Due to the warm weather and some rain, the developments of the Stinzenflora in the past week were rapid.
Martenatuin formulates it like this: What does this spring differ from other years! The Bulbous Corydalis is in 7-10 days, from first flowers to almost extinguished. The yellow Wild Tulip has also blossomed very quickly. In contrast, the Yellow Anemone has greatly expanded this year.
Dekemastate also reports: In one week time we could observe the highlight and decay of the bloom of the Wild Tulip, both due to the warm weather. Not only is there a fast development of the the Stinzenplants, but the other plants that are often present in this environment show explosive growth.
Jongemastate describes it this way: This week showed explosive growth in Park Jongemastate. After all the sunshine and heavy rain showers, Cow Parsley, grasses, Garlic Mustard and White Dead-nettle became all of a sudden rather dominant. Very soon these plants will overgrow everything, but fortunately there is still a lot to see. The growth spurt of these plants is because the moisture and the heat ensures that more nitrogen is available for these plants and that you notice by the rapid growth.
The Bear’s Garlic also starts to blossom. Massive flowering of well-growing Bear;s Garlic is nice, but if it grows too luxuriantly (too much nitrogen) then nothing else will grow except Bear’s Garlic. Only the Ground Elder can sometimes compete with Bear’s Garlic. At Stinze-Stiens we therefore try to get rid of Bear’s Garlic. After 5 years it is already a lot better than it was, but the battle is far from won. The plant must be prevented from spreading. Regular leaf picking is effective, but extremely labor-intensive.
At this moment the Bluebells start to bloom. These later flowering species do suffer from the presence of Ground Elder. In the Beech forests in Belgium, the Bluebells occur in some places in large numbers and ideally no Ground Elder or competition from other plants can be seen. Further down (below the table) we report on our trip to various places with many Bluebells.
This is also the time of the flowering of the Summer Snowflakes. These plants occur in the Netherlands in some reed beds in the wild. The plant prefers a lot of moisture.
In the time of Jac. P. Thijsse these beautiful plants were still present in large numbers along the Utrecht Vecht. Thijsse writes in the Verkade album De Bonte Wei in 1911: And where the broad river (Utrechtse Vecht) meanders through colourful meadows, over a length of several kilometers Summer Snowflakes are abundant in the reed beds. The numbers of this species present first declined strongly. In 1996, therefore, a restoration plan was drawn up for the banks of the river Vecht. The last work of this plan was carried out in 2006. There were inventories of the vegetation of the Summer Snowflakes carried out in 1982, 1990 and 2015. These inventories show that the restoration work has had a considerable positive effect. In 1982, a total of 2736 plants were counted in various locations, in 1990 this was 8602 and in 2015 15200. The largest numbers occur in areas managed by Natuurmonumenten. In some of these areas, the increase has been spectacular, a factor of about ten from 1982 to 2015. These data come from the report of a KNNV working group (in Dutch): https://www.knnv.nl/sites/www.knnv. nl / files / zomererklokjes.pdf
The Double Meadow Saxifrage is now beginning to blossom and heralds the end of the Stinzenflora season.
We visited four areas with Bluebells in three days. In Belgium we visited the Brakelbos and the Hallerbos and in the Netherlands park Sorghvliet near DenHaag and Sypesteyn in OudLoosdrecht. In Belgium the Bluebells grow in old, mostly beech forests where wood is also harvested. In the first world war these forests were almost completely cut down and then later reforested. The sites in the Netherlands are at country estates. Park Sorghvliet was once constructed by Jacob Cats behind the dunes, where a lot of soil improvement was done to create a richer vegetation. Sypesteyn is a small estate that was built in the peat meadow area near Loosdrecht.
The Brakelbos is 56 hectares and lies on a hilly terrain with several spring streams. In 1775 the Brakelbos was part of a forested area of 600-700 ha. The soil is loamy and well drained, drainage class dry according to the Belgian classification system. The trees are mainly Beech. The trees are mainly planted after the 1st World War and about 100 years old, but in general it is a mixture of older and somewhat younger trees. Due to the responsible forest exploitation the trees are at a reasonable distance from each other.
This is ideal for the Bluebell. Buebells do not grow in dense stocks with young trees.
If there are lighter spots due to tree loss accelerated decay of the litter layer will occur producing more nitrogen, which affects the vegetation. Blackberries will appear and sometimes Ground Elder or Bear’s Garlic.
Bear’s Garlic grows especially where the lime content is higher and the soil is more moist and rich. So you can sometimes see rich vegetation with Bear’s Garlic along the spring streams. The Bluebells grow mainly in this forest on the higher parts of the hills where it is somewhat drier. Wood Anemones also occur in the forest, but they were no longer in bloom.
