Winter again

A month ago at White Oxen there were drifts of primroses and snowdrops, a few white sweet violets, self-heal and dandelions. A nuthatch was noisily proclaiming its territory. Stinking hellebore (Helleborus foetidus) is native in parts of Britain (in a band from Kent to North Wales, according to Harrap’s Wild Flowers) and nationally scarce. This specimen,…

Snow and spring

  There was snow in Sheffield last weekend but back in Devon it feels like spring, with celandines, saxifrage, ivy-leaved speedwell and new growth of English stonecrop in the walls.   Frogs have been busy in the pools by Ludbrook and there are bright green new leaves of lesser spearwort under the flowing water of the brook.

New growth

A couple of weeks ago, under wintery skies, there were already new shoots of hemlock water dropwort, wild garlic and lords-and-ladies in the verge, the first flowers of pink purslane and clumps of snowdrops.  

Hillson’s House

Lovely splashy walk from Ivybridge to Stalldown Barrow this morning, but not much of a view through thick drizzle.

Sweet violets

Sweet violets make me happy. They look so delicate but flower so early, nestling under their leaves with an unmistakeable old-fashioned scent. There is a patch under the viaduct in Bittaford. The first cow parsley is flowering and the frilly hart’s tongue fern is still growing in the verge near Filham. Several other specimens were…

A year around Moorhaven

For a reminder of the year in flowers, please click on the pictures below to scroll through month by month, or scroll down January Sweet violet February female hazel flower March April May June July August September October November December


Equipped with James Merryweather’s excellent Fern Guide, I’m trying to identify the ferns that grow prolifically all around here. Starting with the easy ones, there is hart’s tongue in every hedge, and hard fern. Hard fern is plentiful in the hedges but also makes a fringe to the banks of Ludbrook. Polypodies are also very common, even…

December flowers

Meadowsweet and wild angelica, the epitome of summer, are flowering along Wrangaton Road, with the meadowsweet just coming into bud. Still flowering after the summer are red campion, white deadnettle, hogweed and wood sage. Winter heliotrope, the first primroses, lesser periwinkle and new shoots of dog’s mercury are more seasonal. Holly on the moor by Ludbrook


Teasel seedlings sprouting before they reach the ground: In the vegetable patch, there is a clump of field forget-me-not. Along Bittaford Road: Traveller’s joy

The end of October

Among the browns and reds of autumn, there are still many summer flowers out despite my book saying those like hogweed and greater burnet saxifrage should be over by September.

Piles Copse

Piles Copse is a magical place to spend a sunny evening. On the way, there were some flowers hanging on in the hedgerows, caterpillars and butterflies, and lovely views from Ugborough Beacon. A pair of ravens patrols the beacon: In Piles Copse:   Sunset from Ugborough Beacon