Wishing a very merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates it, and a happy day to everyone else.
It’s clear and frosty here, as if nature has silvered every surface in celebration. Other parts of the UK woke up to find the outdoors gift-wrapped in an artistic smattering of snow.
This year is different. It is hard to feel unmixed joy, but perhaps all joy has a poignant character we usually don’t notice. Continue reading “Dry Stone Wall At Christmas”
When my sweetheart described the woods near the Entwistle reservoir as temperate rainforest, I was taken aback. Rainforest sounds like something you’d have to travel thousands of miles to see rather than walk less than four miles up the road.
Our moist, cool, steamy climate encourages mosses and liverworts, lichens, fungi and ferns to creep over trees and boulders. The Irish sea keeps conditions mild enough for these ancient plants to thrive through summer and winter.
Having grown up scrambling through the wooded valleys of the moors, the Tolkienesque character of this type of landscape is as familiar as the open moorland over the hill. Wild orchids grow further along the path that heads from this spot towards an outcrop of rock called Fairy Battery; follow Cadshaw Brook and you may surprise a fallow deer grazing near Entwistle reservoir. Continue reading “Comparing Lancashire Rainforest With Mississippi Backwater”
An old, unflattering rhyme I’ve never liked calls my home town’s moors bleak and barren. Perhaps if you don’t like moorland or have never taken the time to walk on it, you might think so. I suppose some people might care little for what walkers can find on a winter day up there by venturing a few steps off the path.
If you follow my blog you can expect to see brighter, bolder pictures of plant combinations taken in gardens or at flower shows, where skilled, creative hands have put together their best for public consumption.
I’m not sure you’ll see any plant combination I could look at with much more pleasure than this.
In the textures of the frozen vegetation, I seem to see fabric: the fern becomes lace; the moss, wool or velvet. The colours are alluring too: sage, mint and chocolate, the latter frosted to mink. Nothing is jazzy, all is harmonious. I’d love something to wear in a design inspired by this.
It may appear haphazard – there are a few wayward stems, but the fern and strands of grass have surrendered to the frost gracefully and a natural order is appearing – of sorts. Towards the top left, a thaw has started. Continue reading “Fern Frozen Against A Mossy Moor”
In a winter garden our focus changes. We find ourselves gazing at a micro world of moss and lichen that’s almost defiantly green, seemingly unperturbed by the season. Continue reading “Winter’s textures: moss, bark and debris”