Buds of linden, June 5, 2018


It’s mid June and here in Cardiff the weather is living up to its summer promise, with many scorching-hot sunny days. But there is still a cooling north-easterly wind most days as I walk beside the Wharf (old Bute East Dock). And all at once the linden tree (Tilia) I am following is full of green flower buds.

Actually I thought they were the fruits, but as this tree seems to be running later than others I have seen, the flower buds have yet to open and the fruits will come later. I hope so, or else I have completely missed them!

To paraphrase Wikipedia, the small yellow-green hermaphrodite flowers of Tilia cordata are produced in clusters of five to 11 in early summer with a leafy yellow-green subtending bract and have a rich, heavy scent; the trees are much visited by bees to the erect flowers, held above the bract; this arrangement is different from that of the common lime Tilia × europaea where the flowers are held beneath the bract. Continue Reading »


Young ash leaves (Fraxinus excelsior) in early June


The tree-following link box has now closed for another month. To explore everyone’s updates, please go straight to the bottom of this post.

Summer has come at last to Cardiff, although the clear skies and hot sun are sometimes accompanied by a refreshing north-easterly breeze. I wonder how the seasons are changing where you are in the world…

If you are new to tree following, read all about the idea here. Continue Reading »


Three novels with young narrators

Around 18 months ago I “signed up” for the Reading Challenge on Shaz’s Jera’s Jamboree blog. It’s a way of getting out of your comfort zone of always reading the same sorts of books.

Over the course of 2016 to 2018 I am trying to tick off EVERY box in each section of the challenge. I am logging my progress here.

In this post I thought I would recommend three books I have read that are very different from each other but all narrated by young boys.

These are:
# The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson (2017), about a boy with OCD who turns amateur detective, recommended on Jera’s Jamboree (here).

# Room by Emma Donoghue (2010), very loosely based on the case of Elizabeth Fritzl, held captive for 24 years and abused by her father, who gave birth to seven children by him. There have been several similar cases in the USA involving abduction by strangers, which are perhaps more relevant to Room.

# Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (2005), about a boy looking for answers after losing his father in the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers.
Continue Reading »


Heuchera ‘Marmalade’

When we lost a huge ash tree in a storm last autumn (see here) it meant we also had to remove a a few big shrubs in order to clear away the tree’s remains. This left some open spaces so we took the opportunity in spring to plant a few new perennials to fill the gaps.

I have been taking snaps of these – and a few older flowers, over the last month or so, and here they are… Continue Reading »


Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) beside the Wharf in late April

The Wharf (the old East Bute Dock) next to Cardiff’s County Hall in the Bay is greening up now spring has arrived. The small wild plants finding a niche on the stone and concrete surfaces around the water are at their best, before summer comes and they become overblown and tatty.

Here are some of my snaps from lunchtime walks on April 26 and May 8. As usual help would be appreciated with identification for one or two of the plants. Continue Reading »


Leaves of the linden (Tilia) beside the Wharf in Cardiff Bay on April 26


It’s mid May but here in Cardiff the weather is still a little chilly and changeable. But we have had a couple of hot, sunny days here and there and these have urged the linden tree (Tilia) beside the Wharf (old Bute East Dock) to sprout its greenery at last.

I knew this would happen so I have visited twice this month as I didn’t want to miss anything. In the space of a few weeks the red leaf buds have fully opened and the tree is now clad in green.

Here are some pictures comparing April 26 and May 8… Continue Reading »


I have now managed to identify the mystery tree in front of County Hall, which at first I thought was a birch…


The tree-following link box has now closed for another month. To explore everyone’s updates, please go straight to the bottom of this post.

Spring has arrived at last in South Wales and mystery trees I had met in winter are suddenly identifiable as their leaves emerge.

I hope the weather has been warming up where you are, too.


…I know only two trees with white-backed leaves – one is the whitebeam (Sorbus aria) but this one in front of County Hall is definitely the white poplar (Populus alba). also known as the abele

The white poplar also featured in a blog post back in 2014: Poole Park: Beyond the silver tree…

We always love to read your tree news – so thank you to everyone who contributed this month. Here are the links…

Lea’s Menagerie in Mississippi – maple

Hollis (In the Company of Plants and Rocks) – boxelder (Acer negundo) and whatever’s nearby

Erika Groth in Sweden – bird cherry -and the changing seasons

Alison at the Blackberry Garden – quince

Flighty’s Plot – Mike’s medlars

Pat – Squirrelbasket – small-leaved linden

Annie – Cardiff – Acer mono

Thank you to everyone for taking part – see you all again on June 7!

If you are thinking of joining us next time, read all about the idea here.