This year I saw the best flowers artificially planted, paradoxically, at roadsides and parks. The other best place was here at Chorlton Ees in autumn. Technically this too is a managed space but not like a park. Large areas were planted many years ago and are cut down regularly. I’m not sure about the effect except that it will encourage some growth and hinder others. As such, I presume Willowherb likes being cut. There are other areas however, similarly cut, with grasses not flowers. Kenworthy Woods for example, a few miles away along the River Mersey.

There’s no such thing as wilderness, walkers say. This is correct but when it’s constantly repeated becomes tedious. There’s only so much you can write about the outdoors. Unless you get into wild life details – birds, flowers, butterflies, trees – as a writing form it’s very limited. You might combine it with personal narrative, as Richard Mabey does for example, but even he includes extensive naturalist knowledge. I prefer reading a novel. I was thus intrigued by the title of the book Sick of Nature by David Gessner. I am not sick of nature. As a writing genre it gets tedious; photography is another matter.

Wild flowers can be described as wild if they grow in the Scottish hills for example or as I saw, two years ago, on the slopes of Scafell Pike, a tiny saxifrage. Sometimes you have to enjoy the close details of nature as you see here.


Chorlton Ees: Willowherb and Daisies

Monday December 28, 2015