Tag Archives: spring flowers

Woodland Garlic.

It’s the time of year when English woodlands come alive with Spring flowers. Bluebells of course and another indicator of ancient woodland, Wild Garlic. White starry globes carpeted the ground admist a sea of fresh green leaves when Hugo and I visited a local woods.

A tweet by Nature Writer Robert McFarlane ~ “Buckrams” — one of many common names for Allium ursinum, aka wild garlic, bear-leek, ramsons; filling forest floors with millions of white stars & forest air with garlicky scent. Ancient woodland indicator, bluebell co-conspirator, soup-maker…

Wild Garlic is a foraging food. I did in fact once collect the leaves to make some Wild Garlic & Cheese scones. Click Here for a baking post. It doesn’t happen often. ..

The plants Latin name is Allium Ursium. Ursium is Latin for Bear. Brown Bears once roamed our forests and wild garlic bulbs were a favourite meal of theirs. Wild Boars love them too and the flowers are popular with pollinators.

I adore Bluebells of course, Woodlands of Wild Garlic are a little bit special too.

Which woodlands do you like to visit for their floral displays?

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Delightful Dalemain.

Dalemain Mansion.

Between the recent storms last week we spent a couple of days up North in The Eden Valley of Cumbria. If you ever fancy a short dog friendly/ pram friendly walk there, I can recommend a nice one between the village of Dacre and the neighboring Dalemain Estate. Situated 2 miles from Ullswater this walk follows a quiet track and mostly avoids mud. Hurrah!

Spot The Dacre 🐻 Bear?

We parked opposite The Horse & Farrier Pub in Dacre and had a quick nosy in St Andrews churchyard to see the Dacre Bears. Four crudely carved stone creatures can be found amongst the gravestones. You can read more about them here.

The Public Footpath took us past Dacre Castle, a 14th Century Pele Tower, now used as a private residence. And then on into the grounds of Dalemain Mansion. We have walked here before from the lakeside village of Pooley Bridge. The route is part of The Ullswater Way known as The Marmalade March, due to The World Famous Marmalade Awards that are held at Dalemain every year.

Dacre Castle.
Snowdrops.

We soon came across some beautiful snowdrops and other signs of Spring, Winter Aconites and pretty in pink Lungwort. In the fields just above the Mansion , Wil spied someone watching us….

Curious Fallow Deer Family.
Lungwort.

Lunch time beckoned so we headed for the Tea Room inside the Old Barn. Even though it was during the Half Term Holidays the place was deserted. Perhaps the imminence of Storm Eunice had scuppered people’s plans. Dogs are now welcome inside the Tea Room , so no need for us to sit outside in the blustery courtyard. 😁

We enjoyed Ham, Cheese & Chutney rolls and a slice of delicious Marmalade Gingerbread. I then left Wil and Hugo in the Old Barn and went for a quick explore of the gardens. A door led out into a beautiful Snowdrop and Winter Aconite display. Stunning!

There are landscaped formal gardens of course, but what I wanted to see was ‘ the sleeping dragon 🐲 ‘ who lives in the Lower Garden. I made sure to tiptoe around him.

Sleeping Dragon.
Pet Cemetery amongst the snowdrops.
River Eamont.

The Lower Garden was definitely one of my favourite outside spaces at Dalemain and not just because of the residing snoozy giant. A rustling in the fallen leaves alerted me to a wispy creature foraging for its own lunch possibilities….

Red Squirrel 🐿️.
What a sweetheart.
Posing for the camera.
Snowdrops and Winter Aconites.

The Red Squirrel was definitely a highlight for me. After showing the friendly staff in the cafe my photos , they gave us a bag of apples to tempt the Fallow Deer Herd down to the carpark wall. I was so excited when lots of them literally came galloping over. They love Apples. Who knew! Another highlight. 😊

Yup, Apples are Scrumptious!

