Juliet's Jottings

Wildflowers in May & early June - 6th June 2016

P1230244Wildflowers are beginning to come into their own. A delicate-looking white umbellifer is flowering in profusion in Daffodil Meadow. This is Pignut (Conopodium majus) (left), related to wild carrot but flowering earlier in the year. Its underground part resembles a chestnut and is said to taste something like one. Its common name comes from its popularity with pigs, which root it out.

Another flower, Bugle (Ajuga reptans), P1230234is also in full flower. It is a low growing plant, with runners which root, and lovely spikes of blue flowers, very attractive to bees and hoverflies. It is often used as a garden plant, perfect for groundcover if you don't mind it spreading out from its original spot.

P1230218In damp spots you can find Cuckoo Flower or Lady's Smock (Cardamine pratensis), food plant of the Orange-tip and Green-veined White butterflies. It has a small lilac or white flower head, and is also used in informal  garden plantings such as around ponds or along streams. It is showing now in the wetter parts of Daffodil Meadow.

 

P1230241Going over now is a group of Green-veined Orchids, which appear every year on the grassy triangle by Exbury House (left). This year they have grown taller and are more abundant than in recent years, probably because of the wet conditions early this season. Their colour ranges from white, through pink to deep purple, which is the colour of the plants at Exbury. The green veins of its name are on a pair of lateral sepals, rather hard to see on the deeply coloured purple plants, but visible on the paler ones (right).gr vn orchid

‘We recently had some friends from London to visit and were looking for something to entertain our young children for the day. We decided to give Exbury Gardens a try and I thought it was wonderful. We had Sunday lunch in the restaurant and the food was far superior to other local attractions so compliments to the chef. Walking through the gardens was beautiful with lots of little pathways to explore. I have lived in the Romsey area for many years and always thought Exbury was a little out of the way but it only took me 20 minutes from the motorway. We will definitely be a regular visitor from now on.’

Philip Moulds, New Forest

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