Two Weeks in June

The other day I was asked what time of year is my favourite. I don’t think I have one really. I love Spring and Autumn (Fall) and those sharp, frosty days in Winter are wonderful.

However, one short period in June is always welcome. It usually lasts for about two weeks and is heavenly. That special time when the Linden trees are in bloom and the air is filled with their scent is what I’m talking about.

Flowers of a Lime tree....Tillia....probably a hybrid between T. chordata and T. platyphyllos

Flowers of a Lime tree....Tillia....probably a hybrid between T. chordata and T. platyphyllos

There are two native limes in the U.K : the Small Leaved Lime T. cordata and the Large Leaved Lime T. platyphyllos. Thes two have hybridised freely it seems.

The Small Leaved Lime is most often seen in ancient woodlands, indeed it is an indicator species, and was once widespread across the country.

Lime trees are very attractive to various aphids which deposit their excreted honey-dew onto cars parked beneath them in urban areas.

As a young man fresh out of school I worked for the local pharmacist in Burnham Market, Norfolk. Gilbert White was well known in the area and the shop had been in his family for many years. Some said as far back as the time of Nelson, a local and national hero if ever there was one.

What, you ask, has this to do with Lime? Well, have patience and I’ll tell you.

There was a time when if you sat beneath a lime tree the soundtrack of your aturady afternoon might have included the thwack of leather on willow but it would, for certain, have included a constant buzzing from a million bees and other insects as htey harvested the nectar from the sweet scented flowers. Mr White kept bees and would move his hives up to a local churchyard so that his bees would not have to fly too far to collect the precious nectar. At other times he would move them to fields of Alfalfa, and in earlier times Sainfoin he told me.

It may be because of I live in an urban area or because of a decline in insect life but I never hear that somniferous buzzing from the Lime trees. If it’s the latter then, we must all beware.

If you get the chance partake of some pure limeflower honey. You should not regret it.

FOOTNOTE

Alfalfa (Lucerne) (Medicago sativa)

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) an important forage crop and used for sprouting ..great in sandwiches)

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) an important forage crop and used for sprouting ..great in sandwiches)

Sainfoin (literally Sweet Hay)(Onobrychis viciifolia)

Sainfoin.....with Bumle Bee

Sainfoin.....with Bumle Bee


A field of sain foin...now replce the pink with the blue of Alfalfa in your mind..

A field of Sainfoin...now replace the pink with the blue of Alfalfa in your mind..

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2 Responses to “Two Weeks in June”

  1. Grannymar Says:

    Tilleul/lime flower tea aids sleep. I know a French man who told me his mother added it to a bottle feed when he was teething.

  2. rummuser Says:

    Yes June in Britain, Wimbledon and cricket, strawberries and cream. Good choice.

    We are lucky that we are just a few kilometers away from the jungles of western ghats. Many Tribals still live there and they harvest wild honey which beats any other type by yards. I prefer that to the much commercialized and sanitized version that we get in stores here.

    Leaf tea, lemon juice and honey with a sprig of fresh mint. That would be my June mid afternoon choice.

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