Jack Scout

I do love the countryside around Morecambe Bay. Hutton Roof, Arnside Knott, Gait Barrows: all these beautiful limestone pavements, views and flowers. Fabulous flowers. This weekend I drove to Jack Scout in Silverdale in pursuit of the Autumn Lady's Tresses, the last orchid I'll see of this season. The very kind Bryan Yorke (who loves … Continue reading Jack Scout



I knew that Broad-Leaved Helleborines, Epipactis helleborine, liked Glasgow (though who doesn’t love Glasgow, with its wonderful weighty beauty and fabulous culture?). But I hadn’t expected to find around 100 of them growing in the car park at the Science Centre, just as I walked in there for a family afternoon looking at exhibits on … Continue reading Helleborines


Yes, even the name is confusing. Most people have heard of St John’s Wort. Most people have probably seen the shrubby species of Hypericum that everyone grows in their garden and calls buttercup bush because it, well, looks like a bush covered in massive buttercups. And most people are probably fine with that level of … Continue reading Hypericaceae

Becoming Bryony

Two of my favourite plants in the world are called Bryony. White Bryony, Bryonia dioica, has such a quiet beauty and splendid tendrils. Black Bryony, Tamus communis, stays pretty low-profile with its glossy heart-shaped leaves until the autumn when it strings bright red necklaces of berries through the hedgerows. Autumn is my favourite season. It’s … Continue reading Becoming Bryony