The white time of year

Hawthorn is now at its finest – definately a bit earlier than usual – with some bushes swamped in blossom that resembles a snowdrift. One writer once described this as ‘the risen cream of all milkiness of May-time’.

The cow parsley, too, is currently in peak condition – surely no other plant gives such character to our roads and lanes in May? Frothy, bubbling and swaying in the breeze, I always wish it would stay in flower right through the summer. An early morning cycle over to Radway was rewarded with fresh low light streaming across the billowing lace-like verges.

Buttercups, too, streaked across the fields like the work of a giant felt tip, reflected the undulations of the old ridge and furrow. I often try to imagine what the landscape must have looked like when every field was turned over to arable crops and rotations – even on some of the steepest of fields…- just look below the Edge Hill escarpment.

And a touch of red… red campion is in fine fettle this year and a bright highlight alongside the hedgerows. Add cow parsely and a swathe of bluebells (now sadly past their peak) and you’ve almost got a Union Jack.

PS – The young cow parsley leaves can be used as a mildly aromatic addition to salads and omelettes!

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