BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘verge’

#365daysofbiking Sweet rain

July 18th – A flower which I’m convinced has had me puzzling before is St. john’s Wort. This tidy, bushy shrub is planted ornamentally on a lot of industrial estates, and I never identify with it as being British – it seems exotic.

Also when people talk about wort I always think off plants like ragwort, or sticky wort.

Having caught the morning’s showers the whole bush glistened and shimmered. A coating of raindrops can only ever add to a plant’s appeal, after all…

Thanks to everyone on Facebook who helped me identify this one.

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#365daysofbiking Blackbirds and bees

July 2nd – On the same industrial estate, a treat for the bees and bugs is blooming beautifully – cotoneaster, a stable of urban hedgerows and borders.

The tiny pink-red flowers are a bee magnet and every bush is alive with visiting insects, but not just that: These flowers turn into sugar-laden orange-red berries beloved of blackbirds and other songbirds in autumn, helping get the avian locals through winter.

Everywhere you look right now, nature is helping itself get along. It really is beautiful.

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#365daysofbiking Hovering hawks

July 2nd – On a grass verge on an industrial estate near Darlaston, hoverflies  were busy pollinating the hawkweed flower – and both the flower and fly are overlooked stalwarts.

Hawkweed in all it’s forms is a common, bright splash of colour in town and country alike, and is a dweeler of the edgeland, wasteland and verge doing nothing more than providing beautiful flowers. Sadly often regarded as a weed or mistaken for dandelions, it gets sadly passed by but really is worth a look.

The hoverflies are one of the important pollinators, and although disguised to look like bees or wasps for protection from predators, they’re totally harmless.

Two unsung heroes, supporting each other…

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#365daysofbiking Contrasts

May 15th – Continuing the wildflower theme, there’s a riot of colour on the less-frequently mown verges ate the moment: Daisies, vetch, trefoil, buttercups, and on this one outside where I work, every tiny, absolutely tiny bright red poppies.

Look closely and there are colours from white to dark blue, yellow to red.

My favourite time of year. Everything is growing and clamouring for attention. I just wish they didn’t mow the grass so often!

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#365daysofbiking Cherry Cherry

April 24th – I’m not working too much this week, but had to go to Telford for a meeting. On my way to Hortonwood but also having need to visit Stafford Park, I passed this stunning line of ornamental cherry trees in Blossom along the motorway.

Industrial estates like this never get much attention – but those trees are relatively undisturbed and the margins, edgelands and verges of places like this are relatively undisturbed havens for everything from pollinators to fungi.

Bravo to the people that planted these trees. A gorgeous sight in an unexpected place.

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#365daysofbiking Thank you Gordon

April 2nd – One of the delights of Walsall Borough in springtime is the huge amount of daffodils on verges, in parks and other open spaces, like here on the corner of Four Crosses and Lichfield roads in Sheffield.

They are a credit to Gordon Kinnair at the council, sadly no longer with us, who was responsible for their planting.

This post is dedicated to both Gordon and his good friend Kate Goodall.

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#365daysofbiking A small ‘slip

March 20th – As if to cement my good feeling, on a grass verge in Stonnall, an annual first and my favourite flower: The cowslip.

These tough, beautiful little primroses are my absolute favourite flower and it’s always wonderful to welcome them back into my life.

Let’s hope this solitary soldier is the first of a record year!

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#365daysofbiking A host:

March 19th – I notice this year, due to the early then slightly stalled spring, that the daffodils have been really slow-burning: The came out early, then paused for a while and are now coming out fully.

This is the time of year when verges in towns and industrial estates like here in Telford are absolutely stunning for a few all too short weeks.

These yellow wonders are gorgeous and the perfect antidote to a dark winter.

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