It's amazing how easily we forget that the plants we grow in our gardens originated in the wild, and that they're still growing there now. I'm always surprised to find a common garden plant growing in nature, even though of course I shouldn't be. When we went to Dijon in May we took some walks around the hilly countryside which was chock full of plants we are used to seeing in our gardens. Cranesbill (hardy Geranium) covered many open meadows and was spectacular in full bloom. It was also neat to see hellebores, considered pretty 'fancy' in the gardening world, growing casually in the forest. Unfortunately, I can only write about these as I've lost all of our Dijon pictures in an unfortunate incident involving our laptop and beer. I do, however, have a bunch of other pictures that I've been taking since spring of beautiful wildflowers from around Belgium and France.
In early spring, the season started with these little white beauties covering the ground next to the driveway leading to our CSA.
A few short weeks later the same spot was full of blue Campanula, grasses and a dark-stemmed, dark-leaved artemisia.
Also in the spring time, I spotted these yellow irises blooming by the side of the canal in the middle of the city (the water looks a little brown...). Not sure if these would be native or spread here from a garden? Although we saw some nice wildflowers in Belgium, the most stunning vegetation was in the French Alps. I have tons of wildflower pictures, not all of which turned out so well, but here are a few. These are stunningly blue lupins blooming only in mid-July because of the high altitude.The plant diversity of the hillside meadows was absolutely amazing!
And the colour combinations! These giant verbascums lower in the valley were perfect with the tan seedheads of the grass.
I also loved this plant - unfortunately, I'm terrible with wild plant names, so I have no idea what this was.
Back in the Lowlands, we visited the Netherlands two weeks ago and went to the National Park the Hoge Veluwe. An amazing park with savanna-like woodland, open grass plains, sand dunes, and heathland. It was my first time seeing some of these sandy habitats and my favourite was the heathland, which was working up to full bloom.
Every habitat is an incredible source of unique and unexpected wildflowers - keep an eye out for them and you'll be surprised what you find!