Monday, 25 May 2009

In praise of English Wildflowers.
























































When you go to any Mediterranean country in the Spring, you are aghast at the colour of the wild flowers - the reds, blues and yellows that paint the hillsides. Our English wildflowers are
something different, as befits our more temperate climate. Their paler colours, their subtlety - they blow me over every year in late May.
Yesterday, in spite of our rule never to go out on a Bank Holiday weekend, we drove through Wensleydale to Ravenstonedale for lunch at our favourite restaurant The Black Swan. En route, as always, we stopped and had a walk with Tess at Cotter Force. It is soon Appleby Horse Fair week and all along the sides of the road Travellers' horses were tethered, enjoying the lush grass. In places we were held up by horse-pulled bow topped caravans making their way there. And all along the way we were overtaken by scores of middle-aged bikers enjoying the open road on their high-powered motor bikes (a whole generation of Mr. Toads!), so the quarter mile walk from the road down to Cotter Force was a little haven of peace and quiet on the journey.
It was also a revelation of wildflowers. That so many can grow in profusion along the side of the stream in such a short distance just fills me with joy at our wonderful countryside.
So here for you today is a celebration of English Wildflowers. Apart from the top two, which we taken this morning in our paddock, all of these flowers were growing in that quarter mile stretch in their thousands. Enjoy.
From the top: Our English buttercup meadow.
Sorrel in the meadow.
Cow parsley (motherdie)
Mysotis (forget-me-not)
Purslane
Stellaria (stitchwort)
Geranium (cranesbill)
Veronica speedwell (birds' eye)
Pink campion.
Geranium (herb Robert)

30 comments:

Reader Wil said...

How wonderful to walk through the fragrant meadow and see the abundance of wild flowers. And you know so much about them. Once we wre in Wales and saw a beautiful wildflower. We asked a farmer if he could tell us what the flower was called. He answered:"Well we call it weed". We didn't asked more.Thanks for showing us around!

Heather said...

A real celebration of our native flowers and a lovely reminder of my childhood springs and summers spent - it seems now - crawling through the grass and flower stems in Granny's little paddock hiding from my cousins. It is so good to know that in spite of so much land lost to development of one kind or another, there are still areas where nature rules OK!

Merisi said...

Such a lovely walk among your wildflowers, thank you for this Monday morning treat!

I grew up in the countryside and loved walking along meadows and collecting wildflowers wiht my mother.

Robin Mac said...

Wonderful photos of the wildflowers, so glad you have shared them with us. Wild flowers seem to be so very different in every country, and what we have here in Queensland is vastly different from the West Australian ones, but all beautiful.

Elizabeth said...

My daily 'fix' of England.
So beautifully observed.

Word verification:
budinwob

is this the name of some obscure little plant
sort of like woad?

Derrick said...

Lovely, Weaver, and thanks for the names! We also have similar drifts, which make the fields and verges so attractive.

Sal said...

There's nothing like it,is there?!
We have masses of Herb Robert at the bottom of our garden...and the Devon Lanes/Hedgerows are always beautiful at this time of the year..but,sadly, you don't see the variety that you used to!
Hope you are enjoying the long weekend ;-)

jinksy said...

And what beautiful wild flowers they are...Thanks for sharing.

Cathy said...

They are so beautiful and so delicate. Cow parsley looks like our Queen Anne's Lace.

Arija said...

Since I sprang from Latvia, your wildflowers make me feel quite at home. There is nothing quite like an old fashioned May meadow.
I just love the Ragged Robin.

Rowan said...

We do have a huge variety of lovely wild flowers don't we, not all spectacular to look at but many of them repaying closer inspection. I just wish we still had the abundance that I remember from my childhood in the late 1940s/early 1950s when every meadow, hedgebank and roadside verge was thick with all sorts of lovely wild flowers.

Dominic Rivron said...

What about the dandelions? You can eat the leaves, make coffee and tell the time with a dandelion.

Crafty Green Poet said...

It's a particularly good year for the flowers this year too I think. Lovely selection of photos.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Seems that these wild flowers get us all in a Spring like mood - around here they are definitely coming back. We have loads of cowslips, these almost disappeared for a few years - and when we motored down to Heathrow three weeks ago the motorway verges were full of cowslips and ox-eye daisies.

Travis Erwin said...

Beautiful. We do not get enough moisture to have a wide variety of wildflowers.

maggi said...

Beautiful. They remind me of the meadows we used to walk through on our way to Primary school.

Reader Wil said...

Hi weaver! Thanks for your comment. All meadows in Holland are divided by narrow canals or ditches filled with water. In winter if there is ice you can skate on them, in summer they keep the cattle in the fields.

gleaner said...

Wonderful to see the wildflowers.

Your reference to Toady from WITW's will probably make me more tolerant of the noisy fast drivers on country roads... now I may just smile and let the Toady's pass.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Such subtle wildflowers—several of the sort where a closer look reveals their refined beauty. I like the bright, knock-your-socks-off species, too…but somehow I always think of blooms such as these when I picture wildflowers. Thank you for a lovey post.

Coastcard said...

I have been in Newcastle (more anon on my blog) for the w/e: thought of you as we flew back over Richmond Castle (why didn't I have a camera poised?). When I was 9, not only did we have spelling and Maths tests (I've mentioned my times-table mouse already)at school, but we also had weekly wild flower tests in the summer term. We had about 8 flowers to learn to identify each week, and I recall spotting 144 species over the term. We had to go looking and recording each weekend. I have never forgotten the strange other-worldly toothwort - and the thrill of learning some of the unusual and delightful names.

Leenie said...

Such beauty in our worlds. Your flowers look very similar to those growing in wild meadows here.

Professor Yaffle said...

Charming
Meadows are so precious. Sadly they are becoming rarer by the day.
Long may yours thrive and be protected from interference by mankind.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Lovely lovely flowers, Weaver! I like the cow parsley and forget-me-nots best - in profusion like clouds of paradise!

greg rappleye said...

Gorgeous!

The Weaver of Grass said...

I love the way we have all gone into raptures over the wild flowers - late May and early June are perfect here in the UK if the weather is right - and it is this year. Enjoy them while they are out.

Dave King said...

So good to hear that the wild flowers are making a come-back!

dick said...

The wild flowers around here are mainly visible and accessible alongside the lanes. Sadly, the health-and-safety obsessed district council keep sending out the verge cutters and we end up driving in between skinhead banks!

PS I'm having great difficulty sending this comment. Every time I click on the Typepad ikon a Typepad error message comes up informing me that the comment has been aborted. I shall now try my Google account.

Woman in a Window said...

Reminds me of the pallate of Northern Ontario when we finally manage to leave brown behind...which hasn't quite happened yet.

Janice Thomson said...

I love wildflowers - what a treat to see yours - some of which are the same. There's nothing like a meadow of flowers to bring joy to the heart no matter what the circumstances.
Lovely photos Weaver.

A. Lee Firth said...

I really miss the wildflower meadows of my youth: fortunately there are still quite a few remaining in the Peak District where I go walking most weekends.