How to see Britain's spring blossoms

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Early spring is a remarkable time to visit Britain. The summits of the various mountain ranges hold on to the remnants of a snowy time while up and down the country, in the meadows, the valleys and within the towns and cities the colours of bloom start to appear. A countryside or urban park walk will be filled with the songs of birds or maybe you can catch a glimpse of the first little lambs born of the year.

Wherever you go, even as early as February and March, you will see the gorgeous colours of spring flowers and early blossoming trees. Nothing puts a bounce in the step like a little bit of sunshine with a little bit of colour. Below are only a few examples but in abundance none the less.

Bluebells

Bluebell Path in a Scottish Wood by Southside Images

Take a trip to an ancient British woodland and more than likely you will find a sea of blue violet between the trees. Children and natural beauty lovers love to seek them out. There is nothing quite like magical Bluebell woods to capture the imagination. The Woodland Trust has a website to help you find where best to see them and take a walk.

Blackthorns

Blackthorn, Corley, England by Amanda Slater

We see the fields, we see the meadows and those that wander see the prickly hedges surrounding designed to keep the cattle within. The Blackthorn hedges are dark and prickly or green with small fruit for lots of the year but early Spring is their time to blossom and wow they can be spectacular to see en masse. Rows and rows of white blossoming hedges. Get close too and find all the small wildlife and birds that help bring these man made shrub rows to life in ways you may never have known.

Daffodils

Daffodils in St James' Park by Charles Roffey A famous English Poet, William Wordsworth, was wandering by the great lake Ullswater in the Lake District with his sister Dorothy.

They came upon a long belt of daffodils and there was the inspiration for the well known poem I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud. It is hard not to get inspired anywhere and anytime by the sight of hundreds and hundreds of Daffodils... Spring is coming it truly is. Cherry

Cherry blossom

Cherry Blossom by Patrick Down Unmistakable.

Aah the frothy pinks and whites of cherry blossom time. Keele University, Staffordshire has one of the largest collections in Britain with more than 240 varieties. The collection is simply laid out all around the campus. Now that is a colourful place to visit!

Early purple orchids

Early Purple Orchids, Swanage by Drinker Moth

From the north of Scotland to the south of England, in the woods or in the meadows. Early spring has a bit of purple thanks to the early purple orchids. Not having nectar it disguises itself as other plants to attract the bees etc to reproduce.

Wood anemone

photo by anemoneprojectors

Hiding under the trees disguised as a root end for most of the year is the wood anemone. It sits in the shade but awaits for early Spring sunshine then out it appears in flower. Can be quite rare taking a hundred years to spread only 6 feet (nearly 2 metres). The leaves that grow with the flower gives it a gorgeous look as it blooms before the shade of the grass takes away its light for the year. Get out and seek!

These are only a few and also of the wild. Britain and the array of colours can be found in the splendour of many a garden. A favourite of mine is the gardens of Chatsworth House in Derbyshire.
 

See more of Paul Steele’s ramblings in Britain on Twitter @paul_steele, and his blog BaldHiker.

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