Wildflowers in a Species-rich Hay Meadow

Grassland flowers

I wrote about a local area of grassland last year, inspired by seeing the Hay Time In The Dales show garden at The RHS Chatsworth Flower Show.

Blue lupins on a hillside

I thought I’d share a few pictures from a recent walk, timed to see the wild lupins in flower.

Grassland flowers

I imagine the plant diversity in the meadow attracts a wide range of insects, small mammals and lizards. Flowers that thrive there include vetch, yellow rattle, red and white clovers, bird’s foot trefoil, daisies, aqueligias, wild orchids, thistles, dock, ribwort plantain and common bistort, pictured with a bee, above.

Wild rugosa with large pink, single flowers

Rosa rugosa, probably a garden escapee, was taking advantage of the sunshine on the outskirts of the meadow. Its large, single, bright pink flowers looked like crumpled silk as they unfurled from the buds. A natural underplanting of buttercups and meadow grass made this wild plant look as lovely to me as any I’ve seen in a fancy border. (If that idea doesn’t pass muster with you, half close your eyes, and imagine the grass is crocosmia or iris and the buttercups, potentilla.)

Cee’s Flower of the Day is a wild lupin too. If you liked my picture, you’ll love hers.

43 thoughts on “Wildflowers in a Species-rich Hay Meadow

  1. Heyjude says:

    It looks fabulous. I never knew we had wild lupins here. I know the south island in New Zealand is famous for them and they do look amazing.

    • susurrus says:

      It’s hard to imagine a place like this is rare – it seems to be something we have internalised, if we had a particular type of childhood.

    • susurrus says:

      There is a sign nearby that explains the project ‘aims to increase public awareness, enjoyment and understanding of this internationally important habitat’ and it certainly has that effect on me.

  2. Oddment says:

    I could stand (or, more likely, loll) in that meadow for hours. There is the most compelling sense of peace in your photos! That startling blue is gorgeous, but it has a lot of competition. I’ve never heard of most of the plants you list, certainly never heard of the common bistort, and I envy the bee his close-up look. That first photo is a stunner — I think the yellow flowers look like animation superimposed on the meadow! I love the whole of it. I also love the distance beyond the brilliant blue. And, yes, crumpled silk exactly! So much to look at — thank you!

    • susurrus says:

      I could have used their botanical names but the folk names are more evocative. I have been feeling the urge to go back again. It is not far from home.

      My picture doesn’t really give a good flavour of the amount of lupins in the meadow – 50 or 60 plants, perhaps more.

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