Saturday 30 April 2011: Lily of the Valley
Lily of the Valley, Convallaria majalis, Gait Barrows, Lancashire
Yesterday, I tried hard to gloss over the big event. In deference to Wifie who takes more of an interest in pomp and pageantry than I do, here is a photo of Lily of the Valley growing wild in the limestone woods of the Gait Barrows National Nature Reserve.
Followers of the event would have noted that Kate Middleton had a modest posy of Lily of the Valley. A good choice I'd say, they are plants with exquisitely fine scent, not in the least bit gaudy and very much part of our natural and garden heritage in Britain.
The wild plants are a bit smaller than the cultivated ones. There are large stands of them growing along the woodland rides and in the grikes and runnels of the limestone pavements in Gait Barrows, though this year, most of the plants are blind with no flowering heads. Only the lowest flower of this spike is in full flower, I was a few days too early to see them at their best.
When we were in Gait Barrows this afternoon, there was a blackcap and a garden warbler singing next to each other. These two warblers can be difficult to distinguish on song alone if heard singly. but together the difference is more obvious. The garden warbler was number 127 on the 2011 year list.