On my small round table outside - how lovely the simple pleasure a table outdoors can be - with a linen and lace cloth, a jam jar containing a bunch of sun-drenched rosemary, clove-scented pinks and a few violas peeping like little friendly faces. They are beside, a very old piece of Laura Ashley fabric I've had squirreled away for years .... and now a piece of it has been patched to a pretty deep pink fabric and floral button made into a brooch for a friend.
I have some catching up to do - the Lugg Meadow has now been cut for sweet hay while the sun shines - these photos taken two weeks ago remind me that there is rich and diverse flora right here on my own doorstep..........
........heady scented Honeysuckle and yellow trefoil.
Purple/ blue tufted vetch
small tortoishell butterfly
Briar rose or eglantine
Briar rose + Elderflower
These are just a small few naturaI spots I pass and then, 'I stop and stare' and wonder.....and wonder.
......Thank you for my comment on my last post, and some on face book. You are most kind. ...
...You may also like to glimpse at my weekly summer yoga blog that I am doing whilst my class is on summer break.... www.patssummerpatch.weebly.com
I have a weekly walk around the Lugg Meadows and along the river; a kind of personal meditation to clear away the cobwebs and free myself of unnecessary stress stuff. Feeling gratitude, taking stock and have cause to rejoice as two more personal milestones have been reached. Two weeks ago I had my last check up as a breast cancer outpatient and have been discharged and given leave to finish my medication after five and a half years. Renton Unit at Hereford and Cheltenham Hospitals. I am indebted to the consultant surgeon, oncologist, staff and volunteers at the Macmillan Renton Unit for their skill and unceasing dedication to all their patients. I know they must be exhausted fighting for basic resources in the NHS at the moment; they richly deserve every support.
We have had some glorious sunny filled days this last week and walks in the long Lugg meadow have been filled with heavy scents of countless blooms and rippling birdsong. My youngest son just caught through long grasses, buttercups and dandelion clocks. He had and his girlfriend had accompanied me Sunday morning on my weekly walk down the meadow flats down to the Lugg River, taking advantage of the fine day to take photos of their own.
A joyous blue sky morning with a field full of buttercups to herald the beginning of summer. Humming bees, fluttering butterflies and birdsong filling the trees and hedgerows around the meadow's edge.
We are very fortunate to have a nature reserve virtually on our doorstep, and one of its unique features is the appearance of an abundance of fritillaries, particularly the white ones. Although there are a fair few of the purple snaked-eyed variety. It is quite easy to spot them at the beginning of May when the grass is still short after a long winter, but as the month progresses and the grasses grow taller they can just be seen peeping out.
A checkered snake-eyed fritillary a favourite local spring flower
Last month the National Trust opened some of its gardens free of charge for the weekend. After such a long long winter this seemed to mark the first signs of spring this year with trees budding, birds singing and late flowering spring flowers coming to life seemingly overnight. .
The darling of spring with pretty and delicate petals, the palest of yellows and deeper egg yolk star centre. The leaves in contrast are broad and crinkly. At first the
flower heads are on short stalks but as the season progresses the stalks can be
6inches/15cm long. As a small child, I used to pick them with my grandmother and tie them in bunches with wool. Sometimes we would come across a pale pink or even a white primrose. My grandmother would put the wee bunches in a wide rimmed bowl and the freshest slight scent would fill the room.
They grow in abundance in the fields in Herefordshire and Shropshire mostly with sheep to munch or admire them. Although late this year as the wintry weather persists, soon Dinmore Hill will be crowned with primroses.
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries primroses were candied, pickled and made into vinegar and wine.
An easy way to preserve flowers is to paint them with egg
white and sprinkle sugar before
1 egg white
a fine water colour brush
Put the egg white and water in a cup and
stir with a fork, mix lightly. Paint each flower very finely with the egg and
water wash. Sprinkle each flower lightly with sugar, shake any surplus, lay face
upwards on a sieve to dry. put in a warm airy place to dry out. When completely
dry store in a jar or tin between layers of baking or greaseproof paper to
protect them. Their colour will be perfectly preserved and they will make
beautiful cake decorations.
(They also keep their colour when the flowers are pressed as part of a keepsake).
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