Sunday, 26 April 2009

Oak before ash . . .

There's an old saying, "oak before ash, naught but a splash; ash before oak, you're in for a soak." So let's hope that the trees are forecasting a wonderful summer this year (we are more than due one).

One of the oak trees leafing up. This one is particularly green, but many of the ones around our house have the pinky, bronzy young leaves which green-up later.

A very bald-looking Ash tree down by the river. They are WAY behind the oaks.

The pretty lime green leaves of the Beech tree, which can be used to make a liqueur.

Red campion, this is a lovely deep colour. Sometimes they are very insipid and pale. In our part of Wales, we tend not to have the White - or Bladder - Campion, which I remember from my Hampshire childhood. It used to grow along the edge of our garden, along with Yarrow and Tadflax.

A bankful of Violets.

You've seen these before I am sure (probably my photo of exactly the same patch growing on the wall by the bridge). Ivy-leaved Toadflax anyway.

It was about to rain and so the windflowers (Wood anemones) had shut up their blooms.

This is one of the Euphorbias - Sun spurge - which grows on the bank down by the river. All the Euphorbias have a milky sap which can be an irritant on skin. It was known as 'wart spurge', so one may assume it was applied as a cure for warts. I rather like its other psudonym - 'madwoman's milk'!

This is Spignel, also known as Bald Money for some unaccountable reason!


  1. Lets hope the trees predict correctly! I have been saying since last Winter here that I think we will get a very dry summer,maybe not necessarily record breaking temperatures but I thnk it will be very dry.Mind you its pouring here at the moment lol & welcome it is too as everythng is very dry
    GTM x x x

  2. I'll keep my fingers crossed that the trees have this one right (though if true, I'll probably be moaning at all the watering in mid-summer - there's no pleasing us gardeners!)
    Reminded me what the farmers in France were saying last year that they expect a wetter cooler summer in years with an extra full moon (which the last 2 had).

  3. Heskie - never heard of that before. Hope we have one less full moon this year! It has seemed SUCH a long winter and we blardy-well FROZE as we couldn't afford to have the heating on much.

    GTM - I hope that they are right too. I haven't seen such a disparity in the leafiness of oak and ash in many a long year. However, we have had a very dry start to the year, which is unusual for Wales, so I dunno . . .

  4. Just been out to look at the trees in my neighbourhood BB .... the Ash definitely seem to be a little bit greener than the oak, so we'll wait and see! I do love the old wives tales, handed down through generations, and I'm always interested to hear how they originated.

    Willow x

  5. Mum's car is out of action till Wednesday - I'll nip up to the woods to see what's happening up there. Hopefully the oak will be out and the ash lagging behind. :)

  6. Love the tales and the photos of the trees and flowers - we're just starting to leaf out now but very few wildflowers yet - except the dandelions which just sprang out over the weekend.

  7. The leaf buds on my oak are just beginning to swell but no sign of any action on the ash yet. I wonder what the origin is of this - centuries of observation by countrymen I suppose. I wonder whether anyone has ever done a proper study to see how true it is.

  8. It sounds like a good Dissertation topic for someone Rowan. The past two summers it was the same, but nothing like as pronounced a gap.

    Kate - hope spring arrives with you soon.

    Mara - I hope you'll report back on what you find.

    Willow - which area of the country are you in?