Saturday, 19 May 2012

England Part IX - Springtime

Spring is a lovely season, especially the way it appears in the English countryside.
When I was little, I went every Easter with my parents and cousins to the the primrose woods at the end of the village to pick primroses. Each bunch of primroses was circled with primrose leaves before being secured with an elastic band and carefully placed in my mother's basket.

English Primrose - primula vulgaris
Some of the primroses would go to the local church for Easter decorations, and can you believe my mother would pack some of the primrose posies carefully into a sturdy box and send them by train to uncles and aunts in other parts of the country so they could experience the fragrance of our Devon primroses? And they would arrive at their destination the same day, just as fresh as when they left the woods. I don't think that could happen nowadays.
Baaaaa - where's the mint sauce?
The steep slopes of the Devon cliffs are covered with golden gorse flowers, or furze, as my dad called it. Gorse is in flower most of the year, giving rise to the old country saying "When gorse is out of blossom, kissing's out of fashion". Apparently, gorse flowers are edible, but I've never tasted them. If you want to try them, be careful....gorse has spiky thorns and can do you a lot of damage.
Common Gorse - ulex europaeus
The lovely blackthorn paints the hedgerows white in April. The flowers bloom before the leaves appear in the early spring. But this shrub has spines too, very sharp ones.
Blackthorn - prunus spinosa
The blackthorn is a relation of the plum tree and produces small bitter sloes in the fall. Edible, but you wouldn't want to! Better to brew up sloe gin instead.

For more about my trip to England, please scroll down to previous posts.


  1. Spring in England looks so very Beautiful.....But I must say, those little Lambs are too dear to kill and eat, to my way of thinking....
    What a Glorious trip! And how many memoories came to the forefront....WONDERFUL!!!!

  2. You're right about the gorse flower being edible , if you crush them they smell of pineapples, but never personally tasted them, they make good cordial drinks apparently.

  3. Baaaaa - where's the mint sauce?

    Great caption!

    I'm enjoying this trip in England - making me homesick especially some of that pub grub and the full English.

    PS Shouldn't this post be entitled England Part IX, not Part IV?

  4. oops, you're right Dumdad.... IX it is. I knew that. Slight brain failure yesterday.

  5. Beautiful photos. We have made sloe gin and it is very palatable.

  6. I just love that I tracked you to this part of the world almost at the same time, just days and miles apart. We, too, saw such beautiful blooms everywhere! And now I'm catching up on all the images, just like you are!

  7. Are my eyes playing tricks on me? Or are those sheep pink?

  8. You made me laugh out loud with your mint sauce caption! But they are too cute to eat and besides, pink lamb is too tough to chew.

  9. Some nice lower photos here Saun with your interesting dialogue. Gorse was introduced here in NZ years ago and is now a noxious weed and grows over hills everywhere if allowed to - Dave

  10. Great photos! This serie about your trip to England are fantastic.
    Looks you had a wonderful time.
    Thanks for sharing.


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