Late spring (nearly) forage
The beautiful weather has made walking the dog along our local roads and in the small park a real pleasure. Now in late spring, there are some beautiful blossoms appearing. Hawthorn, or May blossom, is just opening properly - the hedges will soon be smothered in these gorgeous little white flowers. There is also the pink variety growing in the park. In the past (less so nowadays), people have eaten the leaves (the very young leaves being known as 'bread and cheese'), flowers and berries (although not recommended in large quantities, and sieve out the seeds if you're making relish with them- which is really delicious).
Very excitingly, the elder is just about to burst into flower - and so we can begin making the absolutely delicious elderflower cordial (or elderflower fizz for the grownups!). You can also make sweet fritters with the flowers.
Fantastic for insects (and therefore for the birds!), the bird-cherry blossoms are fully out, hanging in fantastic cascades. Birds love the berries, which apparently are bitter but edible, but the seeds are toxic, and these pass through birds and other animals.
Finally, another beautiful white blossom, is the holly. Both male and female holly trees have flowers, although they have slightly different structures (the ones we spotted are male - four yellow stamens, but no green ovary, or bump protruding from the centre). Only the female plants bear berries though, and they'll only do that if there's a male plant nearby to pollinate them.