Wednesday 17 July 2013

Leeds Flower Meadows July 2013

Summer is here! And with this British heatwave and plenty of sunshine, our flower meadows are thriving all over the four corners of Leeds. To find out exactly where our meadows are located, click here

Perennial meadows

The five perennial meadows are looking great with a wide variety of sown species flowering. Most meadows are currently dominated by ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), wild carrot (Daucus carota), common knapweed (Centaurea nigra), yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and viper's bugloss (Echium vulgare).

Viper's bugloss
Lovely colours: ox-eye daisy, musk mallow and viper's bugloss at Burley Park meadow
Burley Park meadow
Common knapweed & ox-eye daisies
Stanhope Recreation Ground meadow (Horsforth)
Action shot: sampling our Ebor Gardens meadow (Osmondthorpe)

Other species flowering now include self-heal (Prunella vulgaris), bird's-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), musk mallow (Malva moschata) and tufted vetch (Vicia cracca). These provide a variety of flower shapes and sizes for different pollinators to visit, as well as looking brilliant to us humans!

Musk mallow
Tufted vetch
Bird's-foot trefoil

Annual meadows

The ten annual meadows are at varying stages of development - some have quite a few flowers, whilst others are still looking quite bare. We hope that more sunshine (and a little bit of rain!) will encourage the annual meadows to grow.

The meadows which are further ahead are currently covered in lots of sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima), virginia stock (Malcomia maritima), white wall rocket (Diplotaxis erucoides), baby's breath (Gyposphila elegans) and a few Californian poppies (Eschscholzia californica).

Lush and green: Stanningley Park meadow
Little dots of colour: Armley Park meadow
White wall rocket
Virginia stock
So sunny: Californian poppies
Nearly there! Californian poppy buds
What a contrast with the mown grass (East End Park meadow)
Sweet alyssum
Counting flowers at our Seacroft Ring Road meadow
View from our meadow at West Park Playing Fields (can you spot our information board?)
Our information boards are up! Please look out for them next to our meadows


We are already seeing a variety of insect pollinators on both our annual and perennial meadows - here are a few of our favourite snaps from the past week...

Honeybee (Apis mellifera) on white wall rocket
Solitary bee (Colletes sp.) on ox-eye daisy
Hoverfly (Myathropa florea) on wild carrot
Tree bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum) on common knapweed
Common carder bee (Bombus pascuorum) on bird's-foot trefoil

We hope that the field poppies (Papaver rhoeas) and cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus) will flower soon - the annual meadows will soon be a burst of beautiful colours in Leeds' parks and green spaces.


  1. Great to see your meadows are doing well. Your information boards look good, hope they don`t get destroyed or stolen as most of ours have been.

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