Early spring in west Kent woodlands

The hornbeam woodlands on the North Downs are at their best; carpeted with a white blanket of wood anemones. A perfect example locally is on the rolling hills above Eynsford. The anemones are a near monoculture but the dark green bluebell leaves are emerging and the swathe of deep blue flowers will take over inContinue reading “Early spring in west Kent woodlands”

Farningham Wood

Farningham Wood is famous for its pretty and rare Deptford pinks (Dianthus armeria) that adorn the southern edge of the large woodland. The Kent Rare Plant Register tells the story of the plant’s history and distribution in the county well. I have been to look for it twice and each time failed miserably in my quest. On theContinue reading “Farningham Wood”

Rumija’s Romans

April 20th is another brilliant day and Lake Skader ice flat, blue gin under blue sky. The villages and hamlets are alive with sprouting vines and emerging vegetables; an old woman bends over hoeing carefully along the rows. The surrounding wooded slopes are bright green swathes of hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) spattered with vanilla ice creams of flowering manna ash (Fraxinus ornus).Continue reading “Rumija’s Romans”

Rumija’s Chestnut Woodlands

Soon after the narrow road from Virpazar to Ostros passes the turn for the small village of Livari, the scraggy oak-hornbeam gives way to a woodland of huge, sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) trees that straddles the road. These are ancient, venerable trees with thick, deeply riven trunks and decaying crowns. On walking around, some seem to beContinue reading “Rumija’s Chestnut Woodlands”