Wildflower Wednesday: There's an orchid in my lawn!

Pyramid orchid in my front lawn

My wild and woolly front lawn has just got a little woollier with the surprise addition of the above beauty. I spotted a strange looking spike emerging a couple of weeks ago and hoped it was what it's turned out to be: a lovely, lovely orchid.

This one's a pyramidal orchid (Anacamptis pyrimidalis), which according to the link likes a milder climate and chalk or limestone grasslands. It also goes on to say that it's developed a liking for the more artificial kind of environment - such as beside roads and canals - so perhaps a front lawn on a limey clay soil is just the kind of place it likes to be nowadays. I'm delighted it's chosen my front garden!

I've asked NAH to refrain from mowing the lawn for a while to enable it to set seed, though he's keen to mow the 'meadow' now No Mow May has finished. Perhaps we now have the perfect compromise, leave the front lawn so there's taller herbiage there with a lower back lawn to offer the shorter grass and flowers that other insects love. Thankfully our front lawn is behind shrubs so people won't know just how wild and woolly it is there.

Our local town council has adopted a policy of less mowing this year, which is proving to be controversial. Some welcome it and others hate the unkempt appearance, saying it will attract vandalism and grafitti. Perhaps a compromise is the way forward by mowing edges and pathways through the grass, so there's signs of care in our public places. This would also fit with Plantlife's findings from their No Mow May research: there's a need for both short and tall grass habitats to help maximise biodiversity.

Has your local council adopted No Mow May? How has it gone down in your neighbourhood?

Have you see any orchids this year? It looks like it's been a good year for them.

Wildflower Wednesday is hosted by my dear friend Gail at Clay and Limestone. Hope you have a good time at the Fling in Madison Gail!

Update: Thinking back to last week's post on Jean's garden pollinator book... here's an example of a flower which relies on butterflies and day/night flying moths for pollination. A great reason why we need to consider and welcome all kinds of pollinators to our gardens.


  1. That's a lovely plant and a delightful surprise. Cool that the town council is mowing less.

    1. Thanks - we've left it to self seed so fingers crossed for more next year

  2. Up in the Pentland Hills yesterday and spotted my first marsh orchid ( about a dozen) of the year. Great aren't they. Might post. Also have (with council agreement) established a wildflower meadow area now in its third year

    1. Sounds fantastic - I once went for a job in the Pentland Hills (didn't get it) and loved the area

  3. I have a tall creamy coloured orchids and a shorter purple one growing themselves in our meadow lawn

    1. I've seen plenty of those locally, they're wonderful

  4. Sounds like a good compromise. If you get more in that area then you'll have less of an area too that will need mowing :)

    1. That's the angle I'm telling my husband!

  5. Thats wonderful, I hope they spread! We have an orchid which flowers at the crossroads in the village in May and after me repeatedly asking the Parish Council not to strimmer that area, now it seems to be safe. Cross road jumctions have to be mown for safety when driving, but the lanes are left until the flowers have set seed.


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