One of the many charms of the Chilterns are the incredible woodland spring flowers.
Woodland in the region is predominantly beech woods. As the beech trees come into leaf quite late in springtime, well into May in fact, the woodland floor remains open to the warming rays of the sun allowing a wide variety of flowers to bloom.
The most celebrated of all Chilterns woodland flowers is the bluebell. After a mild and wet winter this year the bluebells have come into flower that little bit earlier. In 2014 the first pioneering bluebell flower we came across was on April 4th.
In early to mid spring other woodland favourites to look out for include violets, anemones and celandines.
Violets prefer woodland edges and beneath hedgerows. They can be found in both bluish violet and white. In our gardens we know them as the cultivated varieties we call the pansy and viola.
Equally common in early spring is the wood anemone. Larger varieties of anemone are also popular garden plants. The delicate white flowers really stand out against the brown leaves and green foliage of the woodland floor.
Celandines proliferate almost anywhere though they typically prefer damp conditions, such as on the woodland floor. The wonderful bright yellow flowers of the humble celandine provide an amazing and very welcome splash of colour in early spring.
In May many Chilterns beech woods will have a carpet of bluebells but by the end of the month the leaf canopy will begin to shade out the sunlight and this magnificent spring show will be over once again for another year.