Mizen in Bloom


hawthorn or whitethorn

Hawthorn or whitethorn

They say that spring is a little late this year – the result of the winter storms, which caused so much destruction and set back growth. Many shrubs and trees around us looked stripped and burned from a combination of ferocious winds and salt spray. Even the gorse is slow: although some of it is in full bloom, the hillsides are not yet ablaze with that incredible yellow.

Gorse and hawthorn

Gorse and hawthorn

But now around the Mizen the spring flowers have burst into bloom. The boreens are heady with wild garlic. It’s become a thing to cook with it. One of my favourite young Irish chefs, Donal Skehan, has a recipe for wild garlic pesto and another for wild garlic soda bread. Haven’t tried it myself yet, but it’s definitely on the list.

Wild garlic

Wild garlic

I have serious bluebell wood envy. There is one near here, and I dream of eventually having my carpet of blue under the trees. Here’s a little bluebell slideshow: most of the photos were taken close to our house, but a couple are from Wicklow (Bray Head and Mount Usher Gardens), and the last one shows my brand new bluebells coming up from the bulbs I planted last autumn.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The hedgerows are striking right now. Above are the white branches of the hawthorn (also known as whitethorn), gorgeous in their bountiful white blossoms, and below are the roadside flowers – celandines, buttercups, daisies, violas and primroses.

wayside flowers

Wayside flowers

Along the shore hardier species are showing themselves now. Sea pinks, or thrift, are waving in the breeze. Today we found one that Robert has always called pennypies, but which is more properly called navelwort. It’s a fascinating looking plant – and good, apparently, for curing corns!

There are lots I can’t name, so can you help me out, Dear Reader, and tell me what these flowers are?

Can you name these flowers?

Can you name these flowers?

I can’t resist one final photo – no, it’s not a wild flower, but it holds the promise of delicious things to come. These are the blossoms on our pear trees.

Pear blossoms

Pear blossoms


18 thoughts

  1. Doesn’t matter how sparse or late the blooming I’m still heartsick I’ve missed another west Cork springtime … how profuse the sea pinks and wildflowers grew/grow along my bit of the bay … though, your slideshow and photos help alliviate the longing some. Still in serious drought mode here in California. Meanwhile, in the one magnificent storm we did get, a huge tree fell on my house … and just now temp’s are a sizzling, unheard of 90 F. at the beach. I sit here listening to ‘Carridghoun’ so I can wallow deeper into my disgruntledness, and drip tears on my popsicles! One saving grace is the hardy wild lupines (bluebonnets) and mustard are spreading like blankets over the (sadly) ephemeral green of the hillsides. Yay for Donal over this way as well … he’s got a recipe for ‘bacon and cabbage pie’ on Pinterest!


  2. The thing we noticed about our travels yesterday was the sheer amount of flowers everywhere; so pretty! I can identify your flowers (yes Miss) – from the top going across: Stitchwort, pink Campion, wild mustard, fumitory, irish spurge and scurvy grass 🙂


  3. I well remember bluebells and gorse and many of the wild flowers you mention, Finola. Welcome spring! Here in British Columbia we have trillium and all the fruit trees in blossom. Love this time!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.