The mystery yellow flower is a mystery no more. Mavis Lawrence, Audrey Naylor, Peter Firth and Ruth Treves-Brown say that is is leopardsbane also known as doronicum. Here's another test. While crossing the Leighton Buzzard Road yesterday, I noticed some very small white flowers that grow right on the verge. With salt and exhaust fumes it must be an extremely toxic environment. Does anyone know what they might be? I have seen them often next to busy roads. The wood anemone story continues. Barbara Egglesfield says that some suddenly appeared a year or two ago in their garden exactly at the spot where her husband John cleans his walking boots! He must have picked up and carried back the seeds. Her photo is below. I have some snakes head fritillaries growing in my garden. They seem to thrive with all the dead leaves I dump over that ground every Autumn. I took this photo this morning. Does anyone know where they are growing wild in our surrounding area? When I did a web search the nearest places seemed to be Oxford and Cricklade. I have asked Herts Wildlife Trust, of which I'm a member and will pass on any information I receive. Finally, Joyce White sent in this photo from the Walled Garden in Gadebridge Park. I know its fame has spread because Jill Bayley told me that she plans to walk through to see it. If you have never crossed through the tunnel to get to the other side of the road, there is a good but steep walk around some marvellous trees and yet another pleasant local vista. Please don't hesitate to send in your photos, and if you are using a phone consider turning sideways to obtain a panoramic shot.
It's raining outside, which will set back mud free walking a little.
The first sightings this week were near or in Pimlico. Susan Cooke reported a clump of celandines by the side of the Bedmond Road opposite Highwoodhall Lane, and further along by a car park is a group of naturalised snowdrops. I also saw the celandines and turning down Highwoodhall Lane I saw a solitary dandelion and a small clump of white nettles.
Elizabeth Cooper reported dandelions in Green Lane. Dandelions are tough, but usually at their peak around St Georges Day in April, which is the recommended time to pick them for wine making.
Jenny Dickson reports lots of arum leaves and signs that bluebells are beginning to shoot. No flowers yet but she did see two Cherry Plum trees in blossom and sent in the photo below. One is on the corner of St Agnells Lane and Cupid Green Lane and the other along the path by Holtsmere End. Her photo is below.
On Tuesday I saw some periwinkle, which on checking is a plant of Mediterranean origin but is now naturalised. Herb Robert is growing well everywhere, but not yet in flower.
Finally, looking at the trees neither oak or ash have yet burst their buds. We'll have to wait to test the old saying, 'Oak before ash and we're in for a splash. Ash before oak and we're in for a soak.' Let's hope we have another glorious sunny spring like we did last year.
Many people have asked for photos of the fowers we say we have seen. Because not everyone has unlimited bandwidth on their internet link, we will post the photos here. Everyone is welcome to register and post photos.