"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Searching for Primroses and Daffodils, at St Giles, Packwood and Baddesley Clinton

One of the highlights of last Spring was visiting St Giles Church, Packwood and discovering a churchyard full of primroses - I had never seen so many in one place since I was a child. I decided to revisit this afternoon in the hope of finding a similar sight.

St Giles church is around 800 years old and the older parts of the churchyard are "managed" for wildlife i.e. left untended so wildflowers can flourish. Over 100 species of wildflower have been recorded here.

Unfortunately the churchyard that last year was covered in primroses looked rather bare this year.

However, Crocuses added a welcome splash of colour on a grave.

In cold sheltered parts of the churchyard shaded from the sun snow was still covering the ground and I think the cold weather has meant that this is going to be a late year for primroses.

There were quite a few snowdrops still in flower.

Most of the primrose plants were still just showing buds and only a few plants were actually flowering.

You can see the difference from last year from this photo that I took on 29th March 2012.

when Violets were also flowering

together with Germander Speedwell and Lesser Celandine (as in the photo below).

I then drove onto Packwood House - the drive there is usually lined with masses of daffodils at this time of year.

But again the cold weather has made them late and there are very few actually flowering yet.

Here's a couple of photos I took on 26th March last year and again you can see a vast difference in the number of flowers.

Back to this year with just a few flowers interspersed among the buds.

I saw my first lambs in a field nearby - sorry hadn't got telephoto lens with me but if you click and enlarge the photo you might be able to spot them in the middle of the picture!

I carried onto Baddesley Clinton and it was good to see the log piles were still by the tree to encourage invertebrates. There were dozens and dozens of Redwing and Fieldfare foraging in the parkland.

Daffodils were flowering along the drive here - probably in a sunnier and more sheltered spot than Packwood.

Baddesley Clinton - moated Manor House

Lots of Hellebores and Daffodils in flower in the gardens at Baddesley

Mallard are tame here

More Hellebores

I think this cat was trying to creep up on a mouse - he was unsuccessful :)

Returning to St Giles - I took several photos of Lichens growing on the church. I think the orangey coloured one might be Caloplaca flavescens. I got out a Field Studies Council guide tonight to try and identify them but had forgotten that they really are quite hard to id. I'll try and take the guide with me next time plus a magnifying glass or hand lens!

I don't know whether anyone else is having problems with blogger but I have had real difficulties again tonight. I had to upload photos one at a time and then when I tried to type text the photos had gone out of order only to find that when I saved, closed and then returned to the draft everything was back in order. Also I'd get half way down the page and find text had somehow duplicated itself from the beginning of the post. I also got some dire looking warnings from blogger that html had been broken!!! I only use the most basic Blogger set up so I can't understand what there is to go wrong! but if problems carry on I might have to consider using something else. Not sure what this post is going to come out like so apologies in advance if everything is haywire!!!


Toffeeapple said...

It is such a shame that the weather is holding everything back this year but perhaps we will be better off than we were last year after the early good start that then went downhill. We have seen some lambs on our jaunts round and about but very little in the way of spring flowers. I do have one tiny Speedwell plant in bloom but I don't know which variety it is.

Soon be spring!

BTW, someone was saying that using Firefox as a browser helps with Blogger problems.

Ragged Robin said...

Toffeeapple - Hopefully, when weather does eventually arrive we'll get a late show of lovely Spring blooms! Daffodils in our garden are still refusing to flower although we have primroses and cowslips.

Thanks for the suggestion re: Firefox - I think Jan suggested that as well. Last time I downloaded it we got stuck with search engines I didn't want like Funmoods and Babylon. So got rid of Firefox but unable to remove search engines!! So I think I'll download Firefox again this weekend. IE is too slow and I had problems with that and blogger too :(

ShySongbird said...

Hi Caroline :-) I have really enjoyed your post and lovely photos. It has certainly emphasised how far behind everything is this year. We watched the April episode of the Edith DVD last night and all the spring flowers were blooming and lots of the trees were in leaf! I'm starting to feel like I'm waiting for a spring which will never arrive just like I waited almost all last year for a summer which never really arrived :-( So pleased you found at least a few Primroses in flower, they have always been my favourite wildflowers.

Sorry you have had Blogger problems again, it is very temperamental although your post looks perfect to me. A while ago I wondered about changing but the only other way I know of is Wordpress and I don't like their format at all. Don't forget if you do download Firefox to get it from Mozilla themselves and to make sure you untick any boxes with extras you don't want although I don't remember any when I did it but that was a few years ago now.

I don't know very much about lichens but if you haven't already found it this site might be useful.

No I don't have the book you mentioned in your esrlier reply although I know the one you mean. The one I have is the Ina Taylor.

Bovey Belle said...

I have been in search of the small wild daffodils of Dymock in Gloucestershire today. They are out now - but late. Photos to follow on my blog.

What a shame the promoters at so late - the earlier ones round here have been desiccated by the wind.

Ragged Robin said...

ShySongbird Hi Jan:) Thank you for your lovely comment and I'm so glad you enjoyed the post.I'm just hoping if weather ever goes milder we will get a surge of wildflowers and leaf growth :) I always think of you now when I see Primroses - they really are the loveliest of flowers :)

You sound as though you are enjoying the Edith dvd :) Haven't ordered yet - its going to be an expensive month (E's bday, holiday cottage payment due and laminate flooring!!) so I may have to wait a while :(

There don't seem to be many options for blogging :( I think, (though don't quote me!) people moan about Wordpress because they put adverts on people's blogs or they did in the past. Thanks for the tips re: Firefox. TBH we did have it installed a few years back and had no problems but then we had some work done on the computer to try and make it faster and another drive fitted. All the docs and photos were saved but had to reinstall all the software and Firefox was missed.

Sorry about getting the book wrong - yes I remember now it was the Ina Taylor one which is excellent. The one accompanying the series I bought second hand as its out of print when I started the "following in the footsteps" postings. I thought it might help me track down some of the locations - it didnt! Its interesting though but would rather have the dvds!! I also found a pack I sent off for from ITV which again accompanied the series. Again, its interesting but quite generalised.

David interviewed a man recently who has written a book about Edith's father and his seances. Apparently the family used to hold them after Edith's mother died to try and "contact" her!! I think it contains a lot of family trees and stuff like that rather than being about Edith and her drawings and ramblings.

Thanks ever such a lot for the link to the Lichen site - looks really interesting :)and I have bookmarked it.

Bovey Belle - Look forward to seeing your daffodil photos :)

I suspect the Primroses in the churchyard may well have been badly affected by the cold weather too and the show when they eventually flower fully will not be as good as last year.