Bluebells, blossom and cake…

I’ve been madly busy with work, and blogging has suffered accordingly – sorry, I am very behind and missing you all. So much so that I have not blogged about this year’s tree for two months and had actually forgotten which of the pair I had chosen, I had to check my last post! Oh, the shame…

But I couldn’t follow a flowering cherry and then miss the blossom, so I have been keeping an eye on them, from my bedroom window. They started coming into full bloom on the 7th, which would have been perfect timing were it not for a work deadline immediately followed by lots of rain. But hey, at least I am joining in with the Tree Following Meme this month!

The path into the park is lined by a mass of Alexanders, it’s really no wonder I have to contend with so many seedlings in my garden.

Alexanders edging the path to the park

Overhead the willows are coming in to leaf, and will soon be casting deep shade over this entire area – and part of my garden. The delicate tracery of leaves at this time of year is so magical though.

willows coming in to leaf

The grass hasn’t been cut for a while so the informal path that cuts off the corner is more obvious than normal. Can you see the hint of blossom ahead of me?

informal path cuts the corner

The wind and rain have taken their toll, and there is already a layer of cherry blossom confetti on the ground.

confetti

But overhead, just a cloud of frothy pink blossom, set off by the young bronze leaves, and looking particularly good against the slate roof off the fitness centre.

cherry blossom

Cherry blossom against slate roof

It is a glorious sight, and looking back from the opposite side, the three trees together are enough to make anybody’s heart sing, even on a somewhat cloudy day.

Cherry tree in full bloom

Trio of cherry trees in bloom

The strange plastic boxes are still there, and I still have no idea what they are for. Behind the trees the wildflower beds are beginning to sprout. I am looking forward to seeing what they look like in high summer.

wildflower bed

It’s funny, but much as I enjoy cherry blossom, it is bluebells that I get really excited about at this time of year. There aren’t any bluebells in the park, although the area under the willows would certainly be a good home for them – assuming the Alexanders were controlled. We have bluebells in the river valley and in the community woodland, but neither supplies the magic of bluebells in a true woodland setting. So it is just as well that I met up with Kate (otherwise known as Bean Genie) at Plas Cadnant yesterday. They have bluebells in the more tame areas of the garden, like these in front of the bamboo grove singing out against the backdrop of massed ferns.

ferns and bluebells

My favourite part of Plas Cadnant is the river valley woodland though, and here there are swathes of bluebells under birch trees just exploding into leaf. Here there are bluebells guarding the path down to the river. Here there is magic.

bluebells and birches

bluebells at Plas Cadnant

The cake? The cake was delicious, thank you for asking. Coffee and walnut. It went very nicely with my coffee.

Check out more trees on Squirrel Basket’s blog. And if you want to see more of what caught my eye at Plas Cadnant, check out the gallery below or go to my flickr gallery.

[fsg_gallery id=”9″]

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49 Comments


  1. I love that type of Cherry tree! I still regret having bought a Prunus Autumnalis for my garden when we moved in here. It has never been very good, and what I really wanted was one of those like you are following!
    Mark Willis recently posted Fast Forward


    1. I know what you mean Mark, these trees always remind me of my childhood because we had one in our garden when I was growing up. prunus Autumnalis is one of those trees that always seems like a good idea at the time but I have yet to meet somebody who is delighted with theirs unless they have a large garden with space for lots of different trees!


    1. It’s a lovely time of year, isn’t it.


  2. Beautiful Janet, nice to see the work has abaited a bit to let you write. I always said I would have a cherry tree in my forever garden. Ironically a tree just like that sat exactly where I am now, except its now the kitchen extension. I should really plant one to make up for its demise. Beautiful photos. I found a ‘proper’ bluebell wood beside me, I have to say its the first I’ve ever seen aside the imposters, as beautiful as they are too. We do weed out the spanish ones at work but I take them home and a few are taking nicely. Well, its not their fault someone brought them in is it.


    1. Hi Fay, it was good to take enough of a break to go and admire both the blossom and Plas Cadnant. Plus there was the cake… Why not plant something that delivers more than just pretty blossom? An apple tree or a plum tree, planted in memoria, to admire from your new extension? I agree about the Spanish interlopers, I would feel bad if mine cross-pollinated with local wild ones, but there aren’t any close by, and they do add a fabulous dose of colour to the garden.


