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…

April sunshine

The burst of sunshine over the weekend has brought out some new flowers along Bittaford Road, including the first delicate lady’s smock. There was a clump of greater chickweed. It was hard to do it justice with my phone camera but you can see the 10 stamens – each purple blob is a pair – that distinguish it…

Along Bittaford Road

Spring has definitely arrived along the verge. Near the houses, there are bright blue forget-me-nots and carpets of yellow celandines and primroses. Ivy-leaved toadflax on the walls, and cornsalad. On the grassy verge, daisies, primroses, common mouse-ear, greater stitchwort, Alexanders, dog’s mercury, cow parsley, and a rather early greater burnet saxifrage.  Purple and white sweet violets and early dog…

Slapton

We went to Slapton to see the humpback whale that has been visiting Start Bay since the end of February. We didn’t see the whale – apparently it comes into the bay with the incoming tide – but we did see a harbour porpoise and reed buntings. There were swans, grebes and a lot of…

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…

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…

Last day of April

I spent some time wondering what this was and ended up going back to have another look, book and lens in hand. It is greater chickweed, with downward pointing buds and seed capsules, 8-10 stamens, and oval, opposite leaves. Common chickweed and lesser stitchwort have similar flowers but 8 or fewer stamens and long, narrow…

April 10th

Newly out this week between Moorhaven and Green Lane are ground ivy, greater stitchwort, wood forget-me-nots, and a form of yellow archangel with variegated leaves that is a garden escape and flowers earlier than the native green-leaved form. Pignut grows profusely on Leigh Lane. I’m including a picture of the leaves now because they will have…

Easter

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…