Flowering fields 1

A walk along the footpath towards Waterston Ridge at Higher Charlton Down this weekend proved delightful in the sunshine. Acres of yellow oilseed rape flowers glowed in the bright light while skylarks sang overhead and bees of many species took advantage of the fresh nectar.

View from my window 1

A constant delight for me at Greenwood House is the ever-changing panorama from the window of my flat. Transitions through the seasons, day by day, different times of day, and in different weather conditions, It never seems to stay the same for any length of time. Sunrises and sunsets can be spectacular. Right now the trees are bare but showing the first signs of new life as we are blessed with at least the occasional day or moment of warmth and sunshine.

Dandelions 1

I always think that dandelions are such lovely flowers. They make such a wonderful splash of golden yellow colour. I know they are a nuisance if they put their long roots down in places where you want to grow other things, but out on their own in the wild where they belong, they look as ornate as miniature chrysanthemums.

About the author

The author and editor of GREENWOOD showing an early interest in wildlife – feeding the pigeons in Trafalgar Square in London. Way back in the day, vendors sold seed for people to give to the pigeons which used to flock there, and were incredibly tame, often sitting on your head or hand. The activity was soon banned as the birds made such a mess. Of course, it goes without saying, that the author would never dream of giving food to specifically attract pigeons at Greenwood House – they don’t need any encouraging!

Cattle in the sugar beet

Over the winter months cattle have been introduced to the field situated immediately to the south of Greenwood House, on the opposite side of the road. The field slopes gently upwards to the horizon. It was planted with sugar beet in the autumn after the barley was harvested. The young animals have been steadily munching their way down the field, their range being controlled by a moveable fence. They line up along the boundary to eat the freshly available crop. This activity has the neat advantage of fattening the animals and at the same time fertilising the ground for the next crop sowing .

Flowers at the Cricket Ground

Have you noticed the splendid flower planters just outside the cricket pavilion? They are absolutely beautiful. Such lovely colourful arrangements of early flowering plants. They complement the new wooden benches that have been constructed around the pitch. Its looking good for the new season at the Cricket Club just a few yards from Greenwood House.

Horse Chestnut leaves

This year, the overwintering sticky buds on the many horse chestnut trees in the grounds around Greenwood House and the village seem to have burst open all of a sudden. I really like to watch new leaves unfurl from the buds: the way the leaves are folded up and pleated inside the bud and then gradually extend and fan out – like hands unclenching and fingers stretching in glorious bright, almost lime, green.

Greenwood House

It is surprisingly difficult to get a good shot of Greenwood House in its entirety because of the way it sits on a rise and is surrounded by trees. This time of year is probably the best for a photograph that shows most of the building because the wonderful specimen trees that adorn the grounds to the south are not yet in leaf. I thought the building looked warm and grand in this sunny early spring image.

Blackthorn blossoms

The numerous small blossoms of the blackthorn shrubs are flowering in profusion – clouds of soft, hazy white adorn many of the hedgerows around Charlton Down. They belie the spikiness of the twigs which bear them, and, come the autumn, will have produced the dusty dark blue fruits known as sloes that people sometimes flavour gin with.

Bluebell time

It’s that time of year again. The weather is warming up and spring flowers are evident in the grounds around Greenwood House and the wilder parts of the village. The first isolated clumps of bluebells have flowered. I think most of these are hybrids with the Spanish garden variety. There are quite a few pink or white ones among the pale blue. The native truly wild ones are forming layers of glossy leaves among the clumps of trees in various places but the flower buds are not yet visible.