Early May saw the cowslips fading and being replaced by a carpet of buttercups. Also flowering were herb Robert, cranesbill, blue-eyed-Mary, common vetch, red clover, black medick, ribwort plantain, bugle, lesser stitchwort, goosegrass, white dead-nettle, wood avens, and lily-of-the-valley. Herb Robert is also known as red robin, storksbill and stinking Bob!
The first of our wild orchids, white helleborine, appeared. They are found in shady areas with little undergrowth, especially under beech trees. The flowers only partially open as they are self-pollinating.
May 2020 and the great lock-down!
Due to the warm spring weather several flowers have appeared much earlier than expected. May again produced a carpet of cowslips followed by masses of buttercups. The white helleborines have re-appeared with some of them venturing out from the shaded areas into the main part of the sunlit meadow. A new flower has been found - barren strawberry hidden amongst the longer grass.
Unfortunately our mower has decided that enough is enough so our side lawn, usually kept tidy, is now growing large clumps of early ox-eye daises and mouse-ear hawkweed. As a result I took part in the No-Mow-May survey Every Flower Counts organised by PlantLife.
May 2021, an amazing year for cowslips, thousands of them in the meadow. Amongst them were four red ones and a yellow-red hybrid. Although uncommon, they are found in the wild and probably are due to cross-pollination with a close relative - the primula.
May 2022, yet another year for thousands of cowslips with the red ones reappearing again. Two new wild flowers have been found: wild radish and charlock on the compost heap. Charlock is also known as field or wild mustard. Wild radish is of the same family (Brassicaceae), being also known as white or jointed charlock.
Lesser stitchwort, also called common starwort
Lily-of-the-valley, may bells or Mary's tears
Blue-eyed-Mary, also known as creeping navelwort
Goosegrass, known as cleavers and sticky willy
Wood avens, also herb Bennet, colewort, St. Benedict's herb
Red-yellow hybrid cowslip
Garden end of May