Category Archives: flora

Ransom pesto – no, not an April or Ransom Fool

It’s Spring and the Allium ursinum is flourishing, otherwise known as Ransoms or Wild Garlic

The leaves have been magically transformed into pesto. Before and after below.


Snakes alive!!

Well not real snakes, but our Snake’s Head Fritillaries (Fritillaria meleagris) have healthy flower buds.

Depending on the weather they could be flowering this month instead of April – is this a record?

At last – everything appearing

Just returned from two weeks away.

Sudden flourishing of flowers; celandines, primroses, wood anemones, fritillaries, sweet violets, dog violets, cow slips, lady’s smock – and even a couple of bluebells.  Comma & brimstone butterflies around.


P1060384 crop






Spring signs, summer sounds!

Out for a walk today on the South Downs (not an entry about our wood this time). Nice and sunny with celandines and bees.

Even a couple of skylarks flying high & singing! Seems very early.

Summer flowerings

Mid June now and the spring bluebells, orchids and ransoms are all dying down.  With the tree canopy flourishing, the flowers are now mainly around the wood margins.    We are pleased that two purple spotted orchids have emerged, although one other plant seems to have been eaten.  The meadow is looking good with oxe-eye daisies, meadow buttercup, red campion  and purple vetch in abundance.  The dog roses are flowering with many buds in waiting.  Just in the wood the spires of foxgloves have just come out.


Common spotted orchid


Our lovely meadow

dog rose

Dog rose

Has Spring sprung at last?

The wood is absolutely sodden – we have never seen it so wet.  Although the primroses have valiantly been flowering in profusion up until now there has been little sign of Spring. Today however the lungwort  was out, as was the Primslip again (A cross fertilization of primrose and cowslip). Also the sweet violet, and anemones. No sign of floweringanenome and primrose bluebells or orchid.  Lots of leaves, so we must be patient!

Tutsan – looking good

Tutsan – Yellow flowers in summer followed by mixed coloured berries.  Looking good this year – perhaps it likes the damp.  There are garden varieties but the wild variety looks attractive. The name Tutsan comes from the Norman French, toute saine meaning all healthy – so it is said.

Tutsan (Hypericum androsaemum)

Tasty pesto

The Ransoms (Wild Garlic) are past their best now.  We’ve used the leaves in salads and in a very tasty pesto.

Here’s a link to a selection of recipes, including the pesto.

Ransoms (Wild garlic)

Suddenly it’s hot

Temperature in 10 days gone from 12C (53F)  to 27C (81F) and everything has suddenly started  flowering.

Today we spotted a single Common Bistort (Persicaria bistorta / Polygonium bistorta).  This is very localised on the edge of the wood and seems to move a little each year but is not expanding.  We were expecting it to either spread, or disappear being isolated.

Bistort (Polygonium bistorta / Persicaria bistorta)

Splish, splash

Made it through the woodland today without actually getting wet.  Counted 155 early purple spotted orchids, a very good number but the bluebells are quite sparse this year.  There was one very pale variety of orchid found, as in the photograph.

Early purple orchid, pale colour.


Greater Stitchwort growing through bluebells.