Last year my wild flowers, encouraged from existing wild species, from clearing evasive monster weeds, and removal of strangling meadow grasses, was in just five minutes destroyed by the hedge trimmer. Good intentions to keep the meadows tidy, but hang on a minute – outside my patch! My overgrown meadow, yet to become a garden has not been cut for a year. After bramble clearing the sun, rain and nature caused sleeping seeds to rise and flourish. An excited neighbouring bullock escaped under the blue string, a two year old bored with hey and chomping meadow grasses, and lost himself in my wild flower “meadow” garden. Like a cow on cocaine he couldn’t get enough. But that is not profitable or practicable. The escapee was quickly captured and sent back. Three more escapes and the blue string was replaced. The rest of the afternoon, the young bullock looked secretly smug. But my challenge is to create my garden, attend to the wild-flowers and learn about my neighbours priorities. I do not wish to be a townie in the country and its time to educate myself. [Article on meadows and wild-flowers].
I read an interesting article today from Plantlife about the risk of planting generic seed mixes to save the bees, to be seen as doing your bit for nature. The article raised an issue that we have seen in the rise of amateur bee-keeping, urban bee-keeping in fact. With an ever increasing wish to encourage bees, the rise and rise of the urban bee hive has left many bees in a plight of starvation with the concrete landscape insufficient for their needs. But in the process people are learning. There is a fine balance between encouraging the support of nature and creating projects and a life style that emanates from a love and respect of nature, to alienating through hi-brow academia that underrates enthusiasm and belittles the well meaning. Yes its good to plant wild-flower seeds, but yes we need more variety and more tailored to the habitat to be planted. As a start and to learn more have a look at Seedball.
Read the article, but more so the comments. Mechanical farming and herbicides have marginalized wild flowers, or in many cases, as seen in some of the meadows where I live, pushed them merely to roadsides, which are annually mowed and the hedges cut seemingly, ruthlessly low. However I am aware farmers have to make a profit, hedge trimming is necessary for access to fields, for harvesting, for safety on the lanes, but profit, subsidies have their environmental limits. Biodiversity 2020 encourages farmers to work with conservation and as a flower photographer, I support this.
The cornflowers are on the endangered list and that is a sad indictment of our times. These bright blue bursts of colour on the grain fields do not have a long life, but when they appear I am out with the camera. In only a couple of weeks they will be gone for another year, unless the farmer decides to eradicate entirely. Some farmers are growing cornflowers organically for use as edible flowers [Maddocks Farm in particular] and with the trend towards using flowers in drinks, desserts and cordials, this is another way of bringing value to your meadowland. A complex subject.
6 thoughts on “The wild in wildflowers”
I enjoyed reading this 🙂
It’s a funny thing about blogging. You have in your head how you want everything to slot together, but I supose being so close to your own words and work, you are never satisfied. Some days it all looks fine, other days your heading for the bin. I am finding my feet and looking forward to finding my place. I visualize my desk in the barn, which hasn’t even got a floor yet or windows, and I even know where my pen pots going to be. It’s a complex story behind all this but blogging is cathartic. Righto, off to have home made soup. Soup for the soul.
You seem to have a very detailed/interesting thinking style. There’s no BS about you that’s for sure. Enjoy your soup 🙂
Judi, thanks for a great read. The bachelor buttons (as I grew up calling them) are one of my favourites. Beyond the photo I found your words compelling and they echo many of my thoughts. There has to be a better way.
It’s a crazy world sometimes. Being back in the Country after being in London, you realize how remote you get from nature’s bounty. But feeding the cities has been a problem since the Industrial Age and will only get worse I fear.
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How do we build and strengthen the ties between urban and rural? Without better understanding of these two existences, we face a dark future.