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A springtime carpet of wild garlic / ramsons

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Taking advantage of some welcome sunshine and very little breeze early on a Sunday morning, I made it to a nearby Pennine clough to capture this verdant carpet of wild garlic.

We’re almost at the end of the wild garlic season, which normally runs from March to early May. Their allium aroma still permeates the woods but now their delicate white flowers punctuate the woodland floor, heralding their imminent demise. The last decade or so has seen a resurgence in interest in foraged and wild foods in the UK, celebrating fresh, local flavours. Ramsons, or wild garlic, remains one of the most abundant and yet underused.

This is one of my favourite times of the year: the greening of foliage above and on the woodland floor; the gentle waving of the ramson fronds, and wild native bluebells appearing under the protective canopy of the trees, soundtracked only by songbirds and the odd bleat of spring lambs on the slopes above. That helps to underline that spring is (finally) here…

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Flowering heather

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At this time of the year the heather starts to flower, adding a lustrous, purple fuzz to the hilltops. Norland Moor is a great vantage point over Halifax, and is home to an almost uninterrupted sea of heather, accompanied by the sound of thousands of buzzing honey bees.

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Mount Stewart House

Mount Stewart, historical seat of the Marquesses of Castlereagh, on the Ards Peninsula in County Down. Now a National Trust property, the gardens have been immaculately restored to their former glory. Look below at the main house from the Italian and Irish gardens respectively.

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Cottongrass views

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Swathes of bog cotton, or cottongrass, carpeting the hills on a warm summer’s evening. Caught sight of this on the way home and had to snap while the sky was so turbulent. Just lovely.

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Yet more buttercups

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Another field coated in buttercups, under a glorious summer’s sun.

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