Gower is noted for its wild flowers, particularly those that grow on the limestone cliffs. Away from nature reserves, the hinterland flora is less rich, the result of years of intensive farming and pesticides. Each spring I grow wildflowers from seed in the garden in an attempt to remember the wonderful meadows of my childhood. More and more wildflower seeds are available now, and they are easily purchased over the Internet.
I prefer to buy seeds from a splendid venture set back from the road at Blackhills on Fairwood Common. The Gower Wildflower Centre not only sells wildflower seeds, but also has a small field, which is sometimes a riot of colour in late spring and summer. There’s a little gem of a restaurant here too, providing good organic food, a shop offering local honey and the like, and the whole venture generates a feeling of affinity to the natural world.
I’m here today to buy my seeds for this year. I take a mix of poppies, oxeye daisies, corn marigolds, corncockles, cornflowers and a few more. I won’t plant them until after the last frosts; they’ll then grow quickly, and each year the results are marvellous. It’s not only the joy of the flowers that’s so rewarding, but I’ll have the buzz of bees and other pollinators in the garden once more by the end of May.
I head off home with my small packet, eager to put the final touches to the flowerbeds and plant pots. I’ve turned this cold, dull day into one of sunshine and summer.