Thursday, 25 April 2013

Wildflower Wednesday: my April garden

It was almost midnight last night (here in Scotland) when I uploaded the photos below to join others celebrating wildflowers. So I missed the boat for Wednesday perhaps, but I did stop my garden potting shed re-org when there was enough light to wander round my garden to see if I actually had any wildflowers in flower and was thrilled to see I did and more than I thought :-)

Hidden deep in a planting of the ornamental grass Carex morrowii 'Fishers Form' I spotted Fritillaria meleagris (snake’s head fritillary) that I forgot was there when I moved some plants around. Ooops... glad it survived! I love this flower and didn’t realise it was a wild flower (although rare) until last tonight. Following the Kew link below I found the geography and distribution of this plant interesting:

“Snake’s head fritillary occurs in the wild from Great Britain and central Russia south to the southern Alps, western Balkans and the Altai Mountains. This species has become naturalised in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the Baltic region. It favours damp, sometimes winter-flooded, neutral grasslands, usually those traditionally managed for hay with some grazing.”
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew




My earliest flower memories are of collecting them from the wild in posies to take home to my Mum although I should probably add that I really loved to see them carpeting the ground especially in woodlands and in the gravel along riversides. I understood that was illegal to pick wildlflowers now and on searching found this from the FAQ at Plantlife (a charity that is speaking up for the nation’s wild plants working to protect them and build understanding of the important role they play in everyone’s lives):

“Is it illegal to pick common wildflowers in the countryside?

It is not normally an offence to pick the ‘Four Fs’ – fruit, foliage, fungi or flowers – if the plants are growing wild and it is for your personal use and not for sale. Many rare or endangered plants – such as adder’s tongue and lady’s slipper orchid - are protected under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act, so picking these is against the law (although, being rare and endangered, you’re unlikely to happen across them by accident!)

Picking a flower is one thing. Uprooting it entirely is another. The law strictly prohibits removing a plant from the wild and you could risk arrest for doing so.

Make sure also that the flowers you are picking are in a wild location and not on council or otherwise protected land. Any flowers growing in, for example, council parks, town or village displays, roundabouts or roadside verges are off limits as are those in nature reserves and community gardens. “
Plantlife FAQ


Flowering in my small urban garden on Wednesday, 24th April 2013 were Wild Primroses (grown from seed) Cowslip (bought recently, still in pot waiting to be planted). What pretty yellow flowers they both are.






The dainty white flowers of Wood Anemone were stretching for sunshine under a dwarf Rhododendron and the delicate, soft lilac Cuckoo flowers (Lady’s Smock) made my heart sing behind my garden gate.







Meanwhile on the bottom shelf of my small greenhouse tiny seedlings of red and white clover are starting to emerge. No sign of the birdsfoot trefoil ones yet or the self-heal but the use by dates may be gone on these ones. I’m growing these plants for around my new wildlife pond (awaiting liner going down some warm day). Now that I can walk into my shed again I'll get proper labels in my seed trays ;-)




Apologies need to go to Gail at clay and limestone (Wildflower Gardening in Middle Tennessee) for allowing a hedgehog to gatecrash my first post joining her in celebrating wildlflowers on the fourth Wednesday of the month. When you view the 12 second video clip below you'll understand why I couldn't not include that sweet face with shiny button nose...

To see other wildflower blogs posts for this month head over to Gail’s post and browse the links there. I like the idea of this one and will try to join in next time with some flowers from outside my garden. This sounds like fun and I’ll enjoy getting to know the names of these verge side plants that catch my eye when driving or walking.





For new visitors to my blog and anyone who saw/missed my last post with images from my hedgehog feeding station, the IR camera in there has audio too! Those who are familiar with hedgehog visitors in the garden or out on evening strolls might guess what’s coming next.

On Tuesday evening, just like many other evenings, I had been busy on my PC and at the same time watching a hedgehog feeding and drinking via my night cam on the top right corner of my screen. This hedgehog then left as per usual, then a familiar noise was heard – the noise of a male hedgehog courting a female! This is a noisy affair where the male can circle the female for up to 2 hours and then she may just walk away on him.

I’ve no way of knowing if this mating attempt was successful or not, but when I quietly went round the side of my house (in slippers, carrying video camera and a torch) with outside lights on, one hedgehog was walking into my feeding station. I turned around and the other was rolled in a ball (perhaps trying to avoid the other) with its little nose peeking out. It didn’t seem scared by me (it would have ran at speed or pulled tighter into a ball. This hedgehog rolled over and wandered away and I caught this sweet piece of video…



Hedgehog unfurling, video 0:12 with gentle background music, try 720p HD quality.


Wishing you sweet moments of wildlife over the weekend and many sightings of wildflowers :-)




This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in April 2013.

15 comments:

L said...

Your posts are always so interesting. The hedgehog bit and the film made me smile!

Sue Garrett said...

We have fritillaries, primroses, cowslips and wood anemones and weeds!

Samuel Arthur said...

Simply Beautiful! I wish I had the space right now to plant and let the wild flowers be...well, wild!

gwirrel said...

Hi Shirely,

Nice that your earliest flower memory is picking Fritillaries; mine is picking Bluebells in Scotland for my mum :)
I don't think I've ever seen Frits flowering in the wild????!

