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Bovey Belle

Along the hedgerows at the moment

On my ride yesterday, I noticed dozens of wild gooseberry bushes, but I know that once everything else greens up they will disappear entirely - just as well I grow gooseberries at home. I was also intrigued to notice dozens of wild currant bushes. Some were deliberately planted as they were spaced at regular intervals. They stopped when I drew level with a heap of stones which had once been a cottage - it always saddens me to think that someone's home is now reduced to rubble. I assume they were planted along the lane to stop the livestock eating them as the cottage had just been sat in the corner of a field. Anyway, I shall go back in a couple of months and see what persuasion of currants they are. I've never noticed them growing wild before - strawberries, raspberries and gooseberries - yes, currants, no. I have also made mental notes of the best stands of Blackthorn blossom now, so I know where to look further afield if the Sloes have a crop failure locally again. I am hoping that because the blackthorn is flowering a month late this year due to the cold weather, we will have a bumper crop - freezer supplies are now zilch and I want to make Sloe Gin and Hedgepick Jam this autumn . . .

There are whinberries in flower higher up, and of course lots of ramson leaves in profusion, and the usual nettles, Jack-by-the-Hedge etc. The Navelwort is just coming into flower too. When the children were smaller, we would use crushed Navelwort leaves (put several leaves, well washed, with some boiled water and crush with pestle and mortar) for ear-ache. This was recommended by a Herbal Doctor who lives nearby. Has anyone else come across this treatment?
sally_in_wales

There has been a wonderful amount of blackthorn blossom hasn't there. No may yet here, which makes a change, most years its so early, looks like it may actually be mayday before I see any here.
Treacodactyl

Not had much of a chance to look around us but the blackthorns we planted in our garden a few years back are covered in flowers at the moment and our wild cherry is just starting to flower. The currant cuttings I've also added the back garden hedges are doing well and my newly planted gooseberry bush is shooting nicely. We don't seem to find that many domestic-fruit bushes gone wild round these parts, although we have found a decent damson hedge that may be worth a visit to see how well it's flowing.
nettie

Am hoping for a bumper crop of sloes too!

Last year I found wild whitecurrants on the edge of the woods, good luck with whatever yours turn out to be Very Happy
Rob R

Think I'll start a 'pick your own' sloes this year, with the amount of Blackthorn we have Laughing
Bernie66

sally_in_wales wrote:
There has been a wonderful amount of blackthorn blossom hasn't there. No may yet here, which makes a change, most years its so early, looks like it may actually be mayday before I see any here.


Blackthorn seems to be taking over this year, its spectacular along every hedgerow i have seen too.
joanne

Bernie66 wrote:
sally_in_wales wrote:
There has been a wonderful amount of blackthorn blossom hasn't there. No may yet here, which makes a change, most years its so early, looks like it may actually be mayday before I see any here.


Blackthorn seems to be taking over this year, its spectacular along every hedgerow i have seen too.


Hmmm - I haven't seen much around here although to be honest I can't say I've looked that hard - mind you we didn't find any sloes last year our usual place had been decimated by the powers that be cutting back hedges

My bullace has got a single blossom on it at the moment - so hopefully I'll have atleast one Very Happy
mochyn

The blackthorns here have gone into overdrive too - fingers crossed for the sutumn. Our aged damson trees have more blossom than usual (that is, more than one flower per tree) so I'm hoping for a crop from them too. Plenty of wild gooseberries in the hedges, but they usually get mildew so I rely on the tame ones in the fruit cage. Looking out for the wild strawberries to start appearing...

All the fruit in the fruit cage looks good now, but it's lovely to have some wild stuff too.
Bovey Belle

Is it just round here or are there millions of Dandelions flowering where you are? I've never ever seen so many flowering. There are whole fields of them here - and the vergesides are brilliant yellow. Buttercups - no (too early) but Dandelions - and it makes everywhere so beautiful.

First Bluebells are out now too - their scent is so absolutely amazing en masse - you could float on it.
2steps

we have milions of dandelions too, everywhere's yellow Laughing Haven't seen anything else but haven't been out walking much. I bought some currant and gooseberry bushes and they are starting to sprout Very Happy
mochyn

It's been a fantastic spring here for primroses, wind flowers, celandines... If the fruit season is as good as the flower season I could be quite fat by winter!
alison

Yes BB the dandilions are fantastic here too

I think the spring flowers are lasting longer around here as it has been cooler (that is what they say at the Bee keeping group, any way) The primroses on the banks around this way have been absolutely gorgeous this year too.
cab

Lots of dandelions here, but even prettier are the cuckoo flowers, which are having a good time of things.

