BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘shrub’

365daysofbiking On a lost day like this

Sunday March 28th 2021 – I had errands to do for a relative. They did not go well, but that didn’t matter really as the weather was windy and often wet, and the wasted time did not matter so much.

The only splash of colour in a grim day – The first of British Summer Time – was found in the forsythia growing by the canal at Catshill that I noticed on my return at dusk, at a pleasing 7:40pm.

Forsythia – immortalised in a great song by the band Veruca Salt that US college rock fans of a certain age will know well – used to be really popular in the UK as an ornamental shrub, but seems to have gone out of fashion. It forms a mass of yellow blossom before coming into leaf, and is truly gorgeous.

The reason for it’s decline I can only guess at, but wonder if people confused it with the highly poisonous and similarly yellow laburnum, which flowers much later but there was much anguish over in the 80s and 90s, leading to it’s steady decline.

It’s nice to see, especially on a lost day like this.

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#365daysofbiking Flower power

Wedesday March 17th 2021 – On the cycleway near Stafford Park in Telford, the blackthorn is heavily in blossom, and it’s beautiful. The first of the major blossom shows, it’s only beaten here by the odd ornamental cherry that would have come into flower a month ago.

Blackthorn – the once sought after sloe, beloved of home brewers – is interesting as it flowers before coming fully into leaf (much of the greenery here is an interleaved hawthorn).

Lovely on a dull, chilly morning.

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#365daysofbiking Blooming late

October 4th – Taking a well earned breather in Kings Hill Park on my way to work, sat with my coffee, I noticed something dark red in the shrubs near the northern hedge.

It’s a very strange flowering shrub I’ve never seen before, and it’s in full bloom. In October.

The beautiful red blossom hangs in chains, a bit like wisteria or it’s relative, laburnum. But the odd thing is it also has smaller, white flowers that could easily be from another shrub – but clearly aren’t.

Does anyone know what this is, please? It had me fascinated for ages.

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#365daysofbiking A rose between two thorns

May 7th – Further up the canal at Bentley Bridge near Darlaston Green, another sign of spring: The roses are flowering on the edge of the canal – rather poetically between scrapyards either side of the canal, between which the green vein of the canal ambles, being beautiful.

The roses smell gorgeous and are a true joy to the heart in such grey times.

I don’t know where the warmth and sun are hiding but we could do with them back. But in the meantime, this is a wonderful burst of brightness for sure.

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August 22nd – Despite the cooler weather and repeated inexplicable attacks by a hedge cutter, the honeysuckle at the southern flank of the Black Cock Bridge embankment continues to flower, fruit and thrive.

Every time I pass this beautifully scented shrub it makes me happy.

July 3rd – I noticed this tree on the way to work and I have idea what it is. Can anyone help? Curious looking bloom, I thought. In fact, Im not sure if it’s a bloom, or a fruit head.

I have no idea. 

Help grateful received.

April 9th – I’ve been passing this rather beautiful white shrub for a week or more now and have absolutely no idea what it is. It’s growing in a clump of cotoneaster in an industrial estate flower bed in Wednesbury. 

In the damp beauty of a misty morning it was absolutely gorgeous. Anyone know what it is?

September 19th n- One of the odder fruits of the autumn is the snowberry. Serving only as bird food, this ornamental shrub, like firethorn, is often used for ornamentation in public parks, edge lands, industrial estate landscaping and so on.

As far as I can tell, the birds seem to like the white berries that make a distinctive popping sound when stepped on or thrown hard at the floor, and the bees certainly like the pink and white flowers, still very much in evidence on the same shrubs as the large, healthy-looking fruit.

Snowberry will grow with little attention needed and does look pretty, especially when dappled by dew, as these examples in the centre of Darlaston attest.

June 20th – A day of errands in the Black Country and plenty of riding the canals, green and limpid as they always are in summer, and alive with life, from the Wednesbury mother and foal to the bugs in the cowparsley. 

The pink flowers are stunning and I spotted them on the way home in Harden, just on the canal bank there. Does anyone know what they are? they’re absolutely gorgeous.