Blackthorn by the roadsides
Primroses in the cemetery

Cowslips by the roadside

When I first arrived back in Britain on my recent trip, I complained here about the thoughtless planting of regimented rows of fat gaudy daffodils by the side of the road. Well, just before leaving I came across another roadside not far from those daffs where adding some colour had been done more thoughtfully.

The rain was pelting down as I got out of the car to take a few pictures, but these cowslips by a roadside in Northamptonshire (in the East Midlands of Britain) were a real joy. I’d passed them a few times, noticing their buds emerge and then the flowers slowly open, but they were at their peak on this my last pass of the trip so a few snaps were necessary. I struggled to keep the torrents off the camera.

Cowslips, Primula veris, by the roadside. Image © This native primula, Primula veris, is a classic limestone plant. After the road had been improved and new banks made, seed was sown and the plants more or less left to themselves. The bank is mowed later in the year to prevent scrub moving in and shading them out (as well as blocking sightlines for drivers) and the result is long colourful patches of cowslips over a couple of miles. And twenty miles farther on those daffodils had faded and were hardly noticeable.