All posts tagged: Plants

Life and Death in Late Winter

The view from the old, stone castle or Ankara Kalesi stretches beyond the houses, tower blocks and mosques to the empty white mountains. The capital city has been exploding from a small town of some 50,000 in 1945 to a city of 5 million today. Young people […]

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Autumn Blues

The view above the Darenth near Shoreham is fields of autumnal brown. The small nature reserve of White Hill, slivers of chalk grassland hidden within dense yew Taxus baccata and beech Fagus sylvatica woods and ever-encroaching dogwood Cornus sanguinea and whitebeam Sorbus aria scrub, is brightly lit by the evening […]

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Bernwood Forest

19th July, 2016 Bernwood Forest is one of the great butterfly woodlands of England. The forest today is much altered; a great dark window in the heart of Oxfordshire with irregular panes of dull softwood supported by thin hardwood frames. Early morning on the hottest day of the year […]

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Downland Impressions

The long view of the downs is sharp greens and cobalt blues. Cold details are picked out by the evening sun across the sloping panorama. The short view is warm, out of focus and welcoming. The orchids, buttercups and trefoils beneath a shower of quaking […]

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Park Gate and Points East

Park Gate Down is a dry valley hidden in the well-wooded hills between Stelling Minnis and Elham. The string of three small meadows, wrapped in dark, dense woodland, are ungrazed chalk grassland full of famous orchids, myriad other plants and insects. The fields were never ploughed in […]

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Shoreham on the Verge

The A225 sweeps the edge of the downs above the Darenth, passing Lullingstone’s long history; the railway runs the same route, switching sides on Victorian brick bridges. On a sunshine-filled evening, a little after the first Wednesday in June, riders in black leather lean low into the curves and cars run […]

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Great Dixter

Great Dixter on a grey afternoon in May with rain threatening. The old manor sinks into the gentle hillside under steep-pitched roofs and tall chimneys; an Elizabethan galleon on a sea of meadows and woodlands that flow across this quiet corner of the Weald. The fields are full of buttercups and orchids […]

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Sissinghurst in May

Sissinghurst Castle is a bustle of visitors and, on our second visit, the gardens have a degree of familiarity; the shape and juxtaposition of the different compartments, the various views and the patterns of colour more readily comprehended. Black and white images throw the place straight back […]

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Pech Bely

Spring: 22nd April – 1st May 2013. The small road from the ancient, bastide town of Tournon d’Agenais runs along the valley of the river Boudouyssou, a small tributary of the Lot. Above the river, on a small plateau accessed by a narrow spur road, sits […]

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Hilly Wood

An erudite local botany blog tells of a wood full of brilliant yellow, cyclamen-flowered daffodils Narcissus cyclamineus. Now is the time to visit and so we head for Hilly Wood near Cranbrook. N. cyclamineus is an introduced and naturalised species from northwest Spain and northern Portugal, where five daffodil species are endemic, […]

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Early Spring

The two churches of Trimley St Martin and Trimley St Mary sit side by side; one thrives and the other crumbles. The reason two substantial churches were built so close together for neighbouring village parishes is apparently down to a family feud. The resulting Darwinian struggle for congregations […]

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