Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Please use your imagination.

I am afraid today that you will have to use your imagination. Although I had a camera with me, the traffic was just too bad to stop and take a photograph, but I just had to tell you about it.

In a pretty village just this side of the little town of Bedale, just about the point where our little beck decides to get a bit bigger and call itself the River Em, there is a house with a bit of a wild garden. The house has obviously changed hands fairy recently and over last winter we noticed that they had dug up the wild garden, raked it and appeared to leave it barren.

But yesterday, when we passed, it was the most glorious blaze of colour. It had been thickly sown with a wild flower mix. I have never seen anything quite like it - every flower you could think of - poppies, cornflowers, corn cockle, chicory, tiny little blue flowers, long-stalked red flowers - familiar and unfamiliar flowers, the like of which I have not seen for years.

And it made me long for the fields of my childhood, the fields of 'Lark Rise to Candleford', the fields where the balance of nature meant that plants and animals lived in harmoney with the crops rather than have to make way for a bigger yield of corn or hay or whatever. There used to be scarlet pimpernels growing between the rows of stubble in the cornfields; some cornfields would be red over with poppies; corn cockle and yellow rattle would grow among the crops and everyone would marvel at their beauty rather than fix the spray on to the tractor and rid the field of all these so-called 'weeds'.

I'm sure the farmer would not agree with me on this but I miss those fields of my childhood. I am sorry that today's fields are really just fields of green grass apart from the odd escapee in the hedge bottoms.

My consolation up here at present is that the heather is just coming out on the moorlands and all around the hills are beginning to show purple. We must make the most of it because it is a short-lived flower and will be gone in no time.

Also a reminder that the 'glorious twelfth' (or inglorious, depending on one's point of view) is only two days away so the poor grouse had better watch out.

15 comments:

Maggi said...

I miss those fields too Pat. Thanks for invoking the memories.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Even without a picture, I could see that garden in my mind's eye. My grandmother lived in the country, and her gardens were wild, colorful and glorious. But that was many years ago, and most gardens these days are small and planned to the nth degree. On the plus side, many areas in the U.S. now plant wildflowers along the highways and in their medians, so we can still get a little taste of that sort of untamed beauty. (I followed you here from John Gray's blog. Pleased to meetcha!)

The Solitary Walker said...

Some of today's monocultural, weed-unfriendly farmscapes are certainly uninspiring, Pat.

I remember hay meadows full of poppies, cowslips and cuckoo flowers when young.

At least many farmers now, as part of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme, are setting aside some field margins and odd corners here and there to encourage wildlife.

Heather said...

Happy memories Pat - I could almost see those lovely flowers. On the approach to our little town just off the A38 the council has planted part of the grass verge with poppies and other flowers giving a similar effect. It is so beautiful though I have a feeling that the mix may not be quite authentic.

NanU said...

I can imagine! This reminds me of the California desert of my youth 10 days after a rain: a sudden, astonishing carpet of colors not to be seen every day (or even every year).

Rachel said...

Too right the farmer wouldn't be very pleased to see those things in his crop. If we see a strip of "weeds" in field around here everybody assumes the farmer had one too many drinks the night before and couldn't keep the sprayer tractor in a straight line. As somebody said, there are plenty of field margins and wide banks with wild flowers and we have lots of them here and poppies everywhere - but not in the crops. My garden is a haven for self-set weeds, and very nice they look too. Perhaps you should buy a packet of wildflower seeds for your garden Weaver, and have a nice show yourself next year.

angryparsnip said...

Even without one of your wonderful photos I could see the garden.

I was just going to say as @NanU said when the California poppy comes in blooms you can drive and see nothing but poppies covering the California Desert. It is their state flower for a reason.

In one of my yard before we finished the remodel, I bought several packets of flower seeds and that year had one of most favorite front gardens. Like the home in your post today it was beautiful.

cheers, parsnip

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

It always amazes me that wild flowers appear 'spontaneously' wherever the ground is disturbed. For years we put our sows into a field during the summer months where they promptly munched up every growing thing; nothing had a chance to seed. But when we left it empty for a year the whole field blazed with flower once again.

The Wife of a Dairyman said...

With a beautiful description like that, who needs a photo?!!

Gerry Snape said...

Isn't it lovely that more and more places are recapturing their wild flowers...even the roadsides are left to reseed with wild flowers. thanks for the word picture!

Share my Garden said...

Dear Weaver, I'm sure I know the spot! I'm emailing a couple of photos that I took last year. You get a wonderful glimpse of the flowers as you drive over the bridge, but dodging the traffic in order to get a photograph is tricky!

Dartford Warbler said...

I could just imagine that beautiful wildflower garden outside a stone Dales cottage. Hopefully the flowers will seed and come back again next year.

I love to see wild flowers growing in pastures and hay meadows, so long as they are not poisonous to stock, like ragwort and nightshade.

Hildred and Charles said...

I have regularly been receiving photos taken by the photographers in a hiking group that each week chooses a different location in the mountains. They are not farm fields, but the wild flowers are so gorgeous and they make me yearn for the days when our orchard was newly planted at the bottom of a mountain and the lilies and cactus and myriad other wildflowers were still plentiful.

Dave King said...

Lark Rise and Candleford are part of my old hunting ground. Know what you mean!

Hope the unwanted effects of the physio are wearing off a bit.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Rosemary from Share my garden took some photographs of this patch last year and has sent them to me. I was going to put them on my blog today but somehow I can't get them to download - sorry about that.
They were taken last year on the same patch and I think they are even better this year, so obviously they have self-sown.

Thanks for the comments.