NOT boring

DAY 268 (29 DECEMBER) Early virgin’s bower (Clematis cirrhosa) (Farnham)

Very happy to see these delicate drooping flowers in someone’s front garden today. They seem to come from the Balearic Islands and in Spanish are known as hierba muermera. Hierba is grass, but muermo/a means ‘boring’ so I can’t agree with that!

They’re from the clematis family and flower from November to April – how lovely.

Useful prickles

DAY 267 (28 DECEMBER) Holly & berries (Ilex aquifolium) (Farnham)

Today in Spain is El Día de los Inocentes, their equivalent of April Fool’s Day. But it’s no joke that holly leaves can act as miniature lightning conductors. So try standing under a holly tree in a storm?

Lonely oak

DAY 265 (26 DECEMBER) Oak tree (Quercus robur) (Ealing, London)

Visiting friends who live overlooking Ealing Common, I learnt that the oak tree in the background is much revered – perhaps because it is the only one on the common among horse chestnuts and planes.

Spring come soon

DAY 262 (23 DECEMBER) Pussy willow (Salix discolor) (Farnham)

I’m still puzzled that pussy willow is associated with the end of winter and start of spring. Would love to be there already, but we aren’t… and yet it is everywhere. Like these on a local market stall as festive decorations. Perhaps it’s the flowers that follow that mark the season change…

Christmas pretty

DAY 261 (22 DECEMBER) Chinese bamboo? (Nandina domestica) (Farnham)

I particularly liked the combination of this fern-like plant and the luscious red berries on the green today. They looked a bit different from other red berries I’d seen. I’m not sure Chinese bamboo is right?! But nature seems to know it’s Christmas.

Last minute reeds

DAY 260 (21 DECEMBER) (Guildford)

Today is the only day of the 260 so far in this blog that I have come close to forgetting to take a photo. Christmas is to blame. As I slogged back to the car park in the rain and dark with some last minute purchases, I had that sinking feeling. So here are some reeds, then, floodlit by the street lamp. Don’t ask me what kind. But they will have to do…