Out Walking Again (The Language of Flowers)

As I wander'd the forest,
 The green leaves among,
 I heard a wild flower
 singing a song.

From The Wild Flower's Song ~ William Blake, born in London (1757-1827) was the first of the great English Romantic poets, as well as a painter and printer and one of the greatest engravers in English history.

This photo come from two days of walking. Yesterday was a frosty start to the morning and bitter cold. This morning was less so and we headed towards the woods. Today, I was on the look out for wild flowers. In the woods we found that the bluebells are just starting to show their heads. In a little book I have called. The Language of Flowers, published in 1913 it said Bluebells means constancy, sorrowful regret.

The bluebell is said to flower on the 23th April, St George’s Day. The flower is surrounded by superstition and magic. It is said to be one of the fairies’ prized flowers. Children picking them are at risk of being stolen away forever.

The first bluebells of the new year.

Blackthorn, means Difficulty. It produces the sloes, the blue-black fruit which are used to make jam, wine and to flavour gin. At this time of the year Blackthorn covers the hedgerow in white flowers. During the period of cold east wind, a cold spring was traditionally known as ‘a blackthorn winter. The black hairstreak butterfly lays its eggs mainly on blackthorn.

Blackthorn blossom

Celandine (Lesser) means ‘Joys to Come’ named from the Greek word for swallow, chelidon because they flower when the swallows return. Another interesting fact is just before it’s about to rain the flowers on this plant will close up. It makes it a useful plant as a barometer for gardeners and farmers, though it can become a tiresome weed.

Lesser Celandine

Red Dead Nettle: the scientific name Lamium purpureum comes from the Greek name lamia meaning devouring monster. The helmet shape of the flower which looks like open jaws means the insects has to force it’s head and tongue deep inside. The second part of its name purpureum is from purpureus, the Latin word for purple. This amazing plant has links the Archangel Michel as it refers to it being one of the first flowering plant. It commonly flowers in March/ April so it is important to all insects. The flowers are self-and insect pollinated. 

Red Dead Nettle

Cowslips: means pensiveness, winning grace: Cowslips have suffered greatly because of the changes in agricultural practice and increased use of pesticides. They were once collected to make cowslip wine a regular farmhouse brew. The leaves and flowers were eaten in salads and a tea was made from the blossoms.


Wood Anemone: means forsaken. These plants are found in ancient hedgerows and woods and is abundant and widespread throughout Britain. It was once known as granny’s nightcap, or wind-flower because its flower nods with wind. The word anemone derived from anemos, Greek for wind.

Wood Anemone

First Slide: Part of John Ray Walk towards Witham. 2nd Slide: Oak tree on the hedgerow. 3rd Slide: Blackthorn covering the hedgerow 4th Slide: Path through Tarecroft wood 5th Slide: Wood Anemone and Dog’s Mercury at the base of the tree. 6th Slide: Horse in the lake side field. 7th Slide: Robin ~ British best-loved bird 8th Slide: Buzzard~ Britain’s most common large bird of prey.

Have a lovely day, Everyone. Chat with you again soon.

10 thoughts on “Out Walking Again (The Language of Flowers)

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  1. We have several of these flowers growing wild here in Virginia, but they don’t all look the same. Our celandine are more like bushes, for example. (Or maybe the greater celandine grows here??) Anyway, lovely photos and tidbits about the flowers. I love that one picture of the path through Tarecroft wood!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A lovely, informative post, Paula. I’m hopeless at identifying flowers, but getting better as I get older and reading a post like this! It’s interesting that cowslips are becoming rarer, I certainly have never seen one on my walks. Love your shot of the buzzard.

    Liked by 1 person

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