Large red poppy
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Gallery: is it wild if we plant it?

To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wildflower.

William Blake

A wildflower is usually defined as a flower that grows in the wild, that is, it was not deliberately seeded or planted. Springing up wherever there is a spot in which to grow and thrive, they brighten our walks and provide nectar for bees, butterflies and other insects. In return those insects distribute their pollen and cause more wildflowers to spring up.

However as we learn to recognise the importance of diverse environments, and conversely the damage we can cause by imposing man-made constraints on them, more and more we are trying to give nature a helping hand. One result of this is the welcome seeding of wildflowers in parks, on roadside verges and elsewhere.

For this week’s Friendly Friday challenge in which Amanda offers us the theme of ‘wildflowers’, I want to start by sharing some ‘wildflowers’ planted in our local suburban park to create just such an environment.

Wildflowers in Walpole Park

Lots of red poppies with white daisies behind
Large red poppy
Large red poppy
Lots of blue and mauve flowers
Four blue flowers in a row

The photos above were taken a couple of years ago. Much more recently I have been visiting one of England’s pretty rural counties, Shropshire. We went for a walk in Cardingmill Valley where I came across many wildflowers, several of them with insect visitors. The valley takes its name from the woollen industry that used to be based in these hills. More on that in a future post. For now I hope you’ll enjoy a taster in the form of some of its loveliest wildflowers.

Wildflowers in Cardingmill Valley

Yellow flower with a bee
Small pink rose on a bush with a bee
Small pale pink rose
Small pink rose
Mauve thistle with a bee drinking

And here’s a little more of that last bee exploring the thistle:

Exciting news!

As Amanda has mentioned in her own post this week, she and Sandy have kindly invited me to join the Friendly Friday team. I’ll be hosting my first challenge in two weeks’ time, on 16th July. On that day I’ll launch a new departure for the Friendly Friday Challenge; all of my prompts will fit under their own over-arching theme. All will be revealed on the 16th but for those of you who’d like to have a clue or hint, I’ll be focusing on a topic close to my heart! Amanda’s choice of quote from my ‘About me’ page might offer a further clue:

…travel is a privilege. Those of us with the means and inclination to do so are rewarded with amazing opportunities to learn about different cultures, different landscapes, different environments. And in seeing those differences I think we discover something very important, which is that however different our lifestyles, at heart people have more in common than you might think. We learn to value diversity, to respect other viewpoints and to rejoice in our similarities.

Can you guess what my theme might be?


  • wetanddustyroads

    I love wildflowers … we see so many here in South Africa during spring time (can’t wait 😉). We normally have many African daisies in the field, but seldom see poppies and it’s such a pretty and delicate little flower – love your poppy flower pictures!

  • Heyjude

    Wildflowers are wildflowers wherever they are planted IMO. Those cornflowers are gorgeous. I must attempt to grow some next year. And Cardingmill Valley was my favourite place to visit when we lived in Shropshire, it is so beautiful there.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      I’m inclined to agree about the definition Jude 🙂 And I have happy memories of childhood visits to Cardingmill Valley from when my grandmother lived in Shrewsbury, so it was great to go back! I plan to share more photos from our walk there soon.

  • Rose

    Good question, is it wild if we plant it? I’m going to say yes, I’ve ‘planted’ bunches of ‘wild seeds’ in our wooded area for pollinators. Your wildflower photos are pretty and colorful. Congrats on being part of the Friendly Friday team! I haven’t participated in these kinds of challenges, but I certainly enjoy viewing everyone’s ‘take on the themes’. For a guess on your topic, I hope it will be – diverse differences and similarities?

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thanks Rose – good to hear you’re adding to the wildflower ‘population’ 😀 I’m thrilled to have been asked to help host Friendly Friday although it feels like quite a responsibility – it’s a well-established challenge with lots of participants! Your guess on my theme is on the right lines but sounds much grander than I have in mind 😆

  • Forestwood

    You have done so well, Sarah and with photographs like that, you are an incredible asset to the Friendly Friday team. I particularly like the first three photos. The red Poppy contrasting beautifully well with the white daisy and that intense cornflower blue! That vibrant intensity shows in your photos. They may be wild, also vital for nature little workers, the bees.

Do share your thoughts, I'd love to hear from you! And please include your name in case WP marks you 'anonymous' - thank you