It does seem to be a good year. Susan, at Days on the Claise, who knows a thing or two about orchids indicated as much recently when we met up with her and told her we have far more lizard orchid rosettes this spring than in the previous two years.
Early Purple Orchids
Yesterday we found a new flower on the far NE boundary just under the edge of the woods where we have our bonfires in the autumn. Niall was tipping out a wheelbarrow load of some garden 'stuff' on the pile when he noticed a group of vibrant purple flowers just to one side. A quick count came to about 15 flower spikes. He went back with the camera and took some photos.
Early Purple orchid: spotted leaves & stem
After some checking on the good old internet we thought it might be an Early Purple orchid. A quick email of a photo to Susan followed and she confirmed that we do indeed have a small colony of Early Purple orchids. We found out that they are very distinctive as their leaves have spots--rather like a green Dalmation. They aren't rare but they are very pretty.
Our solitary Bee orchid in 2011
Here's hoping that this year we also get more than the one solitary Bee orchid. Another very pretty specimen, it like our Lizard orchids flowers in May/June.