I don’t often write about wildflowers but as I’d never seen these two before I thought I would stick them in.
I attended a workshop last week arranged by Dorset Environmental Records Office to learn the basics of biological recording. My trainers were two very experienced naturalists, John Newbould and Peter Hatherley and they decided to base the workshop in Corfe Mullen.
It was Peter who remembered seeing White Helleborine growing at the beech tree avenue next to Badbury Rings outside Wimborne, Dorset. He hadn’t been back to the site for many years, so, as it was only a 10 minute drive away from Corfe Mullen, we went to have a look.
Amazingly they were still there and we counted at least 50 stems in quite a small area. This beautiful white orchid is VERY fussy about where it grows. It loves to have it’s roots in the shade of beech trees growing on chalky soils, and that’s exactly what it’s got at the beech avenue.
The flowers don’t really open much more than the picture above. They are a gorgeous milky-white which contrasts against the vivid green stems and leaves. I apologise now for the bad photo but it was pretty dark under the trees and this was the best I could do (excuses, excuses!).
Second is another wild flower this time of dry grassy meadows and downland, this one was growing in the wild flower fields surrounding the ancient Badbury Rings themselves.
It’s called Wild Mignonette, which I personally think is a great name for a flower. It was standing about a foot high (but can get a lot bigger) with these large yellow spikes of flowers on single stems. The acidic yellow/green of the flowers stood out against the grasses in the meadow and as I photographed it skylarks were singing their little hearts out all around me (I must have counted at least 10).
Why oh why can’t May last for more than one month? There’s too much to see in just 31 days!