Tom Gray’s Nature Notes: Flower of the month

Tom Gray
Tom Gray

If you were to take note of the national news then you may well conclude that the flower of the month is the Daffodil.

And certainly these flowers do dominate the roadside banks around Glenrothes, and on my sojourn north to Aberdeenshire over last weekend the yellow fields of commercial Daffodil planting around Montrose were more than conspicuous.

Recent mild weather has resulted in an early Daffodil crop in Angus, where the flowers are dying off in the fields before they can be picked due to the absence of pickers who are delayed in south west England where flowering has been held back by a chillier start to the year.

However my choice for flower of the month is the more natural blooming Gorse which came to my attention as we threaded our way on the A92 through the North Fife Hills as it hung out from the roadside cliffs on the run down towards the Tay Bridge. While one is always able to find a few flowers open on every Gorse bush at all times of the year (giving credence to the proverb “when Gorse is oot o’ bloom, kissing is oot o’ fashion” and kissing never is!) 2012 is a year in which the full flush of blooming Gorse is a wee bit earlier than usual.

The Gorse should be followed in a month’s time by Broom evidence of which you can witness more locally by the roadside opposite Balgonie Castle when you drive under the rail bridge on the road to Windygates.

Both Gorse and Broom thrive on poor rocky soils as they can provide their own necessary nitrogen supply on barren soils by courtesy of the bacteria in the plants’ root nodules which extract and fix nitrogen from the air.

*Tom Gray writes for the Glenrothes Gazette