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