Holm Oak

Quercus ilex Also called ‘Holly Oak’  or ‘Evergreen Oak’, this oak is a dense evergreen tree with tough foliage which grows up to 20m (66ft) tall.  The crown is dense, dark and broadly domed, often on a short trunk with several ascending large branches. The bark is dark grey with shallow fissures, and in time… Read More Holm Oak

Alien Forest In A Plant Pot

Bonfire-moss (Funaria hygrometrica) I have a small plant pot by my water butt which has some liverwort growing in it last time I looked. This time I looked it had something else growing in it, this rather untidy looking yet delightful moss. Note the long, swan-neck seta.


Primula vulgaris The Primrose is a harbinger of spring with its pale yellow flowers and spoon-shaped basal leaves formed in rosettes. The leaves are evergreen in suitable environments, and are wrinkled with toothed margins. It flowers February to May, or earlier. Found in deciduous woodland, woodland glades, embankments, meadows and roadside verges. Native to Britain,… Read More Primrose

White Clover

Trifolium repens Also called ‘Dutch Clover’, it is a herbaceous perennial plant which spreads by means of rooting runners. The leaves are composed of three oval leaflets which have a whitish V-shaped band, which may not always be evident. The ball-shaped cluster flower head is composed of rounded peaflowers which are white or cream, with… Read More White Clover


Digitalis purpurea Also called ‘Purple Foxglove’ or Lady’s Glove’, this is a most distinctive plant which can produce up to sixty or more pink to purple tubular flowers on tall spikes. Each flower has a dark ring of spots inside the lower lip which helps attract and guide insects such a bumblebees inside to gather… Read More Foxglove

Spring Coming Early

I have noticed the Snowdrops pushing through the earth and beginning to blossom already in my front garden. They are a beautiful sight to see. January 2017, front garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2017. Camera used Nikon D7200 with Sigma 105mm macro lens.

Sea Holly

Eryngium maritimum A very distinctive plant with blueish-green or greyish green waxy leaves, with sharp-toothed spines. It produces tiny blue flowers in a large dome. It flowers June to September. Found along sandy coastlines, mainly on sand dunes. Common and widespread in England, Wales and Ireland, and absent from north and east Scotland. June 2012,… Read More Sea Holly

Sea Campion

Silene uniflora The Sea Campion is a loose, scrambling plant which produces distinct white flowers with conspicuously veined sepals joined into an inflated tube. The leaves are green, hairless and waxy, and some remain green throughout the winter. It flowers March to October. Discovered in coastal habitats such as shingle banks, sand dunes and cliffs,… Read More Sea Campion

Deck The Halls

Holly (Ilex aquifolium) Also called ‘English Holly’ ‘Common Holly’, ‘European Holly’, or ‘Christmas Holly’, it is a  shade tolerant evergreen tree or shrub where it may grow into a scraggly form, but in good light it is spire-shaped, then becoming irregularly upright and pendulous with age. It can grow up to 23m (76ft) in height.… Read More Deck The Halls


Leymus arenarius This is a dense growing, blue-green grass with broad leaves and tall flower spikes. The spikes consist of many overlapping, flattened spikelets. Perennial. Plant height 1.5m. Flower size 35cm long. Flowers July to August. Found on the coast in sand dunes and upper beaches. It is a primary sand dune builder. Common and… Read More Lyme-grass

Broad Buckler Fern

Dryopteris austriaca The fronds of the Broad Buckler Fern are deep green, are ovate-triangular in shape, and are 3-times pinnately divided. The stalks have dark-centred scales. The fronds are broader and longer than the Narrow Buckler Fern (Dryopteris carthusiana). Frond length up to 1m. Spore ripening time July to September. Found in hedgerows, scrub, damp… Read More Broad Buckler Fern

Wall-rue Spleenwort

Asplenium ruta-muraria A delicate little evergreen fern with blueish-green or olive-green, club-shaped leaflets with toothed margins. Brown spores can be seen beneath the bipinnate (twice divided) fronds. Frond length up to 12cm. Found growing in the crevices of old walls or rocks, mainly where there is limestone. Widespread but commonest in W Britain and Ireland.… Read More Wall-rue Spleenwort

Maidenhair Spleenwort

Asplenium trichomanes This little fern grows in tufts and has dark brownish to blackish-stemmed, pinnate fronds with pairs of small, oval leaflets. Frond length up to 15cm. Found growing in the crevices of old walls or rocks. A native species which is widespread but commonest in the west of Britain. Photographs of Maidenhair Spleenwort (Asplenium… Read More Maidenhair Spleenwort


Asplenium ceterach The thick, leathery fronds are pinnately divided into rounded lobes and form clumps. The back of the frond is covered in rusty-coloured scales. Frond length up to 20cm. Found growing in the crevices of lime-rich stone walls or rocks, especially in the mortar of old walls. It can withstand drought and will curl… Read More Rustyback

Common Polypody

Polypodium vulgare The fronds are flat and oblong, with lobes fairly equal in size. They are dark green and are 1-pinnate. The sori are circular. Frond length 10 to 40cm. Found on walls, rocks and trees. Also found in damp, shady places like woodland banks and gorges. Common and widespread throughout, although mostly found in… Read More Common Polypody

Water Mint

Mentha aquatica Not long after making my garden pond earlier this year I planted Water Mint on the margin. It is a strong-smelling mint with large flowerheads comprising of two-lipped lilac-pink petals and crimson sepals. The stems are reddish and hairy with leaves which are oval and coarsely toothed, and often have a reddish tinge.… Read More Water Mint

Common Reed

Phragmites australis This is a tall and robust perennial reed which often forms vast stands near freshwater margins. The spikelets are purplish-brown in colour, the green leaves being long and broad. It can grow up to 2m tall. Flowers August to September, but turns brown and remains throughout the winter. Found in marshes, pools, and… Read More Common Reed

Wall Barley

Hordeum murinum A tufted grass which produces unbranched, bristly flower spikes. The leaves are light green, flat and hairy. Annual. Plant height 30cm. Flower size 9 to 10cm. Flowers May to July. It is found on bare ground, waste ground, roadside verges, field and wood margins, and coastal areas. Common and widespread in central, southern… Read More Wall Barley

Cow Parsley

Anthriscus sylvestris Also called ‘Queen Anne’s Lace’, ‘Hedge Parsley’, ‘Wild Parsley’ and ‘Wild Chervil’, this is one of the earliest flowering umbellifers in spring. This is a fast-growing, tall plant with hollow, unspotted stems. It usually grows in great numbers and produces white frothy umbrellas made up of small white flowers. The leaves are large and… Read More Cow Parsley

Field Horsetail

Equisetum arvense Also called the ‘Common Horsetail’, the first to be seen of this plant is the pinkish-brown fertile stems, resembling small asparagus sprouts, followed by the green sterile stems with jointed segments and whorls of side shoots forming spreading patches where they grow. Plant height 75cm. Spore-bearing stems appear in March from tuber-bearing rhizomes,… Read More Field Horsetail


Bellis perennis Also called the ‘Lawndaisy’, this is a familiar small daisy. The solitary flower has a yellow central disc surrounded by white petals which are tinged pink on the undersides. The spoon-shaped leaves are hairy and are often crowded into a tight rosette. Plant height 5 to 10cm. Flower size 1.5 to 2.5cm wide… Read More Daisy