with cloves of Italian garlic squeezed between their toes which fell out as they marched. But I don’t know if it’s true; it’s abundant in Wales.

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