To the station and back

A poppy near the church in Bittaford, and some more poppy buds and capsules further on. All along the verge there are patches of zigzag clover, which is less common than white and red clovers but is plentiful here. Note the tapering, pointed stipules and widely spaced brightly coloured petals. Another interesting flower is agrimony, its tall…

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.

April on Bittaford Road

Early purple orchids are flowering at the junction near Ash Rosettes. Beautiful, but far fewer than last year. Cow parsley, hogweed, and garlic mustard (Jack-by-the-hedge) are giving the verges some height now. An early specimen of red clover, rather chewed.

Leigh Lane and Lud brook

New oak and hazel leaves, holly and blackthorn flowers, and the last few catkins overhead in Leigh Lane. Under foot, bluebells, three speedwells, two violets, and three umbellifers. Yellow dandelions, lesser celandines, and creeping buttercups in Leigh Lane, and gorse and tormentil on the moor. Also in Leigh Lane, pink purslane, herb robert, and campions and white wood…

Shopping

Off to Ivybridge via the moor. This has to be the best walk to the shops. Along Leigh Lane, shade-loving wood sorrel is just opening and there are new marsh violets unfolding in the bogs near the Lud brook. The sunshine brings out the vivid reds, greens and yellows of the moss. The mysterious hole, with some new scratches nearby….

The end of August

A mix of late-summer flowers and autumnal fruits, with hedge bindweed stealing the show. Climbers like bryony and vetch are still hanging on, while persicaria, knotgrass, knapweed and the magically-named enchanter’s nightshade are in their prime. Early traces of autumn include blackberries, rose hips, hazelnuts and dandelion clocks.

Biodiversity

I counted over 90 different species currently flowering between Moorhaven and Green Lane, starting with the weeds in our garden (1-36), progressing to Moorhaven communal gardens where Perforate St John’s Wort (37) and Dark Mullein (38) were growing in a weedy border (they could have been planted there originally), and then via Wrangaton Road to the…

Dandelions

Dandelions can reproduce asexually, without pollination, which means that a random mutation can create a new ‘microspecies’. There are several hundred of these microspecies but all have the familiar yellow flowers, toothed leaves and sappy stems. Despite their reputation as a persistent weed, dandelions have benefits for gardens attracting bees, moths and butterflies, particularly early in…

Weeds

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…