Sunday, 29 April 2007

Hedgerows and Verges.....

When I was a youngster we lived on a farm and I knew the name of every plant in every hedge and wood.... I sometimes struggle to remember nowadays, but was pleased to find I only need to look up one of this lot.

The white flower is commonly called "Ladies Bedstraw" around here, although this name is used for a variety of white starlike plants in different parts of the country it seems. This one has hairy, clinging stalks that stick to your clothes, and leaves small green pods at the centre of the flower that you can pop with your fingers. (If you are six, or even forty-going-on-six.)



The blue plant in hedgerow above right, and closer below left, is of course the Common Speedwell. The other white flower below is the ubiquitous "Jack-in-the hedge", which is a variety of garlic mustard and grows everywhere at this time of year.



Below is the Yellow Dead Nettle on the left, There are also white, pink, blue and purple varieties. In the right hand pic,the purple flower you can see is Common Vetch, which is a distant wild relative to the sweetpea family.



And there are a few more sculptural plants about at this time of year as well. Like the Honeysuckle below, who's seedheads become the cotton tassled "Old Man's Beard" in late summer. Also here is the Arum Lily. This has a range of country names, among which commonly used are " Cuckoo Pint" or "Lords and Ladies". This one has a dark purlish stamen, but they can also be red, pink, white or yellow.



The plant I had to search for on the web, was obviously a wild orchid of some kind, but one that I can't rememeber seeing before. It turns out that it is the Fragrant Orchid, but I didn't notice any particular scent. There were three of them growing by the side of a tractor track at the edge of a wood.



The curled fronds of emerging Bracken always make for an interesting picture...



And it wouldn't be Spring without the two most aromatic plants in the wood, although one is probably more highly regarded than the other. The Wild Garlic, and the Common Violet.



Finally...where would we be without the humble Dandelion, in all its formats.



I also saw Red Cranesbills, Primroses, Milkmaids, Marsh Marigolds, and some rather early Wild Dog Roses. But they were either not fresh enough to photograph, or inaccesible to your truely without risk to life and limb.

3 comments:

angelfeet said...

Thanks for posting those beautiful pictures. I was particularly excited by the pic of the wild garlic, as I saw some recently at Batsford Arboretum and didn't know what it was. Now I know.

Mike said...

Ferns are one of my favourite things and these pictures really do them justice.

Frankie @ Veg Plot said...

Oh Dear... I recognise rather a lot of these from my garden...