I love seeing wild daffodils and here in Gloucestershire we have an area known as the Golden Triangle, where once they flowered so profusely, that they were picked commercially. Nowadays, they are less common, but fortunately there are still some areas where you can enjoy them.
This clematis grows wild in the hedgerows and in the autumn the fluffy seed heads appear – they are known as Old Man’s Beard or traveller’s joy. This wild clematis is a vigorous climber which entwines itself around any convenient nearby support. It is said to do the Devil’s work for him by smothering other plants to death. In this image the clematis has twined itself through a hawthorn and I love how the late afternoon sun catches the seed heads.
Cheltenham borough council have planted 75,000 square metres of wildflowers in the local parks. This particular patch had a mix of seeds which included Flanders poppies to commemorate the centenary of WWI, Ammi majus (Bishops Flower), red flax and cosmos. These urban wildflower meadows are so uplifting to look at and the insects were loving them too. Well done Cheltenham BC – may other councils follow your example!
This is Echium vulgare or Viper’s Bugloss, a wildflower I grow in my garden because the bees and other insects just love the gorgeous blue flowers! It flowers for ages and self seeds prolifically – the seedlings are easily recognisable when small, so I thin out any in the wrong place to keep to a manageable level. A great addition to a cottage garden.
This is probably my favourite British wild flower. It takes me right back to my childhood when they were a common sight in fields and we used to pick them by the handful and stuff them into jam jars filled with water. I grow these from seed many years ago and they have happily spread themselves around the garden.
When cowslips and primroses grow in close proximity to one another, they cross pollinate to produce an interesting variation called a false oxlip – in a true oxlip, the flowers droop to one side.
It was quite a challenge photographing this little flower as it is only about 10cms high! Lying on the ground with a cold wind blowing all the flowers around, this was one of those occasions when a swivel screen on the camera would have been useful. Even a little insect had taken refuge inside the flower.
The wild primrose is pale yellow with a darker yellow centre and is commonly found on banks and in woodland clearings. It’s name means ‘first rose’ and is also known as ‘Easter Rose’, although it is not a member of the rose family. When you see it flowering, it is a sure sign that spring is on the way. The flowers are edible. Easy to grow and will self seed. Perennial, flowers March-April
The brightly coloured primroses sold in garden centres are cultivars and are treated as annuals.