Wild garlic fills the woodland walks at this time of year. While the smell is associated with springtime, the white heads all floating in the breeze and carpeting the woodland almost look as if snow has fallen late in the season.
There are many names for wild garlic such as ‘gypsies onions’ or ‘bear’s garlic’ and as a close relation to the allium or onion family these ramsons have a pungent almost onion like smell. Their latin name of bear’s garlic is because the brown bear loved to dig them up to eat. A great addition to many recipes, wild garlic is different to its cultivated relation as you eat the leaves not the bulb. Almost the most delicious soup I’ve tasted recently was wild garlic and potato. Due to it’s blood purifying properties the leaves were used as a spring tonic throughout Europe in olden days.
Wild Garlic, like the bluebell, is a sign that the woodland is ancient. My sensory springtime experience shown in these photos was in Snape Wood, Wadhurst. Footpaths take you through this Forestry Commission owned wood of pines, coppiced chestnuts, birch, oak and many other native species.
Snape Wood is an enjoyable walk only 2 miles from Bewl Rookery B&B.