Monday, 3 June 2019

WILD FLOWERS IN HALIFAX

Halifax town centre, Calderdale, West Yorkshire. Wild flower embankment. View towards New Ebenezer Church and Job Centre.When I first visited Halifax - looking to see if it would be a good place to live - I was struck by the amount of ragwort. It sprouted out of pavements and walls and old chimneys and public planters. In particular there was a long embankment of it between a car park and part of the busy road system that skirts the quieter and partly pedestrianised town centre. I can't remember what was on this embankment last year but it wasn't ragwort. Earlier this year it was a yellow sea of oil-seed rape flowers. I assumed this was random. Who plants ragwort? Who sows oil-seed rape apart from farmers?

Borage, poppies and possibly chamomile on wild flower embankment, Halifax, Calderdale, West Yorkshire.


There's loads of ragwort around town this year too. . . but the bank is currently like this. Someone, surely, has turned it into a wildflower oasis - and bees are loving it. So am I. So, I guess, are the hundreds of people who walk past and maybe the thousands of people who drive by in cars and lorries or who look out from buses.

California poppy, forget-me-nots and white daisy-style flowers in Halifax town centre, Calderdale, West Yorkshire.
A health update:
Two possible bone marrow / stem cell donors have been identified so I am hoping to return to hospital for a transplant some time in the first part of July. Chemo has knocked back the leukaemia so I am feeling remarkably well but an underlying mutant something or other called FLT3 (I really don't understand what this is) is getting worse - so there's a bit of a race on. A drugs company is allowing me to take a medicine that is not yet on general release to help keep it at bay while I wait to return to hospital. What a weird and surreal life. It's very hard to realise all this frightening stuff really is happening.

Who can identify these flowers? Wild flower embankment. Halifax town centre, Calderdale, West Yorkshire.
In the meantime . . . I try to take up the reins of ordinary life. I wish I enjoyed housework! And I wish the beautiful grasses which have invaded my allotment weren't so tough, luxuriant and profuse. I have some very little tomato seedlings, runner bean plants and patti-pan squashes in pots. Radishes have germinated on the plot but not yet carrots. I mean, they should have but I've sown everything late. It will be nice when the weather becomes appropriate to June. Then though I will probably complain it's too hot!

Wild flower embankment between Cow Green and Bull Circus, Halifax town centre, Calderdale, West Yorkshire.


Thank you whoever is in charge of this bank. Halifax, it turns out, really is a very good place to live.

(Can someone say what the white daisy flowers are? I wondered chamomile but that doesn't seem quite right. And what is the purple flower in the second to last photo?)

33 comments:

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Good to have news of you, Lucy, and to know that you have not yet been defeated by this awful struggle. I know it must be difficult and I am glad that nature is able to provide at least some solace. Good luck.

Diana Studer said...

Purple is geranium, cranesbill.

Lovely to hear that you feel well - and are allowed to dig in the soil again?

bill burke said...

The wild flowers look avery pretty. Glad to hear the good news about your health.
Wishing you a good week.

Sue Garrett said...

I think the daisies are in eyed daisies. There are lots growing on roundabouts etc near us, The wild flower bank loos beautiful. It’S such a shame that oil seed rate is escaping farmland and invading the countryside. I;m glad that you are feeling well and things look positive with treatment.

Hollis said...

Hey there Lucy ... good to hear from you. And best wishes from across the Pond :)

Birgitta said...

Very nice photos!

Adrian Ward said...

It looks great. I hope you are as good in a month or two.

Imperfect and Tense said...

What a lovely uplifting post, thank you!

The daisy-like flowers are Corn Chamomile, the purple flower is Corncockle, so I'm guessing that the bank has been sown with a cornfield annuals mixture. Councils seem to be realising that they can help insect pollinators and save money on grass cutting or herbaceous planting.

Looking for Blue Sky said...

Thank you for the update and loving the photographs xx

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

It's always uplifting to find beauty where it's least expected. Yes, it certainly looks like it's been seeded with a wild-flower mix, though it is surprising what does suddenly turn up where roadworks have recently disturbed the soil. Wishing you all the best. Take care.

Jo said...

I'm so pleased to hear that a couple of possible matches have been found, fingers crossed that all goes well. It's lovely to see wildflowers growing in the most unlikely of places, they must put a smile of many people's faces as they pass by.

Flighty said...

Good post and pictures. It's always nice to see wildflowers, especially in an urban setting, and it certainly looks like someone has been seeding the area. The purple flower is a corn cockle (agrostemma githago).
Take care. xx

Countryside Tales said...