For us visiting Dalemain from Dacre was the perfect thing to do on a calmer day between Storm Dudley and Storm Eunice. The Stately Pile is opening its doors for house tours once again from the Spring. No doubt we will return .

🦌 πŸ₯Ύβ˜•πŸΏοΈ

Barbon Bluebells.

Got a bluebell fix on the way home from the van on Sunday. We stopped off at the pretty village of Barbon which happens to be located in both South Lakeland and within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. To my delight a nearby woodland was packed with vivid blue bluebells and other spring flowers.

We hadn’t visited Barbon before. It’s attractions include a cheeseshop/cafe and a thrice yearly car race called the Barbon Hill Climb.

Have you walked amongst the bluebells this year? Head to Barbon whilst the colours are at their best. πŸ’™

Ribble side ramble. πŸ¦†

The weather is so surprising at the moment. Blue skies then snow. Warm sunshine. Then snow. And repeat.

I am wondering what to wear for a week night beer garden drink. Looking in my wardrobe, I seriously haven’t bought any new going out clothes since 2019! Pjamas ~ yes. Walking pants~ yes. But no new tops or dresses. However I suspect I will still be frequenting my warm puffa jacket for any approaching social activities!

At present social activities still revolve around walking, so here are some photos from yesterday’s walk along the river to Chatburn and back. A repeat of a post I did earlier in the year, but a little more wildlife on display. πŸ™‚

One of many picture slabs in Brungerley park. A fox and a hare gaze at the moon.
A hunched heron.
Greylag and Canada Geese.
Golden forsythia blossom.
A lone mute swan.
Hipping Stones.
Mary Horner’s bench.
Gushing.
Beautiful blackthorn.
Twisty tree.
Bridge at Grindleton.
In the Woods.
Primrose.
By the Ribble.
Hipping Stones.
Hipping Stones.
Female Goosander. A favourite water bird. Love her Nut brown quiff.
Hugo waiting to play ball.
Wood Anemones or Wind Flowers.
Dog Violet.
Love this cherry blossom painting.

Hope you have had a pleasant weekend.

Easter Staycation.

It’s not often that Wil and I have a week off work together and don’t book at least a few days away. . So recently it’s actually been quite nice for us to spend some time at home pottering, doing a few jobs and erm ….eating cheese!

We started our week with a ginormous order of cheese from Tipsy Cows in Great Harwood. Their amazing cheese bags are Β£35 and include a pie, pate, smoked sausage,Β  crackers, bread, a bottle of wine, chutney, grapes and of course a shed load of cheese. Still getting through it now..

From Monday we were allowed to meet up with friends & family for outdoor walks again. We met up with my sister and the kids and walked further into the Dunsop Valley. A truelly beautiful place.

On Wednesday we decided to go up to our caravan in Cumbria, mostly to check that it was still in one piece. Luckily it was! And everywhere we went there were daffodillions of daffodils. On the way we stopped in Kirkby Lonsdale for a walk.

Daffs at St Mary’s in Kirkby Lonsdale.

The caravan ~ still standing.

Daffodillions of daffodils on Melmerby village green.

Gallivanting Geese.

Hugo amongst the daffs.

Easter display.

A pew with a view.

We turned the water back on at the caravan and gave it a quick spring clean. The weather was really warm.


Back in Clitheroe, the new Nature Reserve has opened at last. As we live nearby it has definitely become our go to place for a stroll with Hugo. One morning we bought breakfast from Marks Artisan Bakery on Whalley road after our walk. Sooo good! I am making a note of the wildlife I have spotted at the reserve, which includes Little Egret, Mallards, Teal, Grey Heron and Canada Geese. I will get working on a post soon.

Worsaw Hill.

Looking towards Pendle.

Hugo and Jo having a moment. Or maybe Hugo is watching a ham sandwich, out of shot.Β 

On Good Friday we met some friends for a walk from Worston to Downham and back. We are so lucky to live in the lovely Ribble Valley and have definitely discovered lots of new local walks and rediscovered old favourites during the numerous lock downs.

