A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds

Thursday 30 August 2012


The Elderberries are turning purple showing us that they will soon be fully ripened. The Elder bushes which grow abundantly in the Cotswold hedgerows are a useful food crop for birds in the autumn.  In years gone by humans too used them to make a syrup rich in Vitamin C which could be stored to fight winter colds and other illness. If you are planning to make some be sure to use plenty of sugar as the berries are very sharp in our experience.

Wednesday 22 August 2012


These white trees looked very dramatic in the sunlight when being buffed about by the breeze.  Often they grow against other trees with dark foliage but here the line of them looked amazing against the blue sky. It is actually the underside of the leaves that are white and so in the wind that is the side you see most of.

Saturday 18 August 2012

Summer Open Gardens

We always enjoy a chance to visit other people's gardens which are often open in the summer in aid of charity.
Today we toured the gardens of Coaley our local village and admired the results of various gardeners who have had an unusually wet season to cope with but have still maintained impressive gardens.

Friday 17 August 2012

Rose Bay Willow Herb sets seed

The fluffy seed pods of the rose bay willow herb are a sign that we are in late summer. The seeds will be spread by the wind to colonise rough ground. It's common name of fire weed arises from its preference for burnt ground where it is one of the first plants to grow.

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Woolly thistle

 The enormous Woolly Thistle is now in flower attracting Burnet Moths.  We wonder if this year's weather conditions are responsible for this plant's enormous growth as we have found it flourishing in many areas of the Cotswolds whilst we have been out walking recently.

Sunday 12 August 2012

Hemp Agrimony

This herbaceous plant blooms prominently in woodlands and on hillsides at this time of year.It is not in fact hemp but leaves resemble cannabis and has been known to cause confusion and even police raids when found in gardens!

Thursday 9 August 2012

Barley Ripens

Cereals such as this barley are turning fields golden in the countryside as if to celebrate Olympic success.
Barley distinguished by it's long spikes can be malted  for use in  the brewing of beer.
This year will be difficult for many farmers as the fields are still waterlogged after recent heavy rains.

Tuesday 7 August 2012

Rose Bay Willow Herb

 Rose Bay Willow Herb is in bloom a little late this year with the cool wet summer but it is looking very pretty between the storms.

Thursday 2 August 2012

Coppiced Lime

It is well known that coppicing by cutting trees to the ground to encourage regrowth can greatly extend the life of a tree.
This lime coppice at Westonbirt is in fact one tree and is estimated  to be 2000 years old , a fantastic example of how man has managed woodland over very long periods.