Shirley said...

Hello everyone and thanks for all your comments :-)

L, Thank-you, I hoped there would be some smiles with the hedgehog. As this capture was on the evening of my last post I wanted to include it this time. It made us smile too :-)

Sue, lol… yes, those wild weeds and many have pretty flowers too ;-)

Samuel, thank-you, yes I do find myself controlling our wild flowers a bit. I like to have them mix with my other plants without taking over – they can stay if they behave themselves ;-)

Liz, no, no my earliest flower memories were of seeing and collecting wildflowers. The cuckoo flower was apopular one for my posies and that’s why my heart sings when I see it flowering in my garden now. I’m happy to let it misbehave in my garden ;-) I’ve no memories of seeing and picking fritillaries though. I can see how you thought that was what I was saying. My posies included clovers, birdsfoot trefoil, wood anemones, violets, speedwell and grasses too. I’ve not seen frits in the wild either but I’ll look out for them now :-D

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Shirley! Thanks for your stop by "my place" today. :-)
Love those little hedgehogs! I truly would have loved to have one I our classroom when I was teaching, but the cost was beyond my checkbook! They don't come with a guarantee!

Your flowers are great. My frit is not native, obviously. I probably shouldn't have included it in my post, but they are so distinctive. :-)

_emily_rose said...

Hi Shirley! I love your post :) Your wildflowers are great, and I love the bit about picking flowers versus uprooting them. I look forward to reading again at the next Wildflower Wednesday!

HolleyGarden said...

I love the fritillaria. I have never seen one of these in person, but they look so interesting in photos. I can imagine how exciting it must be to find one of them. I also love the cockoo flowers, and I love the name Lady's smock!

sweetbay said...

Your Lady's Smock looks very similar to our Toothwort (although pink rather than white), and no wonder! They're in the same genus, Cardamine. The yellow cowslip is lovely!

Shirley Fox said...

How pretty and fun your garden is. I loved the little hedgehog video! These memes are so much fun as we travel to see wildflowers so far away.

Midmarsh John said...

It is nice to see we are getting some colour appearing in the gardens now.
Nothing quite like the snuffling sound of a male Hedgehog on the prowl.

Angie said...

Very late at catching up Shirley.
What a delight to see your hedgehogs! I have started putting food out for them but don't know if they or something else is eating it!
I grow Cardamine(Cuckoo flower) in the pond - it is lovely.
Talking of picking flowers for your mum - my friend and I once sneaked into a neighbours garden and picked all their flowers for our mums - suffice is to say I wasn't able to sit down for a while ;)

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Shirl,
I enjoyed your lovely blooms and the sweet hedgehog video. It's snowing here, and I am not happy about it at all.

ShySongbird said...

Hi Shirley :-) I've got here at last. I've had a lot of problems with broadband reception lately making it difficult to load pages. Anyway, I have enjoyed catching up with the posts I missed and all your lovely photos. Your GBBD post was so colourful. I also loved seeing your Hedgehogs and other night visitors, it's amazing what goes on in our gardens under the cover of darkness isn't it? I too was surprised to find slugs eating Sunflower hearts when I was in the garden one night.

Lovely to see all the wildflowers in your garden. Has that pretty Lady's Smock attracted any Orange Tips yet? Yes, the wild Fritillary is rare and I was thrilled and very lucky to have found and photographed them two years running at a tiny reserve close to home :-)

I too understood it to be illegal to pick wildflowers. The law seems to be a bit of a murky area on this. Certainly better that people think it is illegal I think.

Dying to find out what your mystery bird is by the way :-) Have a lovely weekend Shirley, I hope the sun shines for you :-)

Shirley said...

Hello everyone, thanks for all your comments. I enjoyed doing this post and look forward to taking part next time :-)

Shady, nice to visit you again! Ah… I do remember how you love the hedgehogs and the illustrations that you adore too :-DE

Emily, hello there, thanks for stopping by. See you next month :-)

Holley, they both are such lovely plants and a nice name makes them so more appealing too :-)

Sweetbay, ah… I’m learning via this one. I never considered how pretty the cowslip was as a child – I do now :-D

Shirley, thank-you! Capturing video of the hedgehog is the best fun – I’m looking forward to the fun of wildflower watching across the seas next :-D

John, absolutely – to both comments :-D

Angie, oh, I know what its like :-) I hope you get hedgehog sightings one night. It’s great you are putting food out. A dish of water helps too however they may drink from your pond already! Oh… successfully growing cuckoo flowers in a pond… nice idea! Lol… at your flower picking ;-)

Sue, thanks for stopping by – delighted to take you away from your snow! Hope it’s gone now – many parts of the UK have had high temps but hear it has been a tad on the chilly side (it’s probably been snowing somewhere in Scotland today).
Jan, always a pleasure to have you visit. After your comment I got a move on and sorted through my video clips of our special visitor – did you guess right? It’s always a treat to share hedgehog videos, I love our night-time visitors! Nope no orange tips that I have seen but the planting is out of view from my window. Today I moved some to a place I can see – fingers crossed :-D. I agree re been easier to just make picking flowers illegal – I’d say the same about drinking and driving – you just shouldn’t drink at all (that’s my opinion anyway!). Enjoy the rest of your weekend :-D