Tuesday, 21 April 2009


Mention of our native cowslips (primula veris) in my last post, prompted me to drop in this photograph.

Cowslips are considered to be one of the best plants for attracting bees. You can see that their simple flower allows easy access for a big, bumbly bee. They are a native plant and have had 10.000 years, since the last ice age to attune themselves to our native insects and for the insects to become attuned to them.

I love the simple beauty of native flowers and this one is especially good. Traditionally a plant of unimproved pasture, the habitat for cowslips has been lost all over the country. This is especially so in Nottinghamshire, caught as it is in the clutches of mega agro-industry. Where we once had meadows dotted with thousands of cowslips, we now have the uniform green of monoculture.

I am pleased to say that cowslips thrive on the heavier soil of our allotment and self-seed abundantly. I always try to make way for them and plant around the plants. This little family group is flowering in our potato bed.

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