16 Feb 2016

Fabulous hedgerows on a Welsh country walk

Ardd Fotaneg · Botanic Garden

Sunny stroll in Wales

After what seems like endless days of rain finally we have been blessed with some fabulous February sun. Perfect for a stroll between the hedgerows in the Welsh countryside.

Today the gloom lifted and my spirits with it as I went for a walk in the Carmarthenshire countryside. Wondrous views abound but it was the jewels of the hedgerows that made the walk a real delight.

Jewels of the hedgerows

I love February with its promise of things to come. On my stroll today the first flowers I saw along the hedgerows were the lesser celandine Ficaria verna.

 No words are more apt than those of Wordsworth in regard of this small native flower. Pleasure newly found are sweet When they lie about our feet: February last, my heart First at sight of thee was glad.

As I continued up and down the lanes another flower poking out among the ferns was our native primrose Primula vulgaris. The leaves and the flowers can be eaten. But I think its best to leave the flowers for the brave bees that venture out on a mild day in search of scarce nectar.

All that glitters is not gold

Among the greens and the yellows ornamenting the hedgerows on my walk I spotted scarlet elf cup fungi Sarcoscypha sp. These bright red fungi decompose dead wood. They recycle dead tissues and return nutrients back into ecosystem.

Bringing light to the shade the third flower I saw in the hedgerow today were snowdrops Galanthus nivalis. Snowdrops are one of the earliest bulbs to flower. Their delicate yet extremely hardy flower can brighten up the shadiest patch in any garden.

Frolicking lambs

Today through the hedgerows I saw the first lambs of the year. The National Botanic Garden of Wales has a 160 hectare of organic farm with Welsh breeds of sheep. The farm is part of the Garden’s Waun Las National Nature Reserve.

At the Garden you can enjoy a Welsh country walk and spot some of the delights I saw on my walk and much more.