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  • Writer's pictureAlistair

Blooming May

Updated: Jun 7, 2022

A mass of creeping buttercups and sorrel in the field with laburnum in the hedge

May has seen the hedges and increasingly the fields transformed with flowers in bloom. It is, of course, the season for it, but in terms of sheer quantity and diversity we are seeing a good increase on what we had a year ago. The absence of sheep and the low or (on many fields) non-existent levels of grazing together with the removal of nutrients through hay and silage making and removal has had an impact. Many fields are a sea of yellow with Meadow and Creeping Buttercups, common enough of course but great to see in high density.

But as well as more of the same, the wild flower meadow seed from the Welsh Botanic Gardens has already delivered something totally new to Cefn Garthenor in the form of Yellow Rattle. This is especially welcome as it is a grass parasite and is a big hit with the bees. The odd one for me is the laburnum, which for some reason was apparently planted in the second half of the 1800's in many hedges in west Wales. It creates a blaze of colour but is poisonous to farm animals and humans, making it seems an odd choice. Cefn Garthenor has a fair sprinkling and it is certainly not new, but presumably the sheep left it well alone!

The images below give a non-exhaustive selection of what was flowering May ... the buttercups (most prolific of all) are missing, as is the hawthorn, primroses, bluebells and a fair few others. Please excuse any misidentification ... but please do me a favour and let me know!


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