Easier, better or both?


Springtime in the Costwolds – A Feast for the Senses

We have been enjoying a springtime sensory extravaganza.

Sounds

Each morning we are woken early by the incredibly beautiful the dawn chorus. The birdsong gets more complex over the first few weeks of the spring as a mixture of migrant birds arrive for their summer holidays.

Soon the air is filled with the sound of cheeping chicks, when food is delivered to nests by hard-working parents.

Spring days are punctuated by high-pitched bleats from little lambs, answered by deeper baas from watchful mothers.

Smells

The air smells fresh and is filled with wonderful fragrances.

We pop into Broadway to check on the gnarled old wisterias in the high street every few days, so that we don’t miss the wonderful smell of their divine pastel flowers when they emerge.

Hubby’s favourite is the aroma that wafts over the fence from the buds on the neighbour’s poplar trees.

I love to sink my nose into the blossoms on lilac trees dotted around the village.

Woodland walks are rewarded with the sweet smell of violets – best appreciated by getting a nose close to the ground – well worth the muddy knees.

Sights

It’s wonderful when colour returns to the village after the drab, grey winter.

Snowdrops appear first, followed by bright yellow daffodils.

Then the world erupts into colour as blossoms appear on cherry, plum, apple and pear trees.

Clematis flowers cascade over walls and fences. Wildflowers pop up on verges and across the meadows. Bluebells form a brilliant carpet in the woods.

Birds fly sorties collecting moss and twigs for their nests.

Male birds  flirt with females by puffing up to make themselves look more eligible.

Touch

A mild, warm breeze replaces the winter’s icy blasts.

Nettles along paths need to be given a wide berth, otherwise they sting like crazy leaving an area of skin that buzzes for 24 hours afterwards.

The ground is soft and warm and yields gently when turned to plant soft, new seedlings.

Tastes

In April we start to prowl the farm shops in the area looking for the divine local asparagus – so wonderful that an Asparafest is held in its honour. It’s absolutely delicious and for the next few months is a reliable and consistent fixture on menus at home and in local eateries.

Wild garlic pops up on woodland floors. The leaves add a subtle, interesting flavour to frittatas, omelettes, salads and a host of other dishes.

Fresh chives, mint, nasturtium flowers and the first crop of lettuces form a base for spring salads, accompanied by garlic mustard (Jack by the Hedge), which is foraged by hubby.

We love springtime in the Costwolds – it makes us feel alive again.

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Spring in Worcestershire

Spring is our favourite season, and it’s particularly lovely here in rural Worcestershire.Spring lamb

Each year our spring starts with the first glimpse of snowy newborn lambs. It’s also fun to spot the single black lamb, a standard occurrence in many of our local flocks. Our walks at this time of year are accompanied by little bleats and answering baas from each lamb’s mother. Over the next few months we watch the bouncy, mischievous, skinny babies grow into stocky, woolly, (much less interesting) adolescents.

Malvern Spring Show garden The Malvern Spring Garden Show is another highlight of our spring. This precedes the bigger and grander Chelsea Flower Show. However the Malvern show is friendlier, less crowded and more accessible.  It’s possible to get close-up views of all the show gardens, there are loads of plants for sale and plenty of parking a short stroll across the road from the show grounds. We still love Chelsea, but prefer to see those gardens with our feet up in front of the TV.

It’s the blossoms thApple Blossomat make spring so special in the Vale of Evesham. Blackthorn and plum start the ball rolling, followed by fluffy pink cherry blossom. The apple blossom has been quite spectacular this year – one benefit of the slow, cold start to spring.  May (Hawthorne) trees, lilac and clematis are now providing swathes of colour.  The wildflowers have also been stunning this year – carpets of deep blue bluebells in Dumbleton and Ashton woods, bright yellow buttercups in the meadow behind St Barbara’s in Ashton and pink campion along the paths and hedgerows. The fat, furry bumblebees seem to be enjoying them too!