If you've ever thought that "anything that isn't growing in a tub or a garden bed, and anything other than clipped grass in the lawn, is a weed" then you should have another look at the wonders of Britain's grassland.
I parked the car and I swear I didn't walk more than 100 yards from it but I found over 3 dozen flowering plants:
|A little bushy clump of tormentil|
Bird's foot trefoil
John Go-To-Bed-At-Noon (and he had)
Green to yellowLady's mantle
|Water avens occasionally throws double |
flowers but those rarely
have any reproductive parts
Yellow to pinkWater avens - several showing a little aberration that it throws occasionally, double flowers
|Eyebright is said to get its name |
from its medicinal properties
Mouse-ear chickweed (the smaller one)
Not to mention the rowan and the hawthorn bushes.
|Northern Marsh Orchids|
PurpleMarsh orchid (magnificent big fat spikes of them)
Brownish and rustyRibwort plantain
And that's just the things that were flowering. July will bring us the lavender and white heath orchids and the foamy cream of meadowsweet; thistles of the creeping, musk, marsh, spear and melancholy species; and the bristly brown-and-purple shaving brushes of knapweed.
Green is also a colourDon't forget the flowering grasses - they are nearly up into your face!
A little way along the verge from my house I also found the small Quaking grass, with pendulous flowers on stems like thin wire.
Even a thistle or a nettle has a use: sheep, cattle and horses eat the flowers of thistles (sometimes more), and the nettle has a history varying from cloth and rope to soup and beer, as well as being an ingredient in "dock pudding" and, of course, a feasting place for butterfly caterpillars.
One of the few benefits of Council budget cuts is that they don't send men round quite so often with mowing machines. Look at the glory they have left for us.