The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...


Saturday, July 05, 2008

Hedgerow Review

It is interesting how the hedgerows vary from year to year. I certainly notice a lot more with dog walking each day.

Last year was a yellow year, with the buttercups and dandelions being the predominant 'wild flowers' in the verges right through, complemented with the fields of rape. With the continuous rain and bad weather it was not a good year for most of the hedgerow harvest. The one true exception to this was the sloes.

This year it is a white year. Those designers at the Chelsea flower show must have known something. After an early showing by the dandelions the carrot family has definitely taken over around here. Cow parsleys abound and despite a good spraying campaign there are still some giant hogweeds that escaped the massacre - at least half a dozen are standing tall and flowering in Margaret's (Poncho's) hay field. The may was late, more like may/june this year. Now the elders have taken over, putting on a magnificent display. Add to that the brambles and dog roses (although some of these are pale pink), which did not fare so well last year but are now covered in flowers.

Crab Apples - does not look as if there will be a good supply this year. The weather was not good when they were blossoming and the few fruits I can see are fairly high up in the trees.
Wild Cherries - not loaded but a lot better than the crab apples
Wild Raspberries - the large stand where we picked some last year looks as if there will be a lot more this time round.
Blackberries/Rose Hips/Elderberries - if the flowers are anything to go by I predict a bumper crop of all of these, as long as we do not get a prolonged period of bad weather now. Last year was very disappointing for all of these.
Haws - a bad year.
Sloes - no idea as I haven't been to my secret supply for a while to look. I would guess not good if the hawthorn is anything to go by. Luckily I still have a good supply in the freezer.

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