The Hallerbos is comparable to the Brakelbos with a predominantly loamy subsoil. This forest is known for the many Bluebells that occur here. The forest is much larger and more diverse than the Brakelbos, the area is 542 ha. Forest has been present on this land for centuries. The soil is generally neutral to slightly acidic. The variation in soil also gives a variation of the undergrowth. If the soil becomes too acidic the Bluebells will disappear. The composition of the undergrowth varies with the acidity. In the somewhat more acidic places you can also find Lily-of-the-valley, for example, besides Bluebell. A very detailed description of the vegetation types in the Hallerbos can be found in the report (in Dutch): http://www.groenindestad.be/~/media/Files/Domeinen/Vlaams-Brabant/Hallerbos_vegetatieanalyse.pdf
The Beeches and Hornbeams in the forest are now largely 60-90 years old. The aim is to obtain a more diverse stock with trees from 1-180 years old. Again, the Bluebells do well where the tree stand is not too dense nor too open. This density matches a good forest management with an older tree population.
Because of the alternating warm and cold spring with the then very warm weather, the Wood Anemones and Bluebells partly bloomed simultaneously. In this forest many Wood Anemones occur at various locations. Sometimes they are contiguous areas with almost only Wood Anemone, sometimes Wood Anemones and Bluebells occur mixed together and sometimes places with only Bluebells.
Park Sorghvliet (25 hectares) is located on dune sand that has been enriched at the time to make a varied vegetation possible. Founder of Park Sorghvliet is council pensionary Jacob Cats (1577-1660). In 1643 he bought a farm with surrounding farmlands to make it his estate. Using mud from the Haagse beek flowing through the area he enriched the soil and planted many trees, shrubs and bushes. He transformed the area into a park in order to be able to rest sufficienly as compensation for his busy activities. That is why he named the lands Sorgh-Vliet, an area in which he could let his worries ‘flee’, can be read on the website of the Friends of Park Sorghvliet. http://www.vriendenvanparksorghvliet.nl
The terrain is somewhat hilly and contains some excavated ponds. The trees are very diverse. Especially various types of deciduous trees.
There is also diversity in the age of trees. Along the paths many Bluebells grow together with Wood Anemones and locally also Lily-of-the-valley which means that the soil is a bit more acidic.
Locally there are spots for Ground Elder. Possible in places where heaps of green waste have been temporarily present. Blackberry occurs here and there. There is an elongated meadow in the forest where a lot of Bluebells grow. This year, the tip of the leaves were brown and the plants were barely in bloom, while Bluebells bloomed in abundance elsewhere in the forest and had no brown leaf tips. The difference could be because the plants in the meadow were earlier above ground and may have suffered from the severe frosts, while the plants were less developed when the frost struck and therefore may have suffered less. This meadow in the forest area turns completely blue when the Bluebells bloom. Unfortunately, we have not seen this now.
The park Sypesteyn in OudLoosdrecht was created by Sir Henry van Sypesteyn (1857-1937). In the park there are various non native old trees that were planted around 1900. The park is known for the many Snowdrops that bloom there in early spring. Various other Stinzenplants also occur in the park. Bluebells occur on a modest scale.
A small Stinzenplant meadow is managed next to the orchard. The site is interesting because it has a fairly rich Stinzenflora with peat as a substrate.
The participants in the Stinzenflora-monitor organize various activities during the Stinzenflora season.
The events that are now known are listed below.
‘Open gardens’ with private garden owners are often mentioned shortly before in this calendar and on the websites of the participants. Opening up depends on the flowering of the Stinzenplants and the weather.
For possibilities of (group) visits you can contact the relevant participant.
Data: see ESTATES
For your agenda *:
Dekema State Jelsum. Museum weekend Spring Fair 28 April: with a Stinzenplants search map you make a tour during these events. For prices, opening times and activities see the website. www.dekemastate.nl Head gardener Wim Hoogendam was on April 20 on NPO 2 at Hallo Nederland by Omroep Max on television about the Stinzenflora, together with Heilien Tonckens, right at the height of the Wild Tulip. An item from the last 3 minutes in the program, but with beautiful images! Also to be found on or on YouTube
Martenastate Koarnjum. Freely accessible. Tour Saturday 28 April, 10 am – 12 noon .. Please register no later than one day in advance. For dates, prices and registration see the website http://www.martenastate.nl and It Fryske Gea. http://www.itfryskegea.nl/eropuit
Tourist brochure ‘Stinzenflora in Friesland’: For everyone who wants to go out in the spring, a new handy brochure ‘Stinzenflora in Friesland’ is also available at the tourist centers and affiliated organizations (VVV’s and TIP’s). It was developed in cooperation of the participants in the Stinzenflora-monitor and the tourist organizations Uytland / Destination Noardwest and the regions De Greidhoeke and Noardlike Fryske Wâlden. The folder provides information in Dutch and English and shows which locations are real thriving hotspots in Friesland.
App Stinzenflora (only for Android): The organization Nature2U has independently developed an app (only for Android) with information about Stinzenflora. In this Stinzenflora app all Dutch Stinzenplants and companions are described with country of origin and details. The app is composed with Stinzenplant specialist Heilien Tonckens and nature photographer Wil Leurs, supplemented with some photos of waarneming.nl . The plants are easy to find with flower color and shape or for florists by family classifying. In addition, there are also overviews of the Stinzenflora of the Vecht region and Friesland.
More information via www.nature2U.nl
* Subject to change. Consult always the websites of the participants for the latest information.