‘Reassured by spring’

‘Reassured by spring’

Caroline Bateson, Events Officer, talks about the solace she finds in her daily walk in these trying times.

My precious time to get out of the house and get some exercise yesterday was to a very quiet part of the Anglesey coast a stones throw from my house, where I know I can see the spring flowers coming out extra early and barely see a soul.

I have been privileged to walk the coast here for many years, so I now know where to go to see the earliest flowers – on those south facing sheltered cliffs which get lots of sunshine and are tucked away from cold winds.

During times of stress it is very reassuring to be outside experiencing normal things like the sun rising, the sound of birds or the sound of the wind in a tree. I was made happy yesterday to see some of my favourite flowers coming out.

Sea Pink

Sea Pink©NWWT

Sea pink or thrift (clustog Fair – meaning Mary’s cushion in Welsh).

I love this plant with it’s cushion shaped growth and bright pink papery balls of flower.

Spring Squill

Spring Squill©NWWT

Spring squill – being a big fan of bluebells this is one of my favourites as spring squill belongs to the same family. These plants aren’t quite open – but a couple more days of sunshine will see them blossoming into a beautiful blue-purple star shaped flower. The Welsh name for this flower is perfect – seren y gwanwen, meaning star of the spring.

Sea campion

Sea_campion©NWWT

Sea campion is another coastal plant which likes to grow in a big cushion shape. I love to get up close to the white flowers and admire the delicate veins on the un-opened flower heads.

There were lots of shiny celandines enjoying the sunshine, again the Welsh name (llygad Ebrill) April’s Eyes is very appropriate. The Celtic name ‘grianne’ ’is lovely too, which means sunshine.

Close by violets (foiled gyffredin) are out and the ubiquitous scurvy grass (llwylys cyffredin), which is known to be rich in vitamin C. Welsh shepherds and sailors used to eat it as a vegetable to stop them getting scurvy!

The blackthorn (draenen ddu) is also in flower, I love to see the white flowers blooming straight from the black looking twigs.

May is usually the best month on the cliffs when all the above species and more are out in full, creating a colourful and diverse mix of flowering plants. But for me, seeing the first solitary plants just coming into flower is one of the best things and knowing all the beautiful summer months are just ahead.