a concrete meccaRead Now
Daisy Sow thistle Yarrow
Introducing Urban Plant Friends.
Delicate blooms of tenacious power, soft lush growth produced wherever it can flower.
Over rubble and concrete, plastic and glass, nature regenerates, cares not if you've asked.
Green fresh growth encapsulates beauty, every tiny flower tells a story.
Showing no fear it grows where it can, covering up the waste produced by man. '
As I walk to the local shop I stop to admire the beauty of a dandelion peeping out from the pavement. The ray florets spreading out around a golden centre capturing the sun and inviting winged delights to pollinate them. Other native asters (members of the daisy family Asteraceae the largest plant family in the UK) also peeping out of cracks in the pavement included the common sow-thistle who's luxuriant growth dominated the grey landscape and although considered a garden nuisance the poet Patrick Kavanagh claims it took him to a place beyond desire.
I discovered other asters like our common daisy spreading their petals and hugging the floor whilst groundsels drooped under the weight of yellow buds and the little white stars shone up from the green foliage of chickweed.
Clambering over walls the deceptively delicate lilac and yellow flowers of the ivy leaved toadflax grew amongst the duller foliage of the plant called pellitory of the wall. Bittercresses and shepherds purse grew through the tinniest of spaces with hedge mustard and eastern rocket beside them. Germander speedwell finished the pavement design with sky blue flowers on the small patches of soil exposed to plant street trees.
Luscious abundant foliage of the green alkanet, red valerian and jack by the hedge painted the pavement green and in the grass verges clovers, yarrows, nettle, and dock created a green oasis under blossoming early cherries and plums.
On the way back a single yellow flower of sorrel delighted my keen eye, common mouse ear stood proud and the red dead nettle lifted my spirits. I marvelled at over twenty common species decorating my urban neighbourhood from dainty and spiky to upright and sprawling to tiny and majestic to dull and shiny. As John Muir has written 'my eyes never closed on the plant glory I had seen.'
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Wishing you all well.
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Poetry of flowers
Join me to explore the flora of the British Isles on this blog. My intention is to attempt to capture the unique quality and beauty of each species of flower, tree or shrub. For every species featured I will be growing many more wildflowers to celebrate the joy of their existence, their intrinsic conservation value and bewildering array of uses. For nearly 30 years I have noted, studied and explored wildflowers in the field much to the patience of the walker beside me. To share this passion is a heartfelt plea to respect, preserve and care for all British Wildflowers no matter how common they seem.