Another wander around the ‘Woodland Walk’ at Attingham Park on a much warmer day in late January when the temperatures crept into double figures. The wind was calm almost a totally calm day which made for a quiet atmosphere along the pathways. This allowed us to appreciate the tiniest bird song and calls, blue tit, wren, robin, treecreeper, willow tit and nuthatch.
I decided to look out for early signs of buds hoping that some were showing promise of greener times to come. Leaf buds were very small with one exception, big sticky buds! I presume these were from a chestnut of sorts.
As we began our walk we began to find many buds of early flowers of evergreen shrubs like these viburnum intermingled with a few out of season brave souls like this rose.
As we approached the walled garden we noticed two winter-flowering shrubs showing off their yellow blooms in the border alongside the gravel pathway. They were in fact two varieties of the same shrub, both lightly scented called chimonanthus.
As we left the walled garden we began to see carpets of snowdrops beneath mature trees. I love the way some batches snuggle up to the base of huge tree trunks. The hellebore buds were on the verge of opening so should be in bloom when we next visit. We love growing both snowdrops and hellebores in our home patch but they seem so different in the woodland setting.
The buds we anticipated seeing as we wandered through the woodland were the tiniest fresh green of deciduous trees, but we also came across young catkins of hazel and birch, which are of course flower buds rather than leaf buds.
As we left the woodland area we crossed an open grassland patch dotted with oak trees of all ages. Here we also found the flower buds of wild cherry trees.
We crossed a couple of bridges with the sound of rushing water beneath and made our way back up past the house, Attingham Hall. The buds we found here were of both leaf and flower mostly on ornamental shrubs.
I will finish with the fresh green leaves of our native White Dead Nettle with the white flower buds snuggled against the stem and a ladybird sunbathing on top trying to absorb a little warmth from the rays of the winter sun. I presume he will hibernate away once the sun goes in. This little wild flower shows all the promises of what we have in store for us as the weather warms up.