Spring…No I think we have gone straight to Summer


With blue skies and bright warm sunshine I think we have had the rush of spring flowers and have now moved straight into the start of summer.  Our meadows that surround the woods are now packed with sweet smelling meadow flowers, herbs and clovers, mostly yellows and greens but with the occasional splash of magenta and red.  As with all things in nature they will not last for ever but for a week or two the display (good weather permitting) can only get better.. there is also an abundance of insects all desperately feeding from the nectar whilst pollinating as they go…


In a shady corner on the edge of the wood I was surprised to find that some Bluebells are still providing there unique colour…admittedly they are on their last legs but still fighting for the light…


22nd May

(C) David Oakes 2018


Quite Contrary…How does the Garden Grow?


The weather is about to become as contrary as Mary in the old nursery rhyme. The mini Spring heatwave has done its job and everywhere we look in the garden new growth is bursting forth. Green in its many varied hue’s and tints are dominant but in amongst the greens are hot spots of colour just like the self seeded Welsh Poppy above.


The Clematis is sporting its first flowers and with the many buds still waiting to burst they will not be lonely for long.

Winter Pansies are having a late flourish and not showing any die back signs, but take a look at some of the darker corners of the garden where new life is bringing some spring light…

The weather is changing.. rain and colder weather approaches but Spring is now in the seasonal driving seat.

10th May

(C) David Oakes 2018


Spring isn’t All Blue……


As Spring starts we move through varying colour waves, white, purple, yellow and of course blue.  At this time of the season Blue does tend to be the dominant colour particularly in what has been bare woodlands…. and right now the Bluebells reign supreme under the new green leaf growth.


But Blue isn’t the only colour to make its mark on this April days, days which can at one moment give us warm sun and clear blue skies…. then the next dark foreboding clouds bring those famous April Showers.  It is a real mix of weather, contrasts and colour but that is an English Spring when woodlands and gardens come to life…. and it can all happen in just one April day

Spring and April in England… that’s why we love our country

27th April

(C) David Oakes 2018

Not Long Now…..



Bluebells, Allestree Woods, Derbyshire

It is a start…the bluebells are increasing in numbers, soon they will be taller and many more of them creating those magical Bluebell carpets across the woodland floor. They will not last long, the increasing leaf cover will soon reduce, and in place completely obscure, the amount of sunlight below the trees canopy…then the Bluebells will wither away and disappear once more.

Until then they are welcome to grace our woods….

Does seem a waste that so much effort is made to flower and then vanish so soon after. But that is sadness of Spring.  We have a succession delicate flowers from the first Snowdrop, Daffodils, Wood Anemone, Marsh Marigold, Forget me Not, Aconite, Lily of the Valley and of course Magnolia and Blossom…each and everyone no sooner here than gone to make way for the brasher Summer Flowers. That is the way of it and perhaps after the ravishes of winter….. all the more welcome.

I will try to bring you some massed Bluebells if I can.

24th April

(C) David Oakes

A Woodland Walk amongst the Daffodils…


The Long Walk, Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire

Kedleston is set in the middle of its own Park Land, lots of walks. There is no formal flower garden but instead what they name ‘Pleasure Grounds’. My favourite walk is through the old woodland, here Beech, Oak and Chestnut dominate, tall and on a sunny day casting long shadows. Right now daffodils line much of the woodland approaches.  .We were luck to catch them as this warm spell of sunny weather will soon turn the Daffs and they will be gone foe another year. Soon Bluebells will cover much of the floor. So join us on a brief April afternoon tour of the grounds and garden, …a garden that has its own Church…

Thoughtfully the Estate have lots of well placed seats to pause, sit and enjoy the expansive Derbyshire views and like the Hare above time to take in a bit of sun.


23rd April

(C) David Oakes 2018