churchyard flowers

two years ago the National Trust surveyed our little churchyard for wild flowers.


before that it had just been strimmed and cut, all neat and tidy.


but in fact it had a good selection of wildflowers, as it had never been sprayed or fertilised.


after two years of allowing most of it to grow through the early summer we have at least thirty different native flowering plants.

oxeye daisy

above, the rather contentious ragwort, poisonous to livestock but the only host for the cinnabar moth. and oxeye daisy.






wild carrot


weld – I’ve never seen this before

vipers bugloss

and growing so close they seem to be the same plant, viper’s bugloss, I’ve only seen this in Spain, in extremadura where it covers huge fields of grass with sheets of purple flowers in a good spring.


spear thistle, the same one that is the Scottish national flower

red campion

red campion, also white and bladder campions


mullein, I think great mullein



ladies bedstraw

lady’s bedstraw


a knapweed, possibly hard heads. also lots of plantains, hawkweed, smooth hawk’s beard, field scabious, hogweed, herb robert, yarrow, buttercup ( don’t ask me which one – there are three, all poisonous) bugloss, large white convolvulous, sow thistle, teasel, and I can see that cowslip were flowering in the spring. there are probably more tiny plants, and I may have missed other flowers too.


a lovely little church, thirteenth century chancel, fourteenth century nave and tower, one window of jumbled up rescued medieval coloured glass, and some wall paintings.

it’s such a good opportunity to provide flowers for butterflies and bees, it’s a shame other local churchyards don’t do this.




  1. Love the flowers, Jane. It’s amazing what will appear by chance. A beautiful white Musk Mallow has grown in my garden – a gift? Love your blog and although I don’t comment, I always see your postings and thank you for your sharing.

  2. thank you for commenting Paul.
    yes, the seed bank survives and then things are blown in by the wind or deposited by birds. I don’t know if everything in the churchyard is natural, or if some have been added.

  3. I wondered how they all came to be there and wondered at the diversity. Not wishing to be gloomy, the pictures reminded me of this…

    When the Present has latched its postern behind my tremulous stay,
    And the May month flaps its glad green leaves like wings,
    Delicate-filmed as new-spun silk, will the neighbours say,
    ‘He was a man who used to notice such things’?

    If it be in the dusk when, like an eyelid’s soundless blink,
    The dewfall-hawk comes crossing the shades to alight
    Upon the wind-warped upland thorn, a gazer may think,
    ‘To him this must have been a familiar sight.’

    If I pass during some nocturnal blackness, mothy and warm,
    When the hedgehog travels furtively over the lawn,
    One may say, ‘He strove that such innocent creatures should come to no harm,
    But he could do little for them; and now he is gone.’

    If, when hearing that I have been stilled at last, they stand at the door,
    Watching the full-starred heavens that winter sees
    Will this thought rise on those who will meet my face no more,
    ‘He was one who had an eye for such mysteries’?

    And will any say when my bell of quittance is heard in the gloom
    And a crossing breeze cuts a pause in its outrollings,
    Till they rise again, as they were a new bell’s boom,
    ‘He hears it not now, but used to notice such things’?
    Thomas Hardy

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