In a Beech Grove

beech copse
This beech grove is at Courthill Centre, just off the ancient Ridgeway Path in South Oxfordshire. It is a beautiful place at any time of the year. I go there on windy days to listen to the music of the sea through the trees. On this occasion the trees were peaceful, their young leaves soft and silky. Our feet made no noise on the fallen catkins.
There is always something to delight. The Cuckoo Pint grows in shady places.
lords and ladies

This curious plant is known by many fascinating names including Adam and Eve, Bobbins, Cows and Bulls, Devils and Angels, Jack in the Pulpit, Lords and Ladies, Naked Boys, Starch-Root, Wake Robin, Wild Arum.
cuckoo pint
Later in the year it bears attractive bright red berries. The berries are extremely poisonous. All parts of the Cuckoo Pint can cause allergic reactions.

cuckoo pint berries

Edible Garlic Mustard (below) lay in drifts across a bank to the left.
mustard garlic

We could smell the Wild Garlic long before we saw it. Other names for this plant are Broad- Leaved Garlic, Bear’s Garlic, Ramsons. Wood Garlic.
wild garlic
Wild Garlic can be eaten in salad, as a vegetable or in pesto. (For definite identification the plant should smell of garlic).
Our visit took place a couple of weeks ago. The season has moved on and the grove yields new wonders.
I can understand why trees were sacred in earlier times.

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