Wet and windy conditions may have returned for the Summer Holidays but its a great time to see wild flowers

Dr Trevor Dines

Dr Trevor Dines

Plantlife Botanical Specialist

3rd August 2017


Flowers in the rain? Rosebay Willowherb by Laurie Campbel (www.lauriecampbell.com)

With all the inevitability of something completely inevitable, wet and windy conditions have returned for the Summer Holidays.

Remember all those weeks of warm May, June and July sunshine, when we were stuck indoors? Now we’re meant to be outside enjoying the Great British Countryside, it’s doing its best to keep us inside.

But I would urge you to get out. It’s still warm and, as one running buddy once put it when I wanted to stay inside during a downpour, “your skin is waterproof”.

And there is plenty to see. The drought and warm weather during spring and early summer put many plants on hold after the first flush of flowers. Now they have water at their roots again many are flowering abundantly; it’s almost like a second spring.

Over the last few days I’ve seen sheets of bird’s-foot-trefoil, selfheal and buttercups in parks, gardens and grassy fields. Along waysides and road verges there are mounds of bright blue tufted vetch, joining swathes of red clover and oxeye daisies. Even meadow crane’s-bill is out, as if it’s June again.

These flowers are joining late summer stalwarts like the spires of rosebay willowherb (also known as fireweed and bomb-flower), flat-headed flower-heads of yarrow and common ragwort that are a magnate for pollinating insects, and – if you’re very lucky – harebells in the hedgerows.

This abundance means you’re never far from a flower, whether you’re in the town or countryside.

If you ever checked whether you like butter by holding a buttercup to your chin, chased butterflies around the knapweed flowers, sucked the nectar from clover flowers or told the time by blowing dandelion clocks, now’s the perfect time to get out with the children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews to share in these delights.

The Great British Wildlife Hunt is the perfect way to have some fun with the kids during the summer holidays. What score can they get? Can they find tomatoes growing “wild”? Are blackberries ripe for picking where you live?

Do get out with them and see what you can find. You might just spark in them a lifelong fascination with flowers.


Join the Great British Wildflower Hunt

Do you love wild flowers? The Great British Wildflower Hunt is a free and easy way to discover more about and help save them for the future.

Find out more