Corn cockle (purple) and corn chamomile (white). A beautiful bank of flowers. Glad to hear the donor news and also that you feel well and are planting things again x

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Halifax does indeed look lovely Lucy, especially here in spring. Positive vibes coming your way, hope all goes well in July. It must be a scary time for you, I hope you have family and friends living close by 💜💙

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello David. It has been quite challenging re-connecting with 'nature' both after the shock of the diagnosis which sort of froze a bit of my 'insides' and after being in hospital for so long where my view was just of another part of the hospital. Detaching again when I go back in will be hard.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Thanks for the ID Diana.
I'm confused about what I am and am not supposed to be doing. The cancer nurse said I could do the allotment if I wear rubber gloves. One consultant said yes I could do my allotment if it simply meant being there and supervising others. (!) Another said yes, as long as I don't dig. Then I was warned about compost (the bacteria etc. therein). So . . . well I have been digging but I'm avoiding the compost bin. My neutrophils (which contribute to immunity) get measured every week so I keep an eye on what they are doing and am currently in the 'low normal' range so hopefully I will be ok.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Bill. The flowers really are uplifting. One is walking along a dusty, noisy, town street: turn the corner - and there they are!

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Sue. I think your in eyed daisies is a typo for oxeye? If so - I don't think this is what they are. The flowers I think of as oxeye are taller and come up on a single stem rather than lots of branches. Mind, it was only a couple of years ago that I realised they are oxeye and not 'Oxford' daisies so I could be completely adrift still!

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Hollis - and thanks for your good wishes.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Glad you like the photos, Birgitta.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Adrian. With a transplant date rushing towards me now - I think in a couple of months time I will probably be back to feeling quite weak compared with how I am now. Not only can the process be rather gruelling the doctors say it takes two years to get over it and to recover one's complete energy again. Oh the ups and downs!

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Imperfect and Tense. The names are wonderful - corncockle and cranesbill.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Looking for Blue Sky. Glad you enjoy the photos.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello John. It is unexpected in one sense - that it's a blank bit of ground in town that has been transformed to beauty - but next year I will be looking forward to seeing what the 2020 version of wild seed sowing will look like.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Jo. Shouldn't be long now till the bone marrow / stem cell transplant - and I will be able to walk by this wild flower bank in my imagination during the five weeks in hospital.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Flighty. I'm wondering who in the council gets to chose what wild flower mix to use.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Countryside Tales. 'Corn Chamomile' sounds so much more romantic than just plain chamomile.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Perth Daily Photo. Halifax is not exactly 'beautiful' but it is incredibly interesting, architecturally and historically. These flowers certainly enhance it. Thanks for your good wishes - and yes, I have good family support.

Caroline Gill said...

What beautiful photos on your post, Lucy. And what a revelation that these large white daisies aren't all Ox-eye... I must take more care! I was updating my home patch species list and thinking of you.

I'm SO glad that you are out and about a bit, even if it's not entirely clear what you should be doing in terms of handling soil etc. I shall try to remember Corn Chamomile... and am off out to see whether my large daisies have one flower per stalk or more! Then tonight we have the Suffolk Wildife Trust Nature Summit, which should be interesting.

Anna said...

Oh those wildflowers are fabulous Lucy and must be appreciated by both people and pollinators. I think that splashes of colour and nectar like that are often more striking when you come across them in a big town. I don't think that housework is meant to be enjoyed :) Will be thinking of you and hoping that all goes well in July xxx

Jayne said...

Beautiful flowers, I saw something similar on a roundabout near Durham last year which was spectacular.

Hope you continue to get good news, health-wise.

Squirrelbasket said...

I am so glad you are well enough to get out and about and appreciate nature again. I have been enjoying your recent posts on both blogs - so I must apologise for leaving it so long to comment (I'm working full time and have a semi-invalid husband at the moment, so lots of extra housework).
Calderdale Council must be truly inspired to do this sort of meadow planting - much richer variety than you would usually find together these days.
I think of you often, especially when tree following or every time a see a street plant. Keep up the good work and I'm sure we all hope the health news continues to be positive.
Lots of love :)

Laura Bloomsbury said...

Nice surprise with this mixed planting of a post Lucy and its good to hear that life around you is not entirely dominated by such serious health matters -and that Halifax is treating you so well. Here they plant eye-catching wildflowers all along the main roads in Doncaster and it makes such a difference. Those are definitely Leucanthemum vulgare - you can see the whites of their eyes ;)

I wish the donor matches were more certain but fingers crossed and am sending handfuls of hope your way
Laura
p.s. please email me if you wish