April 17th – Every day, new flowers and leaves. This is fantastic, and just what I’ve been waiting for. All I need now is the sun to do it’s thing…
Spotted in a roadside verge near Lower Stonnall on Gravelly Lane – one of my all time favourite spring flowers – muscari or grape hyacinth. A garden favourite, I’m not sure if they’re native here or a garden escapee. But they are so very gorgeous, tiny blue arrangements of even tinier obovoid flowers.
April 16th – I rode into Lichfield to do some shopping and errands, and noticed how all the spring flowers were out. In Festival Gardens, the mascara or grape hyacinths were the deepest electric blue; by Minster Pool the tulips were a beautiful regiment of cream and St. Michael’s churchyard has a huge glade of wild garlic, bluebells and primroses.
Just that morning we’d had quite heavy snow showers.
This unusual but beautiful spring continues.
April 4th – Passing through Lichfield and back later in the day, spring really was in the air. The sun shone patchily on the rolling landscape between the canal and Hammerwich, whereas Minster Pool was dark and broody. On my return, I noticed gorgeous colour as the weeping willows are in bud in Festival Gardens, and grape hyacinths are growing well on the verges of the main roads.
One odd thing is the white plant flowering at the edge of the verges; this tiny flower is Danish scurvy grass, a formerly coastal flower that thrives beside main roads in the salty soil caused by winter gritting.
April 23rd – To be in England, in the springtime. I had to go to Leicester, and the patch of waste ground that so enthrals me at South Wigston Station was, as ever, a joy to the heart. Beebuzz and birdsong greeted me as I hefted my bike of the train in the bright, warm sun; peacock butterflies flitted about the lush flowers. Grape Hyacinth, primrose, gorse, dandelion. Performing for me, in this moment, in the middle of urban sprawl. A small wayside oasis, hardly noticed by anyone.
It doesn’t get much better than this.
March 26th – Beauty can be found in very unexpected places. As I got off the train into a sunny South Wigston, in Leicester, these gorgeous grape hyacinths were growing up a piece of grass that’s usually wasteland. Mixed in were primroses, polyanthus and what seemed to be some kind of violet. This station is is normally just one away from being the rectum of the UK rail system, only beating Lichfield Trent Valley because it has ramp access to bot platforms. Usually it’s desolate, untidy and lonely, often threatening. Today, it was a little oasis of purple and joy…