There have also been less energetic pursuits. On Saturday I met some friends for a Hip flask walk. We didn’t get very far. From one bench to another in the local park..πŸ˜€

Park Bench Crawl.

We had planned to stay home on Easter Sunday and enjoy our new fire pit. πŸ”₯

Wil bought a fire pit. πŸ”₯

But after checking the weather forecast we realised we would have to head back up to the caravan again and drain it down. Forcasted minus 7 temperatures meant we had obviously been too previous in opening the van up for Spring. So here are some more lovely Easter views from Melmerby where the van is based.





We also called in at my Mum’s in Askham and had a brew in the garden. Got introduced to these cuties. ❀️

Cute calves.


Farm kitty’s.

Today ( Easter Monday) the sky outside is deceptively blue. It is freezing out there! There was even a smattering of snow this morning.

Happy Easter. πŸ‡πŸ£β€οΈ

Hawthorns Scavenger Hunt ~ Signs Of Spring. 🌻🌼

Kate’s words for this week are ~

Signs of Spring/ Signs of Autumn.

Hopeful window display in a local travel agent.

I thought I would stick with the Spring prompt, even though the temperatures have taken a dip again. The season is awakening slowly. By this time last year I had noticed more wild flowers and blossom than I have so far in 2021.

However I have spied some Spring flowers on recent wanders. πŸ™‚

Celandine.

The Lesser Celandine is a cheery yellow flower with glossy heart shaped leaves. Celandines are mentioned in The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe and Wordsworth has written three poems about them.

Cherry Plum Blossom.

Flowering before all the other blossoms is the Cherry Plum which bares it’s fruit in August. I have confused this with Blackthorn in the past, but the flowers appear even earlier. So pretty.

Red flowering currant.

I notice this Red Flowering Currant every year but I haven’t been able to find out much about the shrub. I don’t recall it ever baring any currants either. The pink blooms are very vibrant.

Daffodils in bud.

The golden trumpets of the Daffodil herald the start of Spring. Daffodils are the national flower of Wales, the inspiration for Wordsworth’s most famous poem and are even the name of a Mark Ronson dance track.

Primrose.

Who doesn’t love the pretty Primrose , its name derives from the Latin primula vulgaris meaning First Rose. Primroses are meant to bring luck to keepers of chickens! A flower to plant around the hen hut.

Crocuses.

Crocuses in St Mary’s churchyard looking almost like a fairyring. A vibrant Spring flower associated with love, success and cheerfulness. ❀️

What signs of Spring have you noticed ?

I am linking up to Kate’s Blog today.

Bolton- by- Bowland walk. πŸ₯Ύ

The Coach & Horses pub.

It looks as though for a little while longer, local walks are on the cards. Actually I don’t mind too much, we have been discovering more of our beautiful Ribble Valley by way of  dusty walking books, barely ever glanced through before.

The following images are from a route found in a Walks Around Clitheroe publication by Terry Marsh ~ Walk 8 ~ Bolton-by-Bowland.

Bolton-by-Bowland itself is a charmingly pretty village boasting two village greens, a lovely looking pub with a pumpkin coach sign and an attractive church.

Along the surfaced drive of Bolton Park.
Sheep in the parkland. Nearby Bolton Hall was  the ancestral  home of  Sir Ralph Pudsay ,who had 25 children. 😯
Not a captivating photo, but tumbling lapwings ducked and dived over this waterlogged field.
Footbridge over Skirden Beck.
Young bulls after Hague Farm.
Pendle Hill in the distance.
After Rodhill Gate Farm, an ancient highway ascends for some distance.
We are basically walking up a stream. πŸ˜†
A fallen tree provides the perfect rest stop.
Wil waiting for me as usual.
Still heading up the gully.
Wil waiting for me as usual. 😁
Just after this photo, Hugo disturbed a hare in the grass. Not that he tried to chase it. Hugo prefers smelly dead things. Yuck!
We did get lost a bit, then found our way eventually.

