So, suddenly February is upon us and, with it being such a mild winter, there's plenty going on. It's a rare moment of being home when it's daylight so I thought I'd fly into the garden with my camera!
It would seem Cambridgeshire has a lot to offer in the way of Wildflowers! And there's nothing like a good exploration of a wildflower meadow to lift the spirits (and make you feel like you're on an adventure!). It's always the same...you turn up, cast an eye and at first glance can see nothing of interest. It's only when you get down to ground level that the magic starts to happen! Here's what we (my other half and me - it was he who found Hills and Holes in the first place) discovered when we visited this amazing spot in Barnack.
It's amazing some of the colours of the Birdsfoot-trefoil. The odd one had retained this burnished orange.
The bees were going crazy for all the flowers, but particularly this Tufted Vetch - which I'm delighted to say I've now got sprawling around my garden after ages coveting it in the countryside!
Was completely captivated by this plant on my visit and rushed home to look it up in my wildflower book! For those who are wondering, it's Hound's-tongue (Cynoglossum officinale), a native biennial which is apparently fairly common in central and south west England, but rare elsewhere. It's deep reddish bells are so beautiful!
This oddity I found particularly beautiful!
Of all the wildflowers we've spotted it's Orchids which have been the most exciting of all! Pyramidal orchids are particularly rife at Hills and Holes! They're scattered through the grass here, there and everywhere with their little purple pom poms!
We were also treated to this stunner - a common spotted orchid? Far fewer of these...absolutely bursting with flower!
But, above and beyond all of these on the enchantment scale was the Bee Orchid. Ever elusive and capricious we tracked this one down not at Hills and Holes, but Lyveden - a National Trust property - not far away. It took some scouring (and as you can see they were hiding amidst red clover!) but we found a cluster eventually!! Gorgeous!!
Well, the year has flown by and - what with a million things to do and a dodgy internet connection - blogging has fallen by the wayside. I'm pleased to say the garden didn't meet with a similar fate! From spring bulbs to catkins, old seedheads to new buds, it's been as captivating a year as any. Here's a look back at Thunderfairy's plot as it began to spring to life!
My Native Sedum pot (plugs bought from British Wildflower Plants)
Love Euphorbia purpurea. Love that this is a rogue seedling even more!
Alchemilla conjuncta, with it's beautiful silver-edged leaves.
Looks like a forget-me-not, but actually Omphalodes, which is going rather rampant in my 'woods'.
A couple of Richard Hobbs purchases!
I've used a mix of Lamiums to compete with the Ground Elder in my 'woods' and it's doing a great job. Not everyone's cup of tea, but I love the carpet effect! Just have to curtail their invasion every so often!
Euphorbia 'Fen's Ruby' - another rampant beast! But I love it!
A momentous occasion in The Fridriksson Household - the first flower on the conker we've been growing for twenty years!