A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds

Saturday 30 April 2011

Horse Chestnut

Conkers to come later in the year,the horse chestnut trees are now in flower.

Thursday 28 April 2011


The cowslip thrives on unimproved grassland in our area.
The name is thought to be derived from the old english for cow dung as this encourages growth of the plant

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Cow Parsley

Suddenly the roadside verges are overgrown with cow parsley which grows at an alarming rate making the lanes look much narrower.

Monday 25 April 2011

Cuckoo Pint

Arum Maculatum is now displaying its unusual flowers.
Also known as Lords and Ladies,Cuckoo Pint ,Jack in the Pulpit and even Willy lily it certainly inspires the imagination to produce so many common names.
It will later produce spikes of orange berries.
The crushed roots were once used to produce starch .

Sunday 24 April 2011

Wild Garlic

Wild garlic is now in flower and almost looks like snow on the ground in this picture in Woodchester park

Wild garlic leaves and flowers can be used in cooking and on this walk we stopped for lunch at the Wild Garlic Restaurant in Nailsworth and sampled their excellent mussels with wild garlic

Saturday 23 April 2011

Bright green

You may think we have tweeked this photo but we can assure you that this represents the spring colour of some of the trees around here at present. This photo of a maple was taken at Westonbirt Arboretum yesterday where there is every shade of green that you can imagine at the moment. We hope you can get out and enjoy this lovely Easter weekend.

Friday 22 April 2011


Much hated by gardeners for spoiling their lawns and flowerbeds is the Dandelion. This year seems to be a particularly good year for the humble Dandelion.
The name is thought to come from the French "dent du lion" as the flower petal resembles the yellowing tooth of a lion but when I once asked a Frenchman about this he said " Non c'est le piss en lit" referring to its alleged diuretic properties!

Thursday 21 April 2011

Oak out before Ash

When the Oak is out before the Ash we will have a splash but when the Ash is out before the Oak we will have a soak says the old saying.

Well the Oak on the left is in full leaf well before the Ash on the right so it looks like a dry spring.

Wednesday 20 April 2011


There might be few daffodils left for Easter but there are plenty of spring lambs out in the fields.

Tuesday 19 April 2011

Apple Blossom

Apple blossom is early this year,let's hope there are no late frosts or hail to spoil what looks as if it could be a bumper crop.

Monday 18 April 2011

Bluebell Woods

The classic English ancient woodland scene of fresh green leaves on the trees and a vivid carpet of blue underneath

Wednesday 13 April 2011


The pungent green leaves of Wood Garlic now cover much of the woodland floor. At this stage the young leaves can be eaten as you walk along or used in salads and other dishes where they can replace chives or onions. Soon the lower part of our Cotswold beech woodland will be a carpet of white flowers and green leaves.

Monday 11 April 2011

Sparrow Hawk

The Sparrow Hawk seems to be getting to be a more regular visitor to our bird table. We hope he does not come often enough to discourage all the other birds.

Friday 8 April 2011


The "May Blossom" as the hawthorn flowers are commonly known is out in the more sheltered hedges so traditionally we can think of shedding some of our warm winter clothes.

Thursday 7 April 2011

Spring Lambs

Isn't it a beautiful time of the year?

Here we have lambs in the fields,trees with fresh green leaves and blossom on the fruit trees.

Superb warm weather too.What more can you want?

Wednesday 6 April 2011


They say one Swallow does not a summer make but they are back! We have actually seen more than one but this one stayed still long enough for a photo.

Tuesday 5 April 2011

Pussy Willow

Pussy Willow catkins are out at the moment before the leaves come on to the trees.

The wood of the pussy willow is brittle and not very useful but the bark contains tannin to cure leather and also salicin used to make asprin.

Monday 4 April 2011


The first few bluebells have come into bloom in our local woods today. Hopefully in a week or two we should be able to see the sea of bright blue flowers carpeting the woods which is such a spectacle in the Cotswold ancient woodland.

Sunday 3 April 2011

Mothering Sunday

Today is Mothering Sunday. We are now midway through Lent and in this country it was the day when young British girls and boys who were "in service" i.e. worked in a large house, were allowed to visit their family. They were allowed to bake a cake to take along (traditionally a Simnel cake) or pick a bunch of flowers or vegetables from the garden to give to their mums.
This beautiful flowering "Yoshino" cherry is originally from Japan where the centuries old practice of "Hanimi" was to picnic under the flowering cherries. I think it is a bit chilly here for a picnic today.

Saturday 2 April 2011


This Magnolia "Diva" is a particularly fine specimen at Westonbirt Arbouretum and looking at its best now.

Norway Maple

We know we have at least one follower in Norway so thought you would like to see this Norway Maple in flower in Gloucestershire. We know it is a Norway Maple because it is at Westonbirt Arboretum and so has a label!

Friday 1 April 2011


Blackthorn blossom shows up strikingly white as it comes out before the leaves and contrast with the dark branches.

The Blackthorn is a common hedgerow tree and is a member of the plum family producing small plum like fruits called sloes later in the year. These can be be used to colour and flavour gin.

The wood was traditionally used for the teeth of hay rakes.