Perhaps the most lovely thing about being out walking at this particular time of year is the renewed colour all around as the spring wildflowers come out and begin to dominate our forests, hedges and verges.
The white of Wild Garlic carpets the forest floor, which it shares with the beautiful drooping Bluebell. Get down on your hands and knees and breathe in the powerful aroma of the Wild Garlic – one of the great signs of Ireland’s springtime.
The bright cream of Primrose appears in tight bunches along the hedgerow, while the especially excellent Marsh Marigold stands bright yellow along the damp lakeshores, often with its feet in the water.
The small white flowers of Wild Strawberry is a hedge neighbour with the discreet blue-purple Dog-Violet. We hope we’ll see the fruit of the Wild Strawberry later in the summer, while the Voilet will soon fade away.
Some green is supplied by the carpet-forming Opposite-Leaved Golden Saxifrage on stream banks, along with Lords and Ladies in the hedges and the fabulous tall and erect shoots of Yellow Iris on damp ground, neither of which is yet in bloom.
So get out and enjoy the outdoors, ever more interesting with the arrival of spring wildflowers. For all you need to know about Ireland’s wildflowers, visit Zoe Devlin’s superb website, at http://www.wildflowersofireland.net/ and don’t leave home without the Collins “Complete Irish Wildlife” book, with its introduction by Derek Mooney. The latter also contains Ireland’s mammals, trees, birds, insects, etc.