Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Sing a song of Spring

"During 2010 I will record the seasons as I take time out to eat my lunch and read inspiring books as I sit on the seat made from Yew branches, overlooking the neighbouring farmland."

I have to confess to failing to keep to the plan since Easter, partly because I've been working hard to fulfill illustration deadlines and partly because there has been a bitingly chill wind blowing. The large part of our garden is within a high brick wall, originally a vegetable garden for an eighteenth century squire with grand designs, we can now appreciate his sensible construction. The sky may be blue, the sun may be shining, but outside the wall in The Wild Wood the wind chills the bones and sitting on the rustic bench (even wearing warm clothes) is not much fun.

Today the wind has dropped a little, during a break in the clouds I nipped out to The Wild Wood to update my record of the journey through the year . . .

The wild 'Cherry Plum' prunus cerasifera, is covered with white blossom. Plums seem to benefit from a period of cold weather before they break the winter dormancy, the coldest winter for more than thirty years has preceded a stunning burst of blossom. Fingers crossed for warmth and sun to bring out the pollinating insects.

The woodland floor is greening up – here is Dog's Mercury mercurialis perennis, in Suffolk it's presence in hedge bottoms and on road verges indicates the sites of ancient woodland. A botanical thread linking The Wild Wood with a wilder past.

But stand a while and listen . . . Spring has come to The Wild Wood in the chorus of birdsong. Listen carefully, some of you may be clever enough to identify the different bird species. About 11 seconds in, see if you can hear the Tawny Owl hoot – unusual to hear at mid-day but maybe he has young to feed?



  1. I just posted a photo of a cherry in bloom! Ephemeral, but so lovely. When do you start to have a frog chorus? It can get so loud here that we have to close the windows. We once had a grey tree frog doing it's mating call in our dining room's window. He loved how his voice was amplified between the panes of glass. Nice for the first couple of minutes, but then it drove us out of the room!

  2. Lovely little film. I've got one for my next post which was meant to be of one thing and ended up being all about the bird song!

  3. What beautiful blossom. I love this time of year, it's so full of promise and expectation. The sound of birdsong is so special too, after the long days of winter.

  4. Hi Terry - we don't get a frog chorus in our garden. Mainly toads and newts in our pond.

    Hi Penny - will Higgins be in the film ;-)

    Hi Su - aren't we lucky to have so many songbirds! they really are special.


  5. Oh I heard it! Birdsong really lifts the soul doesn't it. Right now I'm being serenaded by our resident song thrush in the very top branches of the silver birch tree. Glorious.

    I've only recently discovered your blog and am really, really enjoying your lyrical and inspiring posts.

    I'll look forward to your lunchtime memories as the weather warms up (sitting on my bench just after tea with a nice warm brew is my favourite time to sit and take it all the of the garden in.)

    Thank you!

  6. I love birdsong....although woodpigeons get on my nerves a bit!

  7. Thank you for taking time out to visit the Wild Wood-I love these visits. Funnily enough, I was photographing Dog's mercury yesterday too! And listening to birdsong-but not owls.

  8. Thank you so very much for giving me this glimpse of a spring that just does not show up on my street in New York, no matter how pleasant the temperature might be.


  9. Just a thimbleful...

    Delightful post as usual - we lived in a very old moated farmhouse before we downsized and oh, the joys of a walled piece of garden, especially when covered with honeysuckle!

  10. I've been motorway driving all day today and I've been noticing the blossom on some of the trees. It is nearly all sloes and small prunus varieties in blossom. Very late this year, but still the first to come out!

  11. Linked to your 'Fox breaks cover' on Wednesday. Our rose garden is a tiny walled space. A delight to sit in, after 2, when the wall throws enough shade.

  12. Celia you and the birds and our blossom have made me happy this morning.

  13. Just got back from a 40-years-from-graduation reunion in Durham (Where did 40 years go and who are all these - other - silver-haired people?) The season is so late up there. Hardly any leaves breaking, let alone blossom. We have very little prunus blossom fully out here, so I really enjoyed a taste of things to come.

  14. Oh I love it when you do posts like this one. Such a lovely little film, thank you so much.

  15. Lovely little film and yes I heard the hoot!

    Good to hear you got out into the Wild Wood Celia - I really enjoy sharing in your lunch-time walks. Beautiful blossom - this really is the most wonderful time of year.


  16. I am sure you will be sitting in sunshine today, have a great weekend.

  17. sigh...an 18th century enclosed garden built by a squire stirs up all sorts of romantic thoughts Celia!! After such an icy cold winter you must be enjoying seeing the start of spring. I'm so happy for summer to be over that the cool autumn mornings and frost on the grass are just lovely! I'm sure once winter is here I'll change my mind!

  18. Hi Steph - The wild wood is our little retreat and window on the fields beyond the garden.

    Hi Damo - I know what you mean about the Wood Pigeons!

    Hi Threadspider - Dog's Mercury is such a refreshing shade of green.

    Hi Frances - I'm enjoying your blog's record of spring in Central Park - NY's green lung!

    Hi Mavis - I admit that the wall was the main reason we bought this house.

    Hi Matron - Wasn't the blossom amazing - I hope the bees have been hard at work too.

    Hi Elephant's Eye - Gosh I'm been so busy I didn't see that link - I'll pop over in sec...

    Hi Silverpebble - I loved your blossom walk :-)

    Hi Veg Heaven - I'm so late responding to comments, I'm sure that your blossom has come and gone by now!

    Hi Toffeeapple - I've now got some movie editing software - it's such fun!

    Hi Cottage Garden - I really must get back into The Wild Wood lunch breaks - damned deadlines!!!

    Hi Acornmoon - Sadly not I'm afraid, we were probably on the M6 :-(

    Hi Jacqui - We forget how lucky we are to live this a corner of the world. I wish it wasn't so far away to re-visit the vast open spaces of Australia.



I love reading all the comments (except for spam and advertising which I will delete) and I'll reply here in the comments under each blog post, it may take a few days if I'm busy.
You don't need to have a blog to leave a comment, you can select the name/URL option and fill in just your name instead of a blog link.