Priest Biggins Farm. A do er upper!
Grey Alder Catkins.
Tree Lichen.
I like this sign. There was also a deer statue in the farm yard. Sika Deer live in the area.
Approaching the hamlet of Holden.
Spring colour ~ Crocuses. πŸ™‚
Holden Beck.
We walk along the road a short while, heading back to Bolton by Bowland.
Glorious yellow Winter Aconites.
St Peter & St Paul church.
Stocks on the village green.
A Yew Tree Cottage, with a giant yew tree.
Map of our walk.

I think we will return to Bolton by Bowland , I suspect there is alot more to discover. πŸ₯ΎπŸ‘❀️

Seven days of wildflowers. 🌸

For the past seven days I’ve chosen a wild flower that I’ve seen on my daily walk with Hugo, and found out a few facts about each flower.

Saturday ~ Bluebell. There’s nothing more stunning than a carpet of bluebells in the Spring. I saw clumps of these gorgeous violet blue flowers on a walk today through a patch of woodland by the river. Here are a few facts about bluebells.

Other names for Bluebell include Wild Hyacinth, Wood Bell, Granfer Giggle, Witches Thimble, Cuckoo’s Boot, Bell Bottle and Lady’s Nightcap.

It is against the law to pick, uproot or intentionally destroy bluebells.

Bluebells can also be pink or white.

The bluebell is the flower of St George.

In folklore fairies ring the bells to gather together their fairy kin. If humans hear blue bells ring however, disaster will befall them. 😬

Sunday ~ Cowslip. There are lots of cowslips in bloom at the local nature reserve in Salthill Quarry. They tend to thrive in meadows, dry grassy banks, grass verges and in open woodland. Here are a few cowslip facts.

Cowslip apparently means cow pat! It has been noted that the flowers spring up around where cows have ‘slupped’.

Tea made from the flowers can be used to help cure headaches and insomnia.

In countryside tradition cowslips were strewn along the church path at weddings and put in May Day garlands.

Other names for cowslip include Bunch of Keys, Lady’s fingers, Yellowdrops , Freckled Face & Fairies Flower.

Cowslips are the food of the Duke of Burgundy caterpillar.

Monday ~ Germander Speedwell. These little beauties were growing amongst a patch of primroses next to Mearley Brook. I love the bright blue colour of speedwells. πŸ’™ Here are a few facts about the Germander Speedwell.

Other names that speedwells go by include Birds Eye and Cats Eye.

The flowers are a good luck charm for travellers. A speedwell worn in a button hole will ‘ speed you well ‘ on your journey.

The speedwells Latin name is Veronica Chamaedrys. It is said that a St Veronica wiped Christ’s forehead on the way to his crucifixion and an image of Jesus’s face was left imprinted on the cloth she used. Speedwell flowers resemble little faces.

In Germany speedwells are also known as ‘ mannertreu ‘ or ‘ men’s faithfulness ‘. Ironically the flowers wilt very quickly once picked.

In ancient medicine speedwells were used to cure many ailments especially coughs and congestion.

Tuesday ~ Yellow Archangel. As well as bluebells, the woodland floor near Standen Hall is covered in a hooded spring flower , the Yellow Archangel. Though I prefer to call it by one of its other names, the Yellow weasel snout. πŸ™‚

Although it is a member of the Dead-Nettle family, the Yellow Archangel doesn’t sting.

If you want to know what a weasel smells like, crush the plants leaves. The rank aroma will give you some idea apparently.

The Yellow Archangel flowers near the 27th of April, a day dedicated to the Archangel Michael.

The flower has been used in the past to protect cattle against a black magic disease.

Red Dead-Nettles and White Dead-Nettles are closely related to their yellow flowered cousin.

Wednesday ~ Wild Garlic. An indicator of ancient woodland, this time of year is ideal for foraging the leaves of ramsons or wild garlic. They can also flower on roadside verges, where I saw the above. Here are some facts about Wild Garlic.

