Category Archives: Duver

Duver sunshine

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I’ve blogged numerous times about the St Helens Duver – the National Trust owned area of heathland opposite where we live – but not recently.  (For a while I contributed regularly to a wildflower meme, and you can see the posts by selecting the ‘Wildflower Wednesday’ category).

Sunday’s sunshine, after Saturday’s grey, was such a treat I’m taking you on the usual circuit and sharing a few wild flowers along the way.

These hips are so fabulous I’d be tempted to pick a few, but they’re on a bramble clad bank between the path and the road and therefore completely inaccessible.  I’ll just have to admire from a distance. IMG_3686

Further down the path, looking right towards the Solent I just caught this yacht heading out,

whilst looking the other way, I spied a number of glowing Iris foetidissima seed heads.IMG_3691

At the bottom of the path, looking back across Bembridge Harbour, you can see over to Brading Haven yacht club.  There was plenty of activity there today, but rather them than me.

(I did actually sail a lot in my twenties, including racing back from Lisbon to Southampton, and from Aarhus in Denmark across the North Sea and round the top of Scotland to the Clyde.  These days I’d generally rather be on dry land, but seeing the jolly sails on such a beautiful day did start to make me wonder….)

The grassland above is one of the sites of the fantastic drifts of sea thrift Armeria maritima during May, which I’ve blogged about here.  There are still a few clinging on,IMG_3694

together with the odd chamomile – I think this is Chamaemelum nobile.IMG_3693

Rounding the corner and onto the beach I saw the dinghies has beaten me there!IMG_3707

And, while I’m diverging from the flowers, just thought I’d share a picture of Nimbus, in honour of his upcoming ninth birthday.  IMG_3708

And finally, also nothing to do with flowers, anyone else devastated by tonight’s Strictly outcome?

Sparkling Sunday

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Last week’s Wordless Wednesday reminded me how few Duver posts I’ve posted recently, so today’s beautiful sunshine prompted me to bring the camera on my morning walk.  The photo above is the view easterly across the Duver towards the mouth of Bembridge Harbour.

Lower down the hill you can see south across to Bembridge and the Holy Trinity church spire.img_1941

Looking south westerly you can see the Yarborough Monument on Culver Down.img_1943

This is a similar shot to Wednesday’s, you can see the church spire againimg_1944

and turning right you can see the far western side of Bembridge Harbour.img_1946

This is a view looking south towards Bembridge and specifically the boatsheds of Bembridge Sailing Club.  This is an amazing sandy spit which in summer is covered in Evening Primroses.img_1953

Rounding the corner and looking out easterly to the Solent you can see St Helen’s Fort, one of the four Solent forts.  This one was built between 1867 and 1880.

Amazingly, at very low tides you can walk out to it. img_1957

Looking back south you can see Bembridge Lifeboat Station. img_1963

And just for those who’ve never met him, this is Nimbus, the one who ensures there’s always a walk.  And to be honest, it’s nearly always on the Duver.img_1952

Not very horticultural but very Duver!  I hope you all enjoyed a sparkling Sunday.

Return to the Duver, June 2016

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My last Duver post (apart from last Wednesday’s Digitalis) was last November and of course all is looking very different now.  I think the sea of Cow Parsley out froths Monty’s at Longmeadow, mentioned in Friday’s Gardeners World.IMG_0871

The Sea Thrift, Armeria Maritima, hasn’t been quite so good this year, and seems to sharing the space more than in previous years.IMG_0884IMG_0883IMG_0882

The foxgloves, however, are fabulous this year with multiple clumps to admire.IMG_0888

The Elderflowers are in their prime and I’ve already made a batch of Elderflower Cordial with blooms from this very tree.IMG_0890

The clump of Campions (Silene vulgaris) also seems to have spread this year,IMG_0891

but the stunners right now have to be the Evening Primrose, Oenothera biennis.IMG_0895IMG_0897

Excitingly (and rather unbelievably) there were also two new sightings for me today, firstly the Sea Kale (Crambe maritima), such a fabulous colour and textureIMG_0899

and this Convolvulus, I think C. arvensis, growing in the same sandy spit colonised by the Evening Primrose.IMG_0892

And to finish a few more thrift.  If you look carefully, that’s chez Duver Diary in the background.IMG_0901

Return to the Duver – November 2015

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I haven’t posted a Duver post since the end of May, but it’s still there, and as beautiful as ever.

This post is a combination of some photos I took on Saturday, and then these, more atmospheric ones taken this morning before work.  There aren’t any flowers, but hopefully you’ll forgive me.IMG_9601IMG_9610

I have managed to find a (very) few flowersstill clinging on – rather tatty Chamomile,IMG_9570

precociously early wild garlic, or Ransoms.IMG_9559

and a couple of escapees.IMG_9618

For mellow fruitfulness I can offer the last few blackberriesIMG_9595

some beautiful rose hipsIMG_9567

and a bevy of tiny little mushrooms, barely bigger than my thumbnail.

As for foliage, look at this, a beautifully frost dusted thistle.  And yet no frost in my garden, higher up and further from the sea.  Now how does that work? IMG_9617

Wildflower Wednesday – late May 2015

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I’m a day late joining the Wildflower Wednesday meme, but excited to report that it’s Sea Thrift (Armeria maritima) time again on the Duver.

As last year, I’m struggling to convey the scale and beauty of these wonderful blooms.IMG_7537

In this photo, the thrift is joined in the foreground by Silverweed (Potentilla anserina).  This has a pretty silvery leaf (clue’s in the name!) and spreads by runners.  It seems to be increasing its hold on the Duver, with significant areas now covered in an argent carpet.IMG_7548

Also joining the Thrift are the first spires of Digitalis, projecting through the marram grass.IMG_7553

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Further out on the sandy spit, the first of the Evening Primrose, Oenothera biennis are also blooming.IMG_7567

The small patch of Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris) is just coming into bloom.  As I mentioned last year, according to Sarah Raven it’s ‘edible and said to taste like peas – the young shoots are good in a spring salad or as quickly wilted greens’ but I’ll continue to leave the wild campions alone and instead pick my peas at home!IMG_7204

And to finish, two photos of the field opposite the house.

The first was taken a couple of weeks ago, and I don’t remember ever seeing the cow parsley, Anthriscus sylvestris so tall, or the Alexanders, Smyrnium olusatrum providing quite such a lime green sea.IMG_7175

Yesterday, the scene was rather different as the fluffy white clouds have been strimmed away. Bizarrely it reminds me of a newly shorn dog, all exposed and uncomfortable.  Doubtless it will all grow back and soften up once more.IMG_7529

With thanks as ever to Gail at Clay and Limestone for hosting the Wildflower Wednesday meme.

Wildflower Wednesday – (very) late March

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Well I might have known things would start to go awry now I’m back at work – here I am posting my Wildflower Wednesday on a Sunday.

Sadly there’s not as much progress on the Duver as I would have hoped.  Some stalwarts are still in evidence, the Daucus CarotaIMG_6377

primrosesIMG_6387

and the gorse.IMG_6390

And there is a new, good sized clump of violets to admire. IMG_6382

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However, whilst the shrub I’ve photo’d for the last couple of months is finally putting on some proper growth, I now have to admit that I can’t think what it is!  Help please!IMG_6402

And to finish, no flowers at all, but a jolly ‘stripe’ of geese.IMG_6397

With thanks as ever to Gail at Clay and Limestone for hosting the Wildflower Wednesday meme.

Hopefully by next month there’ll be some new wild blooms to admire, and I might even be on time!