Since March and April when the Open Weekends made the reserve busy with many visitors life has quietened down, but the volunteers continue their regular Monday tasks. The rainy weather is wonderful for the plants and has produced lush growth in every direction. It was amazing to see water in the Gorge as this is very rarely seen during the usually dry conditions. Standing on the bridge looking towards South Pond it is possible to see the unusual Purple toothwort Lathraea clendestina down in the shady gorge. The native toothwort Lathraea squamaria can also be found around the reserve and both of these parasitic plants live on the roots of certain trees without harming their hosts. On the edge of the south pond the new fronds are beginning to unfurl on the Royal Fern Osmunda Regalis . This fern is sometimes called a 'flowering fern' on account of the fertile fronds produced in summer that resemble a branching flower head up to six feet in height and towering above the leaves.
One of the most difficult jobs is to keep the paths in a good condition. In wet weather we can see where the water has sometimes formed deep puddles, but no matter how often we fill it the ground always seems to sink again – to the chagrin of adults but the delight of children in wellington boots!
on the daffodil bank is worth a visit and in various places there are flashes of bright pink and red from the rhododendrons. Another flower much in evidence is the periwinkle which provides ground cover under many trees. There are some interesting recently taken photographs of Warley place on The Essex Gardens Trust blog http://gardenstrustessex.wordpress.com/ sea of Bluebells
Finally there is an appeal for bags for leaf mould. If you have any good strong spare bags from compost, sand, gravel etc we would be grateful if you would leave them by the shed in the car park or in the hut by the gate. Please bring them with you when you next come to
Warley Place and as always we hope you have an enjoyable visit.