The wonderful blue towers of flowers have bloomed again here and look stunning. These plants , Echium pininana often referred to as the tree echium, flower every other year and self seed to produce even more plants. The resulting spikes of blue flowers can reach as high as 4ft and certainly give Cornwall a feel of the tropics.
Archive for the ‘Wildlife’ Category
Some guests staying here this week, keen botanists, pointed out that we have Babington Leeks growing in our woods – along the pathway. I must confess that I had never heard of such a plant, but apparently it is quite rare, and grows in the Roseland, our particular part of Cornwall. Another local rarity is the moss “Weissia multicapsularis” (many-seeded) but no-one seems to have spotted that yet. There is lots of wild garlic in our hedgerows at the moment – the flowers resemble white bluebells but the garlic scent gives away its identity. Lots of culinary uses for this one – and I have even seen the leaves for sale in the greengrocer’s organic boxes.
The daffodils are out in the Woods now – I picked a big bunch last week. My favourites are the jonquils which smell so heavenly – but they are quite hard to find. Peter sent a few to his mum in the post – she loves the scent. Let’s hope there are some left to send for Mother’s Day. There are various types of daffodils, from the tiniest ‘wild’ ones, to the large King Alfred and the frilly double ones. We’re told that in times gone by the bulbs were literally thrown into the woods and allowed to grow where they settled.
Some years are better than others, and at the moment there are a lot of ‘blind’ leaves as well as flowers, but they may be waiting to pop up later in the month. We have some daffodils in the front garden which regularly flower in December. We bought them one September when we were down Lamorna way, and I’ve often thought it would be good to get some more. There’s nothing quite like a daffodil in the garden at Christmas.
As for the deer – I didn’t see any sign of them but then they are rather shy creatures. The badger tracks are very clearly seen at this time of year when the ground cover is minimal. It’s so lovely to walk through to the end of the woods – the view alone is worth it, and it’s so quiet and peaceful so early in the season. In a way you want to share it with everyone but at the same time keep it all to yourself – that’s Trewince I suppose.
Trewince Avenue before Dutch Elm disease destroyed the trees. This road is the one leading from the village up to our gates. The photo comes from Arthur Mee (Children’s Encyclopædia, I believe, but unable to verify). Date, anyone?
Below is another photo of Trewince Avenue. When we first arrived at Trewince in January 1985 one of the first things I experienced was skidding on the ice and crashing the car into one of the elm tree trunks buried in the hedgerow. It had been our son’s first day at the Roseland School and we had been misinformed about the time of the school bus, making it necessary to drive him to Tregony. At the time my husband was still working in London and was using our Morris Minor that week, so I had to explain to him that I had dented the company Volvo! In fact, I only just managed to drive it to my new home.
The Elm trees have been replaced by Sycamores planted at the sides of the road (actually on the edges of Trewince Farm fields.) Time will tell whether the appearance of the Avenue will be restored but it’s hard to imagine that it will ever look like this again.
“If you go down in the woods today you’re sure of a big surprise…” tra la
“If you go down in the woods today you’d better keep still and quiet…” tra la
As you can see from Steve Bradbury’s lovely illustration (used on our brochure some years ago), you can see badgers in the woods, hear buzzards mewing overhead, spot a heron nesting in high treetops beside the river and even spot a kingfisher if you are really lucky. I’ve never managed to see one of those.
Guests would enjoy seeing the badgers at dusk, and some people would leave bowls of bread and milk outside for them. One lady told me that she had been fortunate enough to snap a photo of the badger through her window (they would come by night, and sometimes invaded the bins!). Unfortunately, when the photo was developed it turned out to be our cat starring centre-stage. A lovely ginger one we used to have.
But – I have a new development to record. In March last year when I was walking down the track through the woods, to my great surprise I saw about three small, agile deer leaping across the path in the distance. I could hardly believe my eyes and later began to wonder whether I had imagined it….
My ambition now is to get a photograph. Apparently people have seen more than three but they are quite shy.