English Bluebell Woods

Late yesterday afternoon we were both too knackered to clear up and put our tools away. The good news about today’s weather forecast is that we will be enjoying steady rain; the bad is that this will come with 60 miles per hour wind by the evening. This meant that we had to be out early this morning making our usual preparations in addition to the said clearing up.

We emptied trugs (WP you’ve got drugs on the brain) containing compostable material and buckets of alliums for bagging separately.

The trugs were then overturned to prevent their being filled with water.

Chairs were laid down gently before the wind did it ferociously.

If you biggify this second image of the scene, and examine the owl’s head you should see Where’s Nugget Junior? (2). While he was interested in what was going on he was not inclined to come any closer.

Paths were swept and hoed.

Beautiful as they are, the Weeping Birch Bed is just one that reminds us we will need to be back on the case soon enough.

Although the wind increased in ferocity we received no rain until early this evening.

Later this afternoon we drove to Keyhaven in search of windsurfers. We found none and therefore turned inland.

The rape fields off Sowley Lane are coming along well, and the oaks beginning to come into leaf.

Ponies grazed on the road ro Burley.

Cattle, blending into the landscape, foraged at East Boldre,

where some of the stumps and fallen trees have been around long enough to host lichen and frame violets.

A number of the roads in the New Forest area have been resurfaced. One of these arrives at the green sited where South Baddesley Road begins. Clearly a troop of donkeys has been engaged to maintain the grass in keeping.

Many of our English bluebells have been replaced or hybridised by Spanish imports. We have all three in our garden, but a number of our woods still contain our home grown variety. The first image in this gallery is alongside Sowley Lane; the rest along South Baddesley Road.

This evening we dined on oven fish and chips, baked beans, pickled onions, and cornichons, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Fleurie.


  1. It all look so fresh and green. Starting to green up here a very wee bit. My next door neighbour has a slice of fake lawn and it’s so weird to see it when everything else hasn’t come along yet, ha! The violet in the stump is so charming and of course the donkeys, oh how I adore them. I follow a few accounts on Instagram and they’re so loving and charming! Hope your garden fairs well in the pending storm! xK

  2. Nugget Jr is perched on the head of a white owl in fron of the fence to the right of the tree. It looks like he is partial to your owls and plans to explore the entire collection.
    Meanwhile, WP gremlins think they can spell better than you, Derrick.

  3. 60mph winds are fairly frequent here in the desert, not good. It can do plenty of damage, I hope your garden won’t be damaged.

  4. We woke up this morning to high winds and rains too and they have continued all day, All looking great in your garden , so many lovely areas to explore.

  5. The winds this evening have indeed been ferocious. It feels as though we are at sea, with beating winds and driving rain! I am going to learn from your pre storm preparations and be more prepared next time there’s a similar forecast to today’s!
    Bluebells and woodland violets are so pretty – such an incredible seasonal treat.

    1. Thank you so much, Emma. We have learned the hard way to prepare – we are in direct line from The Needles whence it has been 100+ at times. I hope your garden has survived.

      1. Hopefully the seedlings will hold up – I have everything crossed, and the rest of the open packets to hand incase a second sowing is needed next week… gardeners have to be optimists (and prepared for a Plan B!)

  6. Sixty mile per hour winds are no joke. I’m glad you had time to prepare. I’m sorry to read that you didn’t get any rain. I hope the rest of the garden survived in good order.

  7. Hope all goes well for you during the storm.
    It has poured down here for the whole day and very welcome too. The only downside being the balcony doors have begun leaking again.

  8. It was wet and in Geelong overnight, and the Autumn temperatures are decreasing, a cool 10’C here at 10.00am …

  9. The bluebells are lovely, as is that stump that’s serving as a frame. I found Nugget, Jr. without even an enlarge. Clearly my eye’s been trained to spot English robins as well as American!

  10. The only way I get ponies and donkeys in my life is through your photos, Derrick. I love them both. Especially donkeys.

  11. That’s a lot of wind – almost a hurricane! The bluebells and the yellow flowers in field are lovely. I’m glad I looked up rape fields. Didn’t know there was a plant by that name.

          1. Weird what goes into Spam. Same thing happens to me with blogging friends who have been commenting for years. Because of this, I am diligent about checking what goes into Spam.

  12. Your descriptions of the impending (and arrival of) storm are powerful … we are still waiting for rain. Perhaps it will arrive when summer rolls around again. Meanwhile, I am enjoying accounts of rain, balconies leaking, and wet, wet, wet. Your clearing efforts will start again with mopping up after the wind. Good luck with that 🙂

  13. I’ve got an idea Derrick – react or ignore as you wish. I have noticed the gentle change in the forest as winter withered and spring sprung etc . Because you go the same way so often what if you found one particular tree or one particular grazing spot and took exactly the same photograph maybe every week. The we could all enjoy looking for the change. It’s just a thought.

    1. It is a very good thought. You deserve one up Holmsley Passage, say. I began a similar project in France eleven years ago. One farmhouse in a sloping field of cattle. By my next visit the house was gone and the bulldozers had moved in. The replacement was a care home with the best ever slogan: “The future begins with us”. I posted this before I illustrated my blog. Thanks very much, John.

  14. 60 MPH is strong winds! I hope everyone and everything is okay! ??? Did any rain come from all the bluster?
    Good to find Nugget Jr. supervising the garden work!
    You know I ALWAYS love seeing the donkeys!
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

    1. Thank you very much, Carolyn. It doesn’t look too bad, although we haven’t been outside yet. We did get a lot of welcome rain. Well spotted

  15. I really like the three bands of color in the first rape fields photo: green, yellow, gray. My favorite of the group is cow trimming blossoms. There is something very appealing about it. Job well-done to you and Jackie on the weeding and cleaning up!!

      1. Our solar light at the end of the drive was luckily the only wind casualty. The hail damaged some of my plants but they will recover.

  16. I see Nugget Jr.! High winds are no fun, and I am glad you and Jackie were able to batten down furniture beforehand.

    I enjoyed all the photos from your day, and especially the bluebells today. Glad to hear there are still English bluebells to be found.

  17. The bluebells are beautiful. I’m glad Nugget, Jr. is hanging around.
    I hope you didn’t have any problems with the wind. We had wind like that last week, but surprisingly there wasn’t too much blown about.

  18. The last shot is a classic. I read that the English bluebells typically hold their own in the wild, against the Spanish ones. I hope so. Lovely to see all those donkeys too.

  19. Such a comprehensive coverage of the impending turbulence and afterwards. Nugget Junior (2), perched atop the cone of the roof, could have relayed a running commentary of the proceedings had he been so inclined. I have a feeling he will take a fancy to Jackie soon. Out there, the rape field is as inviting as they can be.

  20. Such beautiful clicks Derrick….makes me wanna go out in the open…but we have some major curfew going on out here. The second wave hit us bad. Everything is upside down! Waiting for normalcy. Hope all is well at your end. Stay safe. 🙂

      1. It is a bad situation here. Thank you so much for your kindness and concern, Derrick. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  21. I admire how both of you are so organised when there is some wind or storm coming. The pictures of the tidying look nice. I love the photographs of the bluebells. They make me think of the movie Howard’s End.

    1. Thanks very much, Geetha. Because we live so near to the Needles (not much more than a mile as the crow flies) we sometimes have had winds 100+ mph – so we’ve learned the hard way. 🙂

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