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Greendykes Avenue Hedgerow

Back to GD Road HedgerowOn to GD Avenue / GD Drive Hedgerow

thistle_hedgerow.jpg (47146 bytes)
Hawthorn and Elder bushes - spring

This hedgerow is a boundary hedge for the Thistle Foundation. It is mostly Hawthorn and Wild Privet, with Elder and Elm, and some Snowberry at the Castlebrae end.

Hawthorn is also known as ‘May’. It was once considered so sacred that to use any part of it was forbidden, and some people still consider it unlucky to bring Hawthorn blossom into the house today. 

Despite this, the flowers and leaves were used medicinally to soothe sore throats. Hawthorn supports over 140 insect species. Many of these eat the leaves (look out for ‘leaf miner’ tunnels on the leaves), and bees and other pollinators are attracted to the flowers. These come out around May time, hence the alternative name. The berries come out in the autumn and are vitally important for birds in the winter, as they remain on the bush long after most other hedgerow berries have gone. These are eaten by Redwings, Fieldfares, Songthrushes and Blackbirds. Thorny, dense Hawthorn hedges also provide a protective haven for Blackbirds and Finches to nest in.

The ground plants beneath this hedge include Lesser Celandine, Chickweed, Stinging nettle, Cleavers, mosses, Spear Thistle, Dandelion, Creeping Buttercup and Bramble. The Hawthorn and Privet mix carries on round the corner, up Greendykes Road, round the Thistle, but it is trimmed back, to look neat and tidy.


What to look for and when
Spring Summer Autumn Winter
Delicate, white Elder flowers

White Hawthorn flowers

Paper-thin Elm seeds

Look for minibeasts on leaves and flowers

Small white flowers of Privet (very sweet smell)

Green Elder berries – some already ripe.

Hawthorn berries appearing (green)

Spear Thistles - purple flowers

White flowers of Hogweed

White and pink Honeysuckle flowers, with a lovely sweet smell

Fungi in grass 

Purple flowers on Buddleia (Niddrie Marischal end of hedgerow) 

Honeysuckle – with bright red, shiny berries in clusters

Snowberries out

Ripe, dark purple clusters of Elder berries

Ripe, bright red Hawthorn berries

Downy heads of Spear Thistles and Dandelions

Dry seed heads of Hogweed 

Small, black berries of Privet

Birds eating berries

White Snowberries

Some red Hawthorn berries

Old nests in bushes

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