David Beeson 07/06/2021
I have been looking in three spots for plants, on one occasion as John wielded his camera in pursuit of butterflies. Spot one was in my own garden: spotted, southern marsh, twayblade and lesser butterfly orchids are currently in flower. Location two was alongside the A303 road, the route from London to The West Country and Devon. And, finally, Salisbury Plain.
- In the garden. The spotted orchids brought themselves here, yet I transported additional orchids from a garden about to be bulldozed. The latter reside in the flower border. The lesser butterfly orchids are from French seed, and have been flowering for around six years. A near relative, in bud but not flower, the greater butterfly orchid set itself into our main lawn. The southern marsh are seedlings from a couple of donated plants, that first arrived at least 25 years ago. Twayblades have spread in themselves and so enjoy it that they have moved far and wide. Our soldier x monkey and green-winged orchids have failed to flower this year, while the pyramidals are gearing up to show their colours.
2. The edge of the A303. The interchanges are the places to seek out orchids. In this case I parked beneath the A303 on a sliproad. Bee orchids are due to flower shortly, with the pyramidals in advance of my own because of a warmer soil on the chalky slopes.
Site three is on Salisbury Plain.
To explore further about UK orchids refer to a book. I use: Orchids of the British Isles by Foley and Clarke. There are others … and remember, if you are short of cash, pick one up second hand via eBay or similar.
Hayloft Plants (www.hayloft.co.uk) are offering three UK orchid species by mail order.
http://www.nwhwildlife.org – 100 ad-free education. Go to the home page for access to all articles.