The first sunshine for a week has coaxed out tiny white flowers of hairy bittercress and three-nerved sandwort (sorry about the blurry photo, this was too small for my camera) as well as early barren strawberry flowers.

watercress or hairy bittercress


I’m not sure if this is a large specimen of hairy bittercress or watercress – I’ll try and get a better look when the flowers are fully out:



lesser periwinkle


I ignored this specimen of lesser periwinkle in my last blog, thinking it a garden escape, but my flower book says it has been ‘long-naturalised’ since its introduction in 995




Holly berries remind us it is still January, while berries of black bryony garland the hedges and honeysuckle gets a head start

At this time of year you can get a good look at the structure of the hedgerow as well as ferns and leaves that are obscured by flowers come the spring.

The very mild winter has been kind to fungi. This stag’s horn or candlesnuff fungus (Xylaria hypoxylon) produces several compounds that inhibit cancerous tumour growthdead men's fingers

Navelwort flourishes in the damp acid soils around here. With sharp nails and patience, you can peel off the thin underside of the leaf to use as a wound dressing to stop bleeding. The leaf thus exposed has also been claimed to have medicinal uses, including soothing burns and treating chilblains.navelwort


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