      1. You know I think you’re right. Although we have a large apple in the garden already. I had thought about a smaller Prunus ‘Kojo-no-mai’ put into the shrub border so it does its crazy thing and then disappears. Not sure I like its zig-zaggyness. I could of course alternatively pay homage to the cherry by making a pretty border under the apple tree and taking time to prune it properly. Maybe that’s a thought. Our nearest proper bluebells are up the hill from here and in a dell. I’m hoping my few Spaniards will leave them be.
        Fay McKenzie recently posted Compulsive Gardening Disorder and Giant Chickens. And, model dogs.


  3. Hi Janet, it’s always great to read a post from you. I have to admit that flowering cherries don’t really do it for me but I loved the bluebell pictures! I also saw an Echium in the gallery, I’m assuming that wasn’t flowering now?
    Christina recently posted May 11th 2016 Wordless Wednesday


    1. Hi Christina, thank you, what a lovely thing to say! I like to admire the cherry blossom but I wouldn’t plant an ornamental cherry, too frou-frou for my tastes. And yes, that echium was in full bloom, maybe because of the warmth and shelter of the wall?


  4. I think it was Christopher Lloyd who advised his readers to enjoy flowering cherries in other people’s gardens. The blossom is very short-lived and does make rather a mess. I can see his point. They are lovely though – just for a while. There are plenty in the next village and I have been making the most of enjoying them while they are in flower. I love bluebell woods too – I visit one every year. Strangely enough, those visits always involve cake too. (Lemon this year… thank you for asking;-))
    Sarah Shoesmith recently posted Blickling Hall’s English Bluebell Wood


    1. Hi Sarah, I think Christopher Lloyd was right, I love being able to admire the blossom from my garden, but I planted plum trees instead, I want more than just blossom from a tree I give space to, I’m greedy! Mind you, they always remind of childhood, because we had one in the garden when I was growing up. Lemon cake is a fine choice!


    1. Thanks Flighty – why don’t you like bluebells? I’m intrigued… What kind of cake would you like?!


      1. They’re just a flower that doesn’t appeal to me. Not fussed, I like all cake. How about a nice Victoria sponge. xx


  5. glad you found time to catch up with your tree Janet! Impressively pink though I’m more of a bluebell girl myself too (short legged though!). Turning Victorian with a growing love for ferns – think those muse be Ostrich ferns ?Matteuccia. Spotted another fave in your slideshow – fringecups – just bought some seeds of Tellima to try out – have you grown them?
    Laura Bloomsbury recently posted Walls & windows #18


    1. Hi Laura, I couldn’t miss posting about the blossom!! I’m definitely more a bluebell girl too, though I do like to see the cherry blossom in other people’s gardens – or the park. I adore ferns, and Plas Cadnant has an amazing collection, you’d love it. I discovered Tellima grandiflora not long after moving here and am growing it in both front and back gardens, it goes beautifully with ferns and epimediums, so pretty much the perfect plant! I’ve not tried growing them from seed, though I know some people find that theirs self-seed around. Good luck with them!


    1. Thanks Jessica, that spot is really magical, there is a waterfall just over to the right flowing into a deep pool.


  6. Oh my, those paths through the woods are stunning! I know what you mean about running out of time, but wanting to participate in the meme. I’m seriously time-challenged right now, but I wanted to make sure to post about the most interesting stage of my tree. Thanks for sharing the beauty of your tree and its surroundings!
    Beth @ PlantPostings recently posted Tree Following: The Mystery Buckeye Unfurls


    1. Hi Beth, paths like that in woods always remind me of childhood, and always bring with them a waft of magic. Looking forward to reading about your tree! Hope the rest of your life is still allowing you time to enjoy your garden.


    1. Hard to beat the site of bluebells in a proper woodland setting isn’t it!


  7. Plas Cadnant looks beautiful. Bluebells are spreading at the Priory – now that they’re not strimmed or mowed into oblivion every year. But it’ll be a few years before I get a show like that. (I would have gone for the carrot cake myself). D
    David Marsden recently posted Out To Pasture


    1. I imagine the bluebells are very happy not to be threatened with the strimmer!! I’m sure they will reward you by turning into vast swathes in due course, hopefully before you reach your dotage ;-) Their Spanish cousins certainly spread rapidly! I am partial to carrot cake myself, but not when coffee cake is on offer.



    1. It’s my favourite time of year – until Autumn rolls around!


  8. The cherry blossoms are just gorgeous! Don’t you wish they could stay longer? I don’t have any cherry trees, but I do have flowering crabapples that were gorgeous this spring, but only for a few days until the wind and rain blew them off. So glad you found the bluebells; your last photo is stunning! You should frame it.
    Rose recently posted Enjoy Them While You Can


    1. Hi Rose, the brevity of the blossom is part of the charm I think, but it’s also why I wouldn’t plant one in my own garden, I require my plants to work harder than that for their place! Thank you for the kind comment on the last pic, I am very pleased with it I must admit.


