This is cheating a bit, but I couldn’t resist taking photos of flowers while at a conference in Helsinki. Lupins were stunning on the roadside verges from the airport to the city, and in Helsinki’s parks, along with lilac and occasional wild pansies. Lots of flowers on the island of Suomenlinna, including some interesting plants…


In woods near South Brent last weekend, we saw five specimens of the rare greater butterfly orchid. Many thanks are due to the man walking dogs who offered to show us the first one. There was also a specimen of rather late early purple orchid. Beaked hawksbeard Common sorrel Marsh thistles


At Bantham last weekend, admiring the large clumps of kidney vetch, sheep’s bit, thrift and sea campions seemingly growing out of bare rock on the cliffs. The most exciting find was a somewhat sorry looking specimen of the Nationally Scarce balm-leaved figwort. Annoyingly, I failed to get a decent photo of the flowers but you can…

Dartmoor evening

A beautiful evening on the moor. Tiny leaves of sundew are poking through the boggy moss and eyebrights and sheep’s sorrel are flowering.


There is a large patch of Russian comfrey just past the top of Green Lane and it was humming with bumblebees. Two species were present (assuming my ID is correct). The shaggy yellow one in the top left picture with a gingery tail is Bombus pratorum, one of the first bumblebees to appear in the spring and quite…

Ragged robin

A single flower of ragged robin has appeared in the boggy patch at the edge of the pond. I had scattered some seeds there from ragged robin in mum and dad’s field. I’m pleased I restrained myself from pulling up the seedlings, which look like slightly twisted willowherb.

Sunny garden

Among the yellow rattle is a single bulbous buttercup. Even though it is common according to my book, I haven’t knowingly noticed one before. Its defining feature is downward pointing sepals but the leaves also look different from those of creeping buttercup, which tend to be mottled and not softly downy like these. At soil level, the stem…

Evening in the garden

My camera insisted on using flash on a bright evening, with some nice results. There is a wild patch under the sycamore tree where red campions are thriving, and also the last few early dog violets.

Nearer the sea

Several specimens of common ramping fumitory close to Marldon football pitch and a good example of hedge mustard. In Plymouth, there was some musk storksbill near the underpass between North Cross and Armada Way.

Night of the May Bugs

Sitting in a quiet kitchen, wondering what is clattering around outside. Opened the door to find cockchafers flapping around everywhere. The one on the top right was very reluctant to get off my shoe. Funny how they all emerge at once.

Ugborough Beacon to Aish

A lovely varied walk around Ugborough Beacon to Three Barrows and back to Moorhaven via Corringdon Ball and Aish.  The grass on the more sheltered eastern face of Ugborough Beacon was full of heath milkwort in colours ranging from ultramarine through white to pink. I checked the bracken above Peek Moor gate to see if…

Peas, hawksbeard and mutant plantains

Many relatives of the pea are flowering now. At Ivybridge station there are two sorts of medick, spotted medick, black medick, and lesser trefoil. Black medick, with dense pompoms of flowers and a tiny point – mucro – on the tip of each leaf: Lesser trefoil, with looser flower heads: Vetches and clover are part of the…