Snow and spring

  There was snow in Sheffield last weekend but back in Devon it feels like spring, with celandines, saxifrage, ivy-leaved speedwell and new growth of English stonecrop in the walls.   Frogs have been busy in the pools by Ludbrook and there are bright green new leaves of lesser spearwort under the flowing water of the brook. Advertisements

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…


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….


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…