Desperate to see some Spring flowers and wild flowers I've paid a visit to the local church of St Mary and St Bartholomew, Hampton in Arden.
The chancel of the church is Norman c1130 and the west tower Perpendicular. The tower once had a spire but it collapsed in 1643.
The churchyard was fairly quiet although I did see a few other people walking through.
There were daffodils galore.
"Daffy Down Dilly has come up to town
In her Yellow Petticoat and her Green Gown."
The churchyard on the North side was covered in Lesser Celandines and Primroses just as I had hoped.
Lesser Celandine Ranuculus ficaria is one of the first wild flowers to appear in Spring flowering between March and May. According to John Clare, the poet, children called them "Golden Daiseys". Lesser Celandine is also known as Pilewort, Golden Guinea, Golden Stars, Star Flower, Bright Eye, Scurvywort and Butter and Cheese. The flowers close when it rains and is cold only opening when the sun apppears. In the Language of Flowers it represents "joys to come". It was the favourite flower of the poet William Wordsworth who asked for it to be engraved on his gravestone but the stone mason got it wrong and William ended up with a Greater Celandine instead!
I found just one Snakeshead Fritillary - a white one.
Daisy Bellis perennis
Daisies are said to represent Mary's tears as when she was picking the flowers for the baby Jesus she pricked her finger and the pink tinge to the petals was caused by her blood. Children for years have made daisy chains and it is the flower of the newborn in some areas where it is referred to as "bainwort" because legends suggested a daisy chain could stop fairies carrying away the baby.
The flowers close up at night and when it rains. Local names include "Billy Button" and "Hens and Chickens".
I found a few violets. Violets represent humility and are also an emblem of constancy and steadfastness. Romans used violets to make wine and a wreath composed of them cured a hangover! Today crystallised petals are often used as cake decorations.
A type of pussy willow catkin.
Beds of Heather
Despite the sunshine and warmth and flowers I failed to see a single butterfly or bee!
Interesting rain heads
15th century base of a cross - octagonal with quatrefoil panels.
I first looked round the church a few years ago and was surprised it was open. Of course at the moment it is locked but if you want to see inside the church (there is some lovely stained glass) please use this link St Mary and St Bartholomew
Opposite the church is the White Lion - a pub I've not been in. Closed at the moment but I noticed the wine merchants nearby was doing a roaring trade.
I hope everyone is staying safe and well.
All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera.
"Discovering the Folklore of Plants" by Margaret Baker
"Britain's Wildflowers : A Treasury of Traditions, Superstitions, Remedies and Literature" by Rosamond Pilcher.