White violets

All along the southern verge of Bittaford Road, from Bittaford to the station, there are big clumps of sweet violets. All are white rather than purple. There is also a cowslip. At White Oxen, some purple violets (common dog violets), red dead-nettle, and carpets of golden saxifrage and barren strawberries. Also two fallow deer and a…


In the garden, a tiny specimen of common ramping fumitory, some lady’s smock and yellow rattle that we planted to kick-start a wild flower patch by parasitising the lawn. There are five species of speedwell: germander, wall, thyme-leaved, ivy-leaved, and slender speedwell. Other flowers thrive through lack of weeding rather than by design. Common cow-wheat in woods in South Brent

mid-May sunshine

Greater celandine has appeared this month, a relative of the Welsh poppy and not of lesser celandine. It is named after the Greek ‘chelidon’ or swallow, as it flowers when the swallows arrive. The bright orange sap is said to cure warts and for this reason, greater celandine was often planted around the walls and gateways of houses, where indeed it is still…


Ransoms are flowering, white stars bursting through their papery capsules, alongside the tiny blue flowers of ivy-leaved speedwell. In the hedge, there are the first flowers of blackthorn. Shining cranesbill and bluebell are prolific, with the first few flowers just showing today. Cranesbills (native geraniums) are named for their beak-like seed pods. Shining cranesbill is easily identified by…


The first sunshine for a week has coaxed out tiny white flowers of hairy bittercress and three-nerved sandwort, as well as early wild strawberry flowers and stag’s horn fungus.