Didcot Town Council wildflower beds

I had another post planned for this week but when I saw the flowering wild flower verge near Didcot Civic Hall I decided to revise my schedule.

Didcot Town Council wildflower verge January 2021
Didcot Town Council wildflower verge January 2021

Back in January 2021 I noticed what appeared to be tyre tracks across the grass verse opposite the Marlborough Club. Closer inspection revealed them to be the start of a wildflower strip.

Prepared Didcot Town Council flowerbeds, February 2021
Prepared Didcot Town Council flowerbeds, February 2021

Didcot Town Council has sown the area with a mix of cornfield annuals and perennials. They’re 100% UK native wildflowers and will need no chemical fertilisers.

Didcot wild flower verge May 2021
Didcot wild flower verge May 2021

I’ve tracked progress over the last few months and, after a slow start, the flowers are now out!

Didcot wildflower verge, July 2021
Didcot wildflower verge, July 2021

The cornfield annuals include poppies, cornflowers, corn marigolds and (I think) corn chamomile. There are a variety of other plants too, including fumitory, violas, thistles and several different grasses. I’m guessing at least some of these have self-seeded. I don’t know what perennials have been planted;  if anyone does please do leave a comment.

Corn marigold and cornflower (top row), corn chamomile (possibly) and poppy
Corn marigold and cornflower (top row), corn chamomile (possibly) and poppy

I visited on a damp day but was impressed by how many pollinators and other insects were buzzing around. Hoverflies were out in abundance whilst the bees were busy on the poppies. There was even a Meadow Brown fluttering around!

Spot the hoverflies!
Spot the hoverflies!

I watched a ladybird devour black fly on a thistle head and then realised there were three ladybird larvae feeding on the same plant. It’s amazing how much there is to spot once you focus in on a few flowers.

Ladybird on thistle head, Didcot
Ladybird on thistle head, Didcot

Wildflowers have also been planted in the beds next to the allotment. In past years these have always been home to formal bedding plants, so this is quite a change of direction for the Council.

Poppies, Didcot
Poppies, Didcot

My favourites are the cornflowers. There aren’t many but their vivid blue colour ensures they stand out. Although these are annuals I do hope some more are sown next year.

Cornflower, Didcot
Cornflower, Didcot

If you’re in the area do pop along for a look. It’s great to have access to nature in a town centre – well done Didcot Town Council!

Wildflower verge, July 2021
Wildflower verge, July 2021

 

3 Replies to “Didcot Town Council wildflower beds”

  1. Brilliant – I, like so many others, use to take pride in neatly cut weedless lawns and well kept roadside verges. This year I’ve learnt about rewilding and become increasingly concerned with the lack of insects around. Whoever came up with this idea gets my thumbs up and I hope we see more of it, next year. Well done.

  2. Strolled past this morning after visiting the library, I wouldn’t usually see this so thank you for this article. A brilliant effort, very colourful, though I think care is needed with the thistles as they may take over if left. The Didcot Garden Town initiative highlights housing, transport and jobs which are all important but this sort of “garden” project should be highlighted as well.

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