Yellow and Blue

David Beeson, 5th May 2021

This is the end of the garden, adjacent to the forest.
The BATTLE ZONE. Primroses love shade, cowslips light – and this is where the two come together. Primroses win in the wood and cowslips in the open meadows.
English bluebells have elongated flowers and they flower on one side of the stem. Spanish version have more bell-shaped flowers and often are all around the flower stem. We have every variant, from 100% English to 100% Spanish. As I have said before, this is a worry as Harewood has bluebells adjacent to our garden and the genes will spread. There is nothing, I feel, we can do.
Harewood from our garden. Its bluebells are slow to flower as the soil contains more clay, and that warms slowly and influences development. Give it two weeks and it will be a sea of blue. The track was destined as a public path … it has all gone quiet.
I have just completed my PLANTLIFE cowslip survey. Looking at the two morphs – those with a long and short stigma / style. I call them pin-eyed and thrum-eyed types. My results – 70 with the stamens at the top (thrum) and 71 with the stigma at the top (pin). It only took fifteen minutes, so, if you know a patch of cowslips, look up the survey on the PLANTLIFE website. Citizen science.
The marsh marigolds are now growing. They are at least three weeks behind this year, and we had another frost last night.

The weather has been cold this year, and plants have responded by glowing more slowly. Yes, the light levels have been good, but the enzymes driving metabolism are temperature sensitive and that wins. Our grassy meadows are low, and even those parts that we trim (Paths and lawn edge) are requiring little attention, so the compost heap lacks herbage.

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