Tag Archives: Armeria maritima

Duver dreaming

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Talk about ships that pass in the night – I returned from New York, only for the OH to turn around and head to Toronto!

Today finally saw us breakfasting and dog walking together for the first time in a fortnight – and to celebrate here he is, possibly showing his best side ūüėČ

As many of you know, this blog is named after the National Trust area of land opposite our house called St Helens Duver (pronounced ‘duvver’).¬† It’s the location for our daily walk with Nimbus, our labradoodle.IMG_4103

Slightly earlier in the year the duver is smothered in sea thrift Armeria maritima.¬†¬†(First blogged about here four years ago).¬†¬†It’s a little past its best now, but you get the idea.IMG_4100

Today, however, it felt like all the other wild flowers had joined the thrift, and appeared together – foxglovesIMG_4107

evening primrose, Oenothera biennis,IMG_4108

dog rosesIMG_4115

and sea holly Eryngium maritimum.IMG_4111

Allwere looking magnificent in today’s glorious sunshine.¬† What a perfect day!

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 РI 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?

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

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‚Äôs ‚Äėedible and said to taste like peas ‚Äď the young shoots are good in a spring salad or as quickly wilted greens‚Äô 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.

Return to the Duver – late May 2014

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Since my last Duver post there have been great floral developments on the Duver.

Firstly, the foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea), which I worried might have been depleted by some over enthusiastic council clearing, seem to be back in full strength.  The seeds can germinate decades after dispersal (much like poppies), so if this year had been disappointing, I suppose all would not have been lost.

I love the density of flowers – my foxgloves, grown from seed, cossetted at every step of the way and protected from council ‘enthusiasm,’ are nothing like as impressive. ¬†Nature eh?

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IMG_2452Also, behind the foxgloves in the first picture is a magnificent Tree Lupin (Lupinus Arboreus). Apparently lupins were brought to the UK by the Romans who used them as food for themselves and their animals, but also ploughed them back into the soil as green manure.

The Isle of Wight is known as a Roman settlement (there is a fabulous Roman Villla not far away at Brading), so amazing to think there may have been lupins here for 2000 years.

There are a number of tree lupins in this area and this one, in a much more shady position, will clearly be flowering later than the one above.

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On a sandy spit which protrudes south into the mouth of the Bembridge Harbour is a magnificent colony of Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis).   I love the way the colours differ on the same plant, depending on the age of the the individual flower.

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On the same sandy spit is a beautiful small clump of Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris) . 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’. ¬†However, as the clump is not very big I will leave them well alone.

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Meanwhile, the beautiful Thrift continues to flower.

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Post script ¬† I’ve been alerted by Chloris from The Blooming Garden, to ‘Wildflower Wednesday’ and, although this was posted on Monday, I’ve decided to join in. ¬†I also think I might try to coordinate my future ‘Duver’ blogs with Wildflower Wednesday in the future.

With many thanks to Gail, who hosts Wildflower Wednesday from Clay and Limestone in Tennessee.

 

Plentiful, pretty and pink

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If you don’t like Armeria maritima (Sea Thrift, Sea Pink)¬†then¬†look away now, as this post has little else.

I’ve tried hard to capture the thrifts down on the Duver, but it’s difficult with my camera skills to do an adequate job of conveying the scale and beauty of hundreds of square metres of shimmering, bobbing pink heads.

They’ve been coming out over the last week or so, and these photos were taken over a number of different days, but still don’t do them justice.

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Just pausing from the photos for a moment, Wikipedia alerts me to the fact that the¬†British threepence coin, issued between 1937 and 1952, had a design of thrift on the reverse. ¬†Can’t say I was around then, but I love the Art Deco look.

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And, as part of a 2002 marketing campaign, the plant conservation charity Plantlife chose sea thrift as the “county flower” of the Isles of Scilly. ¬†Now I have a very fond spot¬†for the Scillies as it’s one of the OH’s favourite places and also where we spent our honeymoon, so that’s a lovely link I wasn’t aware of.

Enough chat, back to the photos

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