14 July 2013

Swansea verges in full colour

Recently I have noticed a number of verges, roundabouts and miscellaneous patches of ground have been lit up by drifts of annuals coming into flower. For example the old raised beds in Parc-y-Werin, Gorseinon are ablaze with Common Poppy  (Papaver rhoeas), Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus), Bullwort (Ammi majus), Mexican Aster (Cosmos bipinnatus) and a mystery white Silene-like flower I can’t find in my books.
Parc-y-Werin, Gorseinon
edge of Gorseinon Common alongside A4240
Today, along Mumbles Road, similar drifts of colour were made up by plants including Cornflower, Pink Bachelor's Button (Centaurea pulcherrima), Musk-mallow (Malva moschata), Californian Poppy (Eschscholzia californica), Corn Marigold (Glebionis segetum), Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis), Tricolour Chrysanthemum (Ismelia carinata), Red Flax (Linum grandiflorum rubrum) and Rose Mallow (Lavatera trimestris 'Silver Cup'), etc.
edge of Gorseinon Common alongside A4240 & Mumbles Road

Among these mixes of largely non-native annuals are a surprisingly diverse mix of more traditional annuals such as Pineappleweed (Matricaria discoidea), Sun Spurge (Euphorbia helioscopia), Petty Spurge (E. peplus), Redshank (Persicaria maculosa), Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis), Lesser Swine-cress (Lepidium didymium), Wall Speedwell (Veronica arvensis), Knotgrass (Polygonum aviculare) and Shepherd's-purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris).
Parc-y-Werin, Gorseinon

Whilst the dominance of non-native species used won’t please the purist, there is no denying the exercise adds interest to otherwise monotonous swards and the abundance of insect life around these areas suggests there are benefits for some groups. Aesthetically the wilder-looking patches are delight and I look forward to encountering more patches on my trips around the city.

1 comment:

Elen said...

Hi Barry
These are pictorial meadow seed mixes. A concept developed by Nigel Dunnett at Sheffield University.
Several authorities across England have been using them on roundabouts etc in place of bedding plants at great cost saving, and also reporting a reduction in anti-social behaviours such as littering.
I've sown them in my garden for the last couple of years, very easy and give a great effect at smaller scales as well as these larger areas.