For those of you who don’t know us (or have only ever visited in the dark!), we’re very lucky with our location. We’re right on the edge of the lovely Lovell Quinta Arboretum, created by Sir Bernard Lovell of Jodrell Bank fame. The arboretum covers around 15 hectares, and contains more than 2,500 trees and shrubs, a wild wood, flower-covered meadows as well as stunning views over the valley of the River Dane. It makes a great place to walk before or after lunch at the Swettenham Arms, and we’re just coming into one of the most lovely seasons of the year, when the spring bulbs are starting to make an appearance.
If you take a walk in the woods now, you may be able to spot:
Snowdrops, or galanthus. These pretty white flowers are the first to appear, normally between January and March. They’re surprisingly varied in height, shape and flower size, and have a tendency to form great clumps of flowers which look very attractive. You can see them at several points around the arboretum, normally at the base of trees.
Spring crocuses. Crocuses are a type of iris, and there are around 90 species. Theye’re native to woodland, and the most common colours are yellow, purple and white. One species, the crocus sativus, produces saffron, which was used as a dye and is still used as a spice and a food colouring. It’s very expensive, due to the intense labour of harvesting all those crocuses – it can take up to 70,000 flowers to make one kilo of saffron. We’re not sure there are as many as that out in the arboretum yet – but there are several clumps of purple crocuses dotted around now.
Daffodils or narcissus. One of the most cheerful of all the spring flowers with their bright yellow trumpet-shaped flowers, the daffodils are just starting to bud and will be flower in the next week or so.
Once you’ve gone for your flower walk in the arboretum, don’t forget to come and see us at the Swettenham Arms – we do morning coffee and lunches and well as evening meals.