New faces

Six Five new wildflowers identified so far this year. They may not be rare but they’re joining a growing list, now up to 106 different wildflowers her at Tipton’s Croft.

Make it seven six! Here’s garlic mustard (but not in flower yet).

Update: we have misidentified the yellow archangel as a native wildflower. This one is actually an invasive non-native subspecies (Lamiastrum galeobdolon spp argentatum) so we are now busy removing it from the edge of the field. The pale patches on the leaves are what makes it distinct from the native variety.

Invasive non-native interloper!

Spring has arrived

Cuckoo flowers have appeared in the meadow: small clusters of pink flowers amongst the raggedy early growth of grasses. A sure sign that spring has finally arrived, though a little later than last year and for some reason that flowers a lot pinker than usual.

The ground is getting very dry now and the clay soil turning to rock. We’re probably going to have to start watering all the new saplings that we planted this winter as their new roots will be desperately searching for moisture. Not something we usually have to do in April.

Slow January

Not much happening, but the days are ticking by and getting ever so slightly longer. The barn owls are still visiting the nest box at night, often going there just after dusk and in and out until dawn. No sign of the tawnies, but we can still hear them in the woods nearby. The field is soggy, the lake gently overflowing, frost in the mornings and footprints of badgers and foxes, but apart from that all is quiet.

Hoar frost on hogweed


It’s the season for mushrooms, so here are a few at Tipton’s Croft. We’re not mycologists (though think we know what some of them are) and have definitely not touched or picked them. But we think they look nice.