Daily Flower Candy: Crithmum maritimum

Crithmum maritimum: rock samphire, sea fennel, sea asparagus, sea bean, sea pickle, crest marine “There is a cliff whose high and bending head looks fearfully in the confined deep… The crows and choughs that wing the midway air scarce so gross as beetles; halfway down hangs one that gathers samphire, dreadful trade!” William Shakespeare Revelling […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Clematis vitalba

Clematis vitalba: Old man’s beard, traveller’s joy, virgin’s bower, ladies’ bower, love vine, traveller’s ivy. When the feathery seed heads of Clematis vitalba start to appear in the hedgerows, one knows autumn can’t be far away. Walking along the clifftops yesterday I observed this rampant climber piling over railings and smothering less vigorous neighbours. In folklore, old man’s […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Viper’s Bugloss

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a big fan of echiums. I love their jewel-coloured flowers, the way they attract bees to the garden and their incredible range of stature; from sprawling Echium tuberculatum to sky rocketing Echium pininana. Slowly but surely I am increasing my collection in our coastal garden, […]

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Wonder Walls

Cornish hedges are a defining part of the landscape on Britain’s most south-westerly peninsula. From a wildlife point of view they are like Noah’s ark, supporting hundreds of species that might otherwise not have survived modern farming practices. But for motorists they can be a challenge, literally hedging-in the narrow lanes that spread like fine lace across the […]

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Wildflowers of Cornwall

Clockwise from top left: herb robert (Geranium robertianum); hart’s tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium); lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria); Alexanders / wild celery (Smyrnium olusatrum); common gorse (Ulex europaeus); blackthorn / sloe (Prunus spinosa); red campion (Silene dioica); dog violet (Viola riviniana); three-cornered leek (Allium triquetum), primrose (Primula vulgaris); common scurvygrass (Cochlearia officinalis); bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta); dandelion […]

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Hangers-On

It’s midweek and already my brain has turned to blancmange.  So for everyone’s sake, I’ll keep today’s post simple. Living by the seaside, we need not stray very far to marvel at nature’s resourcefulness.  Occupying a variety of precarious positions, chalk-loving wild flowers punctuate the white cliffs around Broadstairs from spring until late autumn.  Pictured […]

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The Joys of the Road

As we drove down to the coast this morning, I couldn’t help noticing just how green and lush the countryside looked compared to a normal July.  Instead of taking on the golden highlights of midsummer, nature is still wearing its verdant green spring cloak.  On a steep motorway embankment old man’s beard (Clematis vitalba) cascaded […]

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