Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The Greening of Spring

I walked around the field boundary last week, experimenting with the new-to-me camera that I now seem to be sharing with Mr DW. These are using the ordinary lens and it is early days yet.

It was a bright, sunny morning and the trees, which have grown out of the old hedge boundary, were filling out their new leaves. It was that stage of spring when each tree is a different shade of green from its neighbour. Grasses and wildflowers were growing well in the resting paddock. We are on acid soil and there will always be buttercups, but I am not going to spray them. There are fewer bees, butterflies and other insects around this year, so they need all the help that they can get and they don`t need artificial chemicals to contend with.

Oak and beech together in the boundary hedge. This oak produced an unusual number of pollen flowers this spring. From a distance, their pale, yellowy haze stood out against hedgerow shadows.

The vibrant beauty of new beech leaves...............

......and young oak leaves against blue sky.

A mix of old holly trees, beech, oak and hawthorn in a dense area of the hedge boundary. On the other side of the hedge is a drainage ditch, dug long ago, that still collects run-off water from the heath and brings a good supply to the roots of these hedgerow trees.

Bluebells in the hedge bottom.

This week we have had alternating sunshine and soft rain showers, so leaves are darkening and the trees are in a period of strong growth. Last week, when these photographs were taken, we had a few precious days to enjoy the freshness of new greens and the softness of fragile young leaves.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Crab Apple Blossom Time

I always seem to be running late. This time I`m a week behind Mother Nature as the crab apple blossoms have fallen now and hawthorn blossom is taking its place in the field hedgerows and out on the Forest.

Here is the best of our ornamental crab apples, in photos taken last week. An old tree now but this year it produced more blossom than it has for several springs. It was beautiful in bright sunshine and even lovelier in moonlight.

The rest of the garden seemed to be at its best in brights pinks.

New, lime green leaves of Philadelphus aureus contrasted well with the dark green leaves of rhodedendrons.

Mysembreanthemums smiling at the sun. I loved these as a child so I planted some for our little granddaughter.

Out on the green at the foot of Stonechat Hill, the wilding apple blossoms were a more delicate shade of pink and were attracting honey bees.

The old  rowan tree was a mass of frothy cream blossoms.

The gorse blossom is almost over now, but this year has been the best for a long time. For weeks,the New Forest heathlands have  been dazzling with acres of yellow gold. The air has been full of the warm scent of coconut and the hum of visiting bees.

The larger native trees were in new leaf last week. Behind the wilding apples grow oak, silver birch and beech on the hill slopes.

A mature ash just coming into leaf.

The undergrowth has been rich with new grass. Food for the Forest ponies, cattle and deer.

Within weeks, the grass will be overshadowed by bracken once again. Already, its new shoots can be seen curling out of the earth and its  stems, coiled like rams horns, are unfurling and growing to make a canopy across the hillside and the heath.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Art Nouveau Stained Glass in a Lakeside Hotel

Here are the stained glass windows that ascend the wall behind the main staircase in the Grand Hotel Suisse in Montreaux. They were quite stunning in early morning light. We climbed the marble staircase to admire each window.

I have tried to research the artist , E. Diekmann of Lausanne, but so far I have found no information on the internet.