The Roadside Meadow


Municipal planting has been one of the facilities offered by Local Authorities in these straitened times to have fallen by the wayside. In the metaphorical sense this is not true of New Forest District Council. Last autumn seeds were sown by the side of the A337 and covered with a protective netting. They have now sprung into life.

Wildflower meadow location sign

This is the location of the nearest site to our home, no more than a mile away.

Wildflower meadow wide view 2Wildflower meadow wide view 1

We have been waiting an opportune moment to photograph the most amazing display that is currently swaying in the breeze and buzzing with bees.

Wildflower meadow 27Wildflower meadow 25Wildflower meadow 26Wildflower meadow with bee on poppy 2Wildflower meadow with bee on cornflower 3Wildflower meadow 23Wildflower meadow 24Wildflower meadow 20Wildflower meadow 21Wildflower meadow 22Bee on cornflower 2Bee on poppy 2Wildflower meadow 16Wildflower meadow 17Wildflower meadow with bee on poppyWildflower meadow 18Wildflower meadow 19Wildflower meadow 14Bee on poppy 1Wildflower meadow 15Wildflower meadow 13Wildflower meadow 11Wildflower meadow 12Wildflower meadow 5Cornflower meadow 9Wildflower meadow 1Wildflower meadow 8Wildflower meadow 6For once, I cannot  say any more than the plants do themselves. This array would enhance any cottage garden.Wildflower meadow 7

Having feasted our eyes on these floral delights, we drove on to Barton on Sea to have a look at Christchurch Bay.

Beware unstable cliffs sign

The unstable cliffs sign is not new,

Cliff erosion

but it has perhaps moved inland a little more.

Gull over Christchurch Bay

Only the gliding gulls can travel over the clifftop with equanimity.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s marvellous boeuf bourguignon with swede and potato mash and mange touts. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden while I drank more of the Saint Emilion.


  1. What a forward thinking council you have Derrick, the display is absolutely stunning! The council here, the Dunedin City Council (named and shamed), still insists on sending out the man on his mini tractor who sprays any wildflower that dares show its head, so our road sides are mostly brown strips of dead flora – and the odd bit of dead fauna…..

    I am curious, can the Head Gardener name all those flowers? (I’m expecting a “Yes!” Jackie)

    1. Oh, I was going to say the same thing! Our roadsides are shorn bare – and the areas that the tractor can’t get to are sprayed with god knows what that turns them brown for a year.

  2. Nothing is as beautiful as wildflowers -at least in my opinion. It brings memories of my childhood, sitting in the grass, picking flowers, trying to have the largest “bucket” that would be the centerpiece of our kitchen table.

  3. I love your wildflowers. We have some along the M65, but I wonder how far they are council sown and how far self-supporting. Texas prides itself, for good reason, for having a great wildflower display but I don’t think it would take much to get the whole of the UK looking like this.

  4. How absolutely brilliant. I wonder if, going back a few generations, if all the flowers are native to England.
    Our roadsides in Aust are kept clear as much as possible to reduce the chance of fire during summer. Unfortunately GM Canola is becoming a bit of a weed and because it is glyphosate resistant it is hard to control.

  5. Absolutely beautiful. I’d like just a few of these to liven up my garden but I do think they look best in a jumbled abundance. Great photos, Derrick!

  6. These are gorgeous. I always love it when I see someone has planted along the highway. I imagine these are mesmerizing.The photos are such a pleasure.

  7. I am overwhelmed by the silent epic of the flowers by the roadside. It is comforting to find such sensitive councils on the Earth otherwise plagued with ruthless politics.

  8. What wonderful flowers. We had pretty much the same thing occur quite naturally in the grounds of the City Hospital but they mowed it all down because it was thought to look untidy. Now it’s just grass and dog dirt.

  9. The “New Forest Council”, should be congratulated, what a beautiful roadway of flowers. And again love the warmth in your photos, and I’ve stored “You, Derrick” in my gmail files…

  10. Oh how be-yoo-ti-full !!! That roundabout sign gave me a nostalgic pang also. So English. We have just arrived in Adelaide after two days driving from Sydney. Around the mid-point, along the Riverina section towards Hay, we noticed a strange wildflower that looked like cotton. It looked like that, because it was! Turns out that some farmers (and I think some may be former rice growers) have turned to cotton. On the way to the gin, the round bales lose some of the cotton bolls to the wind displacement, and they line the roadside. How weird in an otherwise barren environment.

  11. I only had to go back one post to find the sites and eats! I think wildflowers are one of my favourite sites because they are so varied and colourful. Little flecks of pink and purple and yellow, etc.

    Boeuf bourguignon was one of my favourite dishes at culinary school.

  12. Best selection of wildflower planting I’ve ever seen, and very well photographed. I never quite seem to get it right when taking drifts of flowers like those.

  13. Gorgeous photographs of the diverse wildflowers and how beautiful they are! The simple weeds and wildflowers I presented a few weeks back, unfortunately would have been, “put to shame!” 🙂
    I used to laugh at my parents who threw packets of flower seeds down their lakeside cliff. How could they take root? The netting would have been a good idea, but somehow the flowers bloomed anyway. Probably lake water mixed with air moisture were able to help germinate those abundant seeds Mom and Dad sprinkled. ???

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