  9. I am so glad you had some time off to take a look at your trees – they are lovely, and you got some lovely shots of the blossom. Love those bluebell woods with the bamboo grove in the background. Quite exotic! And those steps in the wood do look inviting. There really is nothing as magical as a bluebell wood! :)


    1. Hi Cathy, it is always good to get away from my desk for a bit. The garden and the general outdoors call constantly, but so, sadly, does work. Ho hum. On the other hand, it makes stolen moments in bluebell woods all the more precious! One of the things I love about Plas Cadnant is the way that the formal planting shades so naturally into the wilder area at the bottom of the valley. The bamboo grove is one of the areas that seems to ease that transition from exotic to native.


  10. Lovely cherry blossom.

    Noone seems to have cherry trees where I live now. I rather miss them.


    1. Hi Erika, I do love the seasonal frothiness of the cherry blossom, I would miss it too if there was nowhere to get a dose of it each year, I am lucky to have it visible from my own house and garden.


    1. Hi Diana, from the top it leads down to a lovely wooded glad by a pool at the foot of a waterfall. From the bottom of the steps it always feels as if it is going to lead you to somewhere magical. It sort of does, since it leads back into the native woodland.


  11. Janet what stunning pictures…glad you were following those blossoms…pink rain. And oh those bluebells…that last shot with bluebells and stairs is incredible.


    1. Hi Donna, I’m glad I was able to share the two rather different signs of mid-Spring well and truly in its stride. That area in the woods with the steps is one of my favourite places, certainly my favourite at Plas Cadnant.


  12. Janet what a beautiful springtime bloom post, glad work is still going well, miss your blog posts but work has to come first, nice you got out for a day in such a beautiful setting, Frances


    1. Hi Frances, it is very nice to be missed, I miss feeling a proper part of the garden bloggers community, I struggle to read even a few posts at the moment, but I’m working on it! Most of the blossom has gone now, and the trees are at that untidy stage where dying blossom clings to branches inbetween fresh bronze leaves.


  13. Beautiful!! What a special place! I really love the area by the stairs. I have Alexanders in my garden, too, and they’re definitely spreaders. But what a pretty spreader they are. :)


    1. I know! They are beautiful – until they aren’t, and those tap roots! Mind you, they are also a very tasty alternative to celery, so they get points for that. But I have learnt that I need to manage them in my own garden or they would take over entirely.


  14. The cherry trees have been their lovely selves this Spring but I thought the blossom season was especially short. How we must take our visual pleasures when we can! The bluebells though have more than made up for them. Lovely to see you photos of bluebell woods.


    1. Hi Judith, I think you are right, very short blossom this year, but on the other hand, a wonderful year for tulips, they just seem to keep on going. The usual swings and roundabouts of gardening I suppose. I’m really glad I didn’t miss out on the bluebells.


  15. I agree with Christopher Lloyd about cherry trees being better in someone elses’ s garden. I have a huge one planted by a predecessor and it is beautiful. But oh, the mess right now. It gets everywhere and you bring it into the house on your shoes.
    I love that last pic of the steps; so atmospheric.
    Chloris recently posted Wordless Wednesday. A South African Beauty.


    1. That does seem to be the consensus Chloris, I remember treading the blossom from the garden into the house as a child. The Plas Cadnant woods are rather magical, and that particular spot, with the stone steps, is my favourite place there.


  16. The very last photo is breathtaking! Truly beautiful images throughout this post. Who can resist the glory of the bluebells or the sweet froth of pink cherry blossoms? They make me glad to be in the world!
    debsgarden recently posted The Jim Scott Garden, a Secret Paradise


    1. That’s exactly it Deb, definitely makes you glad to be alive and able to drink in all those lovely Spring plants. Anything that makes you smile is to be welcomed in this often chaotic and scary world of ours.


  17. Blossom and bluebells – heaven!
    It can be so hard to find time to blog when life is so busy, and I am always aware that it should be a pleasure and not a chore. Just wish there were more hours in the day sometimes …
    Hoe hoe grow recently posted Woke up it was a Chelsea morning …


    1. Eeek! Sorry, I am responding to this disgracefully late, my inbox got out of control :-( Guess there just weren’t enough hours in the day! I guess the important thing to remember to do is to live, in between the working. I am still aiming to make room in the living for the blogging, but at the moment the weeding takes precedence when I have some spare time. I do miss it though.

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