Wildflowers by the roadside

I am continuing with my cycle training this month, but am paying as much interest to the wildflowers by the side of the road.

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A field of wildflowers near Charlbury.

I caught a glimpse of this field through a gap in the hedge.

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This is the view from the road – it doesn’t look too much, but a bit closer and there was a wonderful assortment of deep yellows and blues, which have a pleasing contrast.

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The field is managed by Blenheim Palace estate. I can only imagine it was a conscious effort to grow a wildlife meadow. They have done a great job, and it was a bonus being so unexpected in the middle of arable, one crop farming.

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This is the Cotswold line from London Paddington to Oxford and Worcester. Here it is single line between Hanborough and Charlbury. The field in front is a mono-crop and largely bereft of wildlife.

Wildflowers by the roadside edge

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Numerous times you drive along roads getting a quick view of the verges. At speed, they don’t catch the eye like some more formal garden displays. But, I love the simplicity and naturalness of the way the flowers poke through the grass. Although, they are not the most exciting floral displays, there is a tremendous variety at different stages of the road. There was one busy road with great displays, though it was too busy to stop. This is on a minor road and quite quiet.

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This is a Thistle, looking in great shape.

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Mostly purples with odd yellow.

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The thin strips of roadside verges are an important wildlife haven around the vast expanse of farmland.

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A steep railway cutting, which was a hive of buzzing insects.railway-cutting

Up close.

More photos

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Roadside.

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A lone red poppy. I wonder if it was the intention to have more red poppies – it would have been the three primary colours of red, yellow and blue.

 

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Large drifts of flowers. I’ve never seen a meadow quite like this.

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Up close.

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Blue cornflowers.

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Red letterbox looking resplendent against the darkening clouds.

This is one of the best maintained letterbox I’ve seen. I carried a card from Oxford for 15 miles, assuming I must come across a letterbox by the side of road at some point, but it took me 15 miles to come across this. I was so impressed, I took a photo.

seed-headsDead seed heads have their own drama.

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Bindwind – the bane of gardeners, but great flower.

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Wildflowers from Aston Rowant. (previous day)

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