A long time coming, but at last it feels like spring has arrived. From my observations, and conversations with nature reserve wardens in both Gloucesteshire and London, it is clear that most spring flowers are showing about a month later than last year. The delay is not a surprise, given the long cold winter we have enjoyed! Snakeshead fritillaries seem to be having hard time this year, flowers are appearing at many different fritillary hotspots, but in much reduced numbers – the wet 2012 is thought be the problem. The best display of fritillaries I have seen this year was in Kings Cross – at the London Wildlife Trust Camley Street reserve.
It has been wonderful to have been outside for past week, exploring local woodlands & wetlands for floral colour. The scene is yellow at the moment with primroses, cowslips, celandine and marsh marigold looking gorgeous in full bloom. But there are tiny violets too and plenty of creamy wood anenomes. However, change is on its way, the first blubells appeared in my local wood, just a week ago and in perhaps another week will be in stunning full display. On Friday I saw my first orchid of the year at Lower Woods in Gloucestershire – over the coming months many more exquisite orchids will emerge.
Flowers (from L-R) – Early Purple Orchid, Bluebells, Snakeshead Fritillary