Spring flowers

It’s spring flower time. Photos taken over the last fortnight.

The blackthorn was the first to blossom.


The daffodils have been in flower for a couple of weeks now.


and the celandine


This monumental stack of blue flower isn’t ceanothus but rosemary.


The shade beneath the hedges is full of violets


and the meadow is an ocean of deep blue muscari




Spring flowers

Spring is here and the vegetation is shooting. The deer are about again during daylight hours, and the hares, briefly—it is March after all. We see rabbits in the early morning and stoats and weasels. The drainage ditch that runs parallel to the stream is full of running water that drains down from the fields above the house and from the pond in the next field. So we now have frogs too. This would have been my idea of heaven when I was a child. It’s hard to believe that I am living it now.

This afternoon, when the showers were over, I took some photos of the wildflowers I am learning about, and discovering that some of them are quite rare, like these gorgeous wild tulips growing on the bank of the stream.

Wild tupips.jpg

and this stuff, that I thought was some kind of tulip is the lizard orchid. It’s not common, but we seem to have more than our fair share. These leaves that last over the winter will die back when the flower spike grows.


The pulmonaria (lungwort) is still flowering,


and in the ditch, the first buttercups are appearing.


I came across the Clandestine, the weird parasitic plant that grows out of the willow and alder roots last March and I’m pleased it’s back again.


The Euphorbia is already tall beneath the alders along the stream bank.


The wild plum blossom has all but fallen now,


but the dandelions make up for it in colour.





The lull before the summer

Summer is in the air. Not so much in the temperature, as it is still quite brisk in the early morning, but as the sun rises, the air warms and the earth begins to smell of summer.

In town, summer smells are not always the most enticing. Pools of human dejections of one kind or another are part of the scenery, and not every citizen has learned what rubbish bins are for. But away from the streets, the smell of damp earth getting hot predominates, mown grass and the scent of spring flowers.

Viola odorata by Fritz Geller-Grimm
Viola odorata by Fritz Geller-Grimm

The sounds I associate with spring, the song of the robin and the wagtail, have given way to the screeching of the swifts that finally arrived last week.

Chimney swift overhead by Jim McCulloch
Chimney swift overhead by Jim McCulloch

Trixie caught her second lizard of the season—must have been a pretty geriatric specimen since she isn’t the most agile of felines—which we were able to rescue before she damaged it too much.

Common lizard on boardwalk by Babelstone
Common lizard on boardwalk by Babelstone

This season is too short for me. Plants flower and fade too early and the season of baking heat is too long. I intend to profit from these next weeks of green growth, because by June the garden will look like a jungle.