Ahhh, Demis Roussos. The sound of 1970s summers. That’ll be a earworm now.
In fact, I’m thinking about perennials and specifically the perennials in our wildflower border. The first year the verge along our track was a riot of cornfield annuals (see below).
Some of these, such as the corn marigold and cornflower haven’t put in an appearance this second year, in spite of us diligently sowing collected seed as well as leaving seed to fall in situ. Even so, we still have good showings of annuals such as the corn chamomile, poppies, and the corn cockle.
However, this year it’s the perennials that have caught my eye. They’re not as showy as the annuals but these should come back year on year. Most prolific have been the campions, red, Silene dioica, and white, Silene latifolia. The red campion started flowering back in April and is just coming to the end.
The plantains have also put on a good show, as have the yarrows, Achillea millefolium. The latter come in soft pink and white marshmallow colours. The common knapweed, Centaurea nigra, is also making an appearance now.
We managed to get some germination from our collected seed in our trial wildflower strip in the orchard, there are some strong patches amongst the grazing grass, however, most exciting has been the appearance of yellow rattle. This seed came from a local meadow.
Yellow rattle is semi parasitic and weakens grass. Whilst it is an annual, the hope is that it will set seed throughout the orchard, suppress the growth of the predominant rye grass, and allow us to increase the diversity of wildflower species.
I might not have many cultivated flowers, we are still preparing the ground, (15 tonnes of compost will be delivered next week), but I can still pick a jug of sweet peas from the vegetable plot every other day.