[slideshow] I went for a walk with my son and daughter yesterday, down along the banks of the River Wye. There is a wonderful old Willow tree that must have been hit by lightning or something. Two sides have split apart, leaving the centre of the tree with a burned out hollow that you could climb through if you were small enough.
My daughter Dorothy, a great fan of Narnia and all things alter Univers-ey and Lord of the Rings, was dared to climb through, and so she did.
She has been though the heart of a willow and reports that nothing has changed in the universe on the other side except maybe coffee tastes different with the new kettle!
The ferns are really busting out in the Forest now. I always marvel at how they explode out of the ground and uncurl. They are masterpieces of fractal design, imperceptibly growing in un-noticeable stages. Each new stage of growth looks so like the last one, you can’t see the joins or how it got as big as it did. When it’s grown it looks like it must have always been like that.
I’ve picked up a few ferns for my garden over the years. They are all slightly different, but they all have that wonderful uncurling system.
[slideshow]I had a fabulous walk along the River Wye this afternoon. Shortly after diving into the hole in the hedge that denotes the start of the footpath in Lydbrook, we came across a mole scuttling about on the path. He was moving so fast and in such a wriggly fashion, it was hard to get a good picture of him. These pictures are the best I could do!
I wasn’t aware of any major flight activity, but when I looked up in the sky, a massive Scottish Saltire or Cross of St Andrew, had been painted across the sky!
Looking again, I realised it if the fluffy seeds from the willow tree above the studio that are drifting across the garden. I suppose the first really warm day is a trigger for the tree to release all those little fluffy down seeds to drift in the warm calm, tranquil air. They are not really built for floating in howling gales.
[slideshow]We went to the Malvern Spring Gardening Show last Friday. We’ve been going every year for 19 years now. It’s our big day out, usually costing a fortune in plants and garden stuff.
When my arms start aching with plastic bags full of plants, I take them to the car and start again. We leave early so we get a good parking place. Now everyone has foldaway trolleys. The are a complete menace! The peace is broken by the endless turning and scraping of little wheels. People stop to look at stalls and leave their trolleys in the way for you to fall over.
Nineteen years ago it was plants, tools and a bit of garden furniture. Now it’s £8,000 hot tubs and thatched tree house grottoes. The photo shows garden orbs that looked like they would make toy boil inside. I didn’t look to see how much they were. I just don’t get who buys this stuff.
There was one really fun show garden based on Hansel and Gretel. The bird’s nests had chocolate eggs. the roof of the house was made from pieces of toast. The pond was full of Ribena and there were all sorts of little references hidden away in the corners. Great fun.
Can’t wait for next year. I suppose I’d better go and put those plants into the garden before they dry out and die.
There is a long field adjacent to the River Wye between Lydbrook and Goodrich that is quite often full of onions, but this year it is full of yellow-flowering Rape. I’ve been past it a few times, but today I managed to stop and take a pic. Its so bright it looks like a river of yellow flowing alongside the real river. And it smells! A strong sweet honey-like scent fills the air.
I went for a walk in the Forest this week, and the sap is definitely rising. Although a cold wind is blowing from the north, Spring is here at last.
You can see it best in the ferns that are bursting out of the ground everywhere you look. I love the way they uncurl and open out as if they are all packed away underground, and are just being blown up inside, like curly, party blow-outs tooters.
There used to be a quaint tradition here, where young lovers would go into the Forest for a bit of privacy. It was known as a Fern Ticket. I remember the local paper printing Fern Tickets for you to cut out and give to someone you admire to let them know you wouldn’t mind a private walk in the Forest with them. If That doesn’t get the sap rising, I don’t know what does!
Of course I stopped to get out and take the pictures – I wouldn’t drive and shoot!
On my way home from Garway School, I popped into the Premier Plant Centre for a sandwich and bought myself a nice new Day Lilly too. The Coffee Shop was laid out in a Greek Taverna style,With the doors open and the sun shining in you could almost believe… almost! For the entrance was guarded by the most extraordinary creature. Apparently he used to be in a display in a castle as a marauding Viking or something. He’s now masquerading as a ship’s cook, I think! Fun anyway.
I came back Via Symonds Yat, which involves crossing the river Wye at what everyone calls the Bailey Bridge. I’m not sure if it really is a Bailey Bridge. It’s only one lane and often two cars meet in the middle and one has to back up. As I stopped to photograph it, I was aware of a stone with a plaque on it in a filed nearby. I have no idea what it is for, but there are Five trees planted in the enclosure. I feel it maybe a memorial for someone who may have drowned in the river or something like that. It is a popular place for canoeists to start their journeys downstream.
[slideshow]Lots of spring flowers bursting out before they are swamped by bluebells and ferns. Violets, strawberries, oxalis and even the bilberries are setting already. I was surprised. The woods are full of birdsong and there’s a feeling of making up for lost time after a long, cold winter.