Wild garlic leaves and flowers can be used in many recipes including garlic scones and wild garlic pesto.

The plant is also known as Bear Garlic. It’s Latin name is Allium Ursinum ( bear leek). On the continent brown bears like to feast on the leaves.

Cats are apparently repelled by the smell of wild garlic.

In Ireland wild garlic bulbs were put into the thatched roofs of cottages for good luck.

If you forage wild garlic leaves , do not confuse with the similar looking Lily of the valley, which is highly toxic and should not be eaten. The best way to know your garlic is to check with your nose.

Thursday ~ Bugle. Down by the brook I spied several bugles. They can be found in damp grassland and woodland.

The Bugles Latin name is Ajuga reptans. Reptans means creeping & crawling, rather like how the plant spreads on underground runners.

The sixteenth century physician and naturalist William Turner described the plant as ‘ a black herb that groweth in moist ground and shadowy places’. It was used in ancient medicine to stop bleeding.

Bugles are popular with bees and butterflies.

The herb was made into a tea in Austria to help with respiratory conditions.

Friday ~ Red Campion. Today’s flower is pretty in pink , one of the first pink blooms of Spring. Red campions grow on woodland edges, in hedgerows and fields. These were by Mearley Brook. Here are some facts about Red Campion.

Red campion is also known by the names of Adder Flower, Red Catchfly and Robin Hood.

On the continent Red Campion are a scorpion scarer! Scorpions are not fond of red campions , throwing one at a scorpion renders it’s sting useless apparently. Don’t think I would want to try this out!

In fairy folklore Red campion is said to have been used by fairy folk to protect their honey stores.

Another name for the pink flower is Bachelor s Button, perhaps the flower was worn in single fellows button holes at country weddings, once upon a time.

Red campions roots were once used as a substitute for soap.

Of course every day more and more flowers appear! It’s so lovely to see them on my daily walks. What wild flowers have you noticed this week?

Early April ~ Wildflowers On A Walk.

We are quite lucky in our small town that we are within easy walking distance of countryside. The river Ribble is best followed on foot if you want to spy the wildflowers that are springing up everywhere. Wildlife just keeps calm and carries on. πŸ™‚

River Ribble towards West Bradford Bridge.

Marsh marigolds often to be found near water. They are also called King Cups.

Pretty in pink Cuckoo Flowers herald the return of Spring…and the Cuckoo. Also called Ladies Smock and milkmaid.

Lots of Butterbur on the Riverside. In the past its large heart shaped leaves were used to wrap butter.

Primroses, Wood Anemone and Celandines.

Although some people have spotted otters here in Clitheroe, I have never seen a real one locally. Keep hoping!

Colts Foot.

Dog Violets. πŸ™‚

Pied Wagtail. There were a few darting round the river.

Wood Anemone. Saw lots of these bonnie white flowers carpeting woody areas.

Catkins.

Just too pretty not to photograph. Snakes Head Fritillaries in a front garden on the way home.

This walk was yesterday’s. What wildlife have you spotted recently?

Ramsons.

I happened upon a carpet of star shaped flowers today. A woodland of wild garlic. Not quite as impressive as a forest floor of bluebells, but lovely all the same. Also known as Ramsons & Bear’s Garlic, the leaves of Wild Garlic can be made into a pesto or shredded finely into wild garlic scones.

Ramsons are an indicator of ancient woodland. Thousands of bulbs together create a dazzling white carpet like this one.

The second half of its Latin name ‘Allium Ursinum’ refers to the fact that brown bears who used to roam on British soil, fed on the bulbs. The only bear like creature I saw was a black Labrador!

Where Ramsons flower in April to June, so too do Cuckoo Pints. These unusual hooded plants often share the same habitat as Wild garlic, but they are definitely not edible.

A woodland in Spring is such a magical place. ☺️