Sylvia kindly emailed me the other day with this picture of a roundabout she sees on her daily journey in Dorset. She likes the simplicity of the daisies and a week or so ago they were contrasting with bright yellow dandelions. Is it me or does anyone else think dandelions are particularly prolific this year?
Sylvia's e-mail was most timely as I'd been musing on dandelions and daisies too. The roadside verges around here are awash with them, topped by frothy cow parsley (now renamed Cow Mumble after Happy Mouffetard's recent post) which came into flower a couple of weeks ago. It's less so with our roundabouts, which seem to have the same kind of grass care as a back garden lawn: I can't really fathom why they need to be so neatly manicured.
I've also been reading about Nigel Dunnett's work at Sheffield University on the use of annual seed mixes in public planting and it struck me that this would be perfect for Chippenham's roundabouts, particularly on the town's outskirts. These have already been tried out to good effect on roundabouts in Gloucester and Telford. Whilst there would be some start-up costs for replanting them in Chippenham, I'm sure this would be offset by the reduced mowing needed. I've just noticed in Gardens Illustrated's Chelsea preview this month that Nigel Dunnett has a show garden there this year, so I'm hoping I can get to chat with him in a couple of weeks time.
So who knows, perhaps Chippenham's roundabouts will soon be topped with daisies, dandelions and other wildflower goodies soon.