St Ethelwolds’ House and garden, in East St Helen Street, is a place of sanctuary and quiet, and the wildflower meadow, at the far end, was sown in memory of Mark Wood (1969 – 2013), a passionate lover of nature.
The mill stream, cut by monks of Abingdon Abbey, flows just beyond the wildflower garden and soon rejoins the River Thames. St Ethelwold was the Abbot from 954-963, and reformed Abingdon Abbey as a Benedictine order, before becoming Archbishop of Winchester.
I did see PPJS’s comment on yesterday’s post about celebrating St Ethelwold’s feast day at the start of August and, rather than party, have videoed a few quiet moments at Mark’s Wildflower Meadow …
Fabulous Flowers, on Bridge Street, had a magnificent display outside their shop when they prepared to open after the lockdown. Now there is a smaller outside display and the magnificent blooms are inside.
Over the road is Roysse Court, and then a little further along the Market Place.
Sue Stevens had a letter printed in the Abingdon Herald today praising the red, white, and blue flower beds around the Market Place, and Roysse Court, which she says are ‘very apt for VE Day year’.
The square planters elsewhere around the town centre, with the name Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council on the side, were planted later than usual but now have a variety of colours.
The formal beds in the Abbey Gardens are the work of the Vale of White Horse District Council parks department.
Along Stratton Way there are a couple of red and orange beds, and one in between with cooler pastel colours.
Despite the pandemic, the Town Council and VWHDC District Council and contractors have created some fine floral displays. What is different in 2020 is that the Town Council have no hanging baskets round the Market Place or planters along the river. They do take a lot of water.
As the days lengthen and the soils warm, daffodils appear before most of the insects and bees. But this morning being a mix of sunshine and shade, with little wind, there were some bees about.
Daffodils form the outer circle of the formal part of the Abbey Gardens in 2020.
The crescent of daffodils, across the River Thames from St Helen’s Church, are in bloom. That tells me that it is peek daffodil time in Abingdon.
The daffodils in the field of hope’ in front of Abingdon-on-Thames fires station have woken to a changed view this year. Last year the first demolition machines had been brought in, and this year the new Churchill retirement apartments are built. By 2021 people will be looking out of those windows to admire the daffodils and the red door of the fire station.
Inside the Abbey Gardens is an information board that includes a picture of the Abbey Gardens taken around 100 years ago with a lady and a girl in white dresses. They show up more than the flowers in this old photo.
There are no flowers in the formal gardens yet. There was a lady walking two toddlers on leashes. They would have made a good picture but I can’t just go around taking pictures of people without permission.
Beside the stone balustrades, white snowdrops grow. They are there every year, and occasionally coincide with the snow.
Pots of snow drops were also on sale at the Monday Market yesterday.
P.S. I got a surprise invitation for Afternoon Tea on February 2nd in Abingdon to celebrate the end of January and the arrival of the first snowdrops heralding the Spring .