Posted on August 18, 2022
The Great Willowherb (Epilobium hirsutum) that stands tall on the riverbank of the Cerne as it flows past the village is now crowned with fluffy clouds of seeds bursting out of the long pods that follow the pink flowers.
Posted on July 27, 2022
While flying insect pollinators are all a-buzz in the sunlight over the wild marjoram, there are still small quantities of yellow Ladies’ Bedstraw, Toadflax is beginning to open, as well as a few remaining Knapweeds available for nectar gathering. Many of the flowers on taller stemmed plants from a month ago are developing seeds now.
Posted on June 28, 2022
There are various types of wild Mallow. This low growing one amongst the tall grasses, the Ladies’ Bedstraw and budding Wild Marjoram in the Charlton Down Nature Reserve is, I think, Musk-mallow (Malva moschata). There are only one or two plants there tucked well down in the herbage. Let me know if you think it is something different, please..
Posted on May 30, 2022
It is that time of year again, and our splendid Holm Oak, also known as an Evergreen Oak, is in flower by the village hall in Charlton Down. It loses leaves at any time throughout the year, and so it is not unusual for dead leaves to carpet the ground beneath the tree while new leaves and flowers appear in the canopy.
The species was first introduced in the 1500’s from the Eastern Mediterranean. Although it is not adapted as much as our native oaks, it supports plenty of our wildlife. A good tree for surviving hot and dry summers, but not so good at coping with severe frosts and cold. That’s why it mostly grows on the coast and in Southern England.
Maybe we should all be thinking of planting more sun-loving and drought tolerant trees and shrubs around Greenwood House to allow for the fact that weather patterns are changing. I think that future generations would be grateful to inherit plants that withstand the warmer climate and need less intensive management and watering. (There are lots of much smaller options than this magnificent tree).
Posted on May 29, 2022
The Bladder Campion flowers are doing very well this year in the hedgerow close to the allotments.
Posted on May 16, 2022
Images from a walk around my Dorset village this late Spring (7th May). Sycamore, field maple, copper beech, ash, oak and chestnut were in flower. Shrubbier plants like hawthorn, holly, wayfarer, and guelder rose were blossoming in hedgerows. Dandelions gone to seed already, with daisies, self heal, blue speedwell, red clover, and chickweed flourishing where the lawns have not been cut for “no mow May”. Bog bean flowers surviving in the muddy margins of our fast-shrinking pond. And the white froth of cow parsley in great abundance everywhere.
Posted on September 20, 2021
One of the most abundant sources of nectar and pollen at the moment – when most of our common wild flowering plants are already producing seeds, berries, and nuts – ivy is in full flower attracting clouds of bees, hover flies, and other winged pollinators.
Posted on September 3, 2021
Thistle flowers going to seed, Hawthorn berries, and Blackberries in the hedgerows, and flowering Stinging Nettles in the fields, on the first official day of Autumn in Charlton Down.
Posted on August 26, 2021
This flower I am not a hundred percent certain about the identification but I think it is Nipplewort (Lapsana communis). It certainly is a common yellow flowered plant and is not confined to this particular habitat in the strip of arable weeds that I have been investigating. There are so many similar yellow flowered plants that I am never absolutely certain what they are. Anyway, this is my best attempt. If you know better, please do let me know.
You can click on an image to enlarge it and view in a gallery.
Posted on August 23, 2021
White Campion (Silene latifolia) occurs all over the place around Charlton Down and is more commonly found in hedgerows and verges, but there were a few among the Common Poppies and wealth of other types of arable weeds in the uncultivated border of a maize field. The white flowers stood out among the greens, reds, yellows and blues 0f other native wild plants with which they are intertwined.