Our salads are all full of flowers at the moment.
marigold

When I was out the other day it seemed to me that the verges thick with dandelions looked much prettier than the ones planted with great blocks of daffodils - more natural, I guess Confused
joanne

jocorless wrote:
Bernie66 wrote:
sally_in_wales wrote:
There has been a wonderful amount of blackthorn blossom hasn't there. No may yet here, which makes a change, most years its so early, looks like it may actually be mayday before I see any here.


Blackthorn seems to be taking over this year, its spectacular along every hedgerow i have seen too.


Hmmm - I haven't seen much around here although to be honest I can't say I've looked that hard - mind you we didn't find any sloes last year our usual place had been decimated by the powers that be cutting back hedges

My bullace has got a single blossom on it at the moment - so hopefully I'll have atleast one Very Happy


Well I finally saw the blackthorn blossom yesterday - We went for a drive up towards Sedbergh then back down through Kendal and along the A6 back to Morecambe - Really really lovely drive considering the state of the weather in the morning - absolutely lashing down but it came out really sunny and warm later on

Joanne
gil

Blackthorn blossom not out yet here, though lots on lower ground, and up in the north-east. Hawthorn finally leafing. Not many dandelions yet. But loadsa gorse flowers. Primroses out on the bankings.
Bovey Belle

Sounds like Scotland (your bit anyway) is a long way behind us, but then you had the cold weather later than us. We are now into Bluebells, Stitchwort, lots of Violets/Primroses, Cow Parsley, Red Campion etc. Oh, and two of my apple trees are blossoming (and the wild crabs along the lanes).
sally_in_wales

Jack-by-the-Hedge (Garlic Mustard) has just made an appearance here, so far only seen the bit that has materialised on my plant table in the gallery, but will be out after a salad and omelettes worth over the weekend Very Happy Also Cuckoo flower, which is lovely and peppery in salads
cab

sally_in_wales wrote:
Also Cuckoo flower, which is lovely and peppery in salads


And amongst the most divine creations in nature.
sally_in_wales

I might just agree with you on that one, it is indeed one of my favourite streamside nibbles
Bovey Belle

Never knew you could eat Cuckoo Flower but them I'm a bit namby-pamby and unadventurous about the leaves side of foraging, preferring to stick to fruit. Guess I really ought to try stuff really. Our Jack-by-the-Hedge is in full flower now, but the Ramsons are just leaves yet. I keep threatening to make a hedgerow herb loaf, so will kick myself into gear tomorrow.
cab

Bovey Belle wrote:
I keep threatening to make a hedgerow herb loaf, so will kick myself into gear tomorrow.


Go for it! We do that once in a while, and its really tasty. Chopped up nettles, jack by the hedge and cow parsley make for a great loaf.

Generally, by the time it flowers jack by the hedge is a little bitter, but for cooking with (or to provide a certain punch to salads with mostly sweet leaves) its ideal.
mochyn

We found our first St George's yesterday, with mint to go with the evening's lamb and nettles for soup.

Very productive day as we spent the afternoon sowing seeds, potting on and planting out.
Bovey Belle

24 hours without my computer (changing over to Broadband - extra lead required . . .) - oh what bliss it is to be able to come on here first thing and play catch-up.

I ended up going on a lovely bluebell walk in Dinefwr Castle Woods yesterday instead of cooking my loaf, but today is another day. I did actually do a tasting of some cuckoo flower stalk and it is very peppery. The cow parsley (which my horse LOVES) is . . . different . . . probably better in the loaf than nibbled raw (for me anyway). I won't tell my fussy family what the green bits are in the loaf until they've eaten it . . . Twisted Evil
gil

Greengage blossomed 3rd May
Blackthorn finally blossomed about 6th May.
Hawthorn leaves still only just appearing.
Beech coming into leaf.
Damsons into blossom 9th May
Plums today.
No apple blossom yet.
Wild garlic leaves only. Nettles and ground elder in full swing.
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