Wildflowers in Llanblethian orchard

Llanblethian orchard is home to a whole range of wildflowers across multiple habitats.

I keep the orchard using a no till, minimal cutting regime. Generally the only areas I cut are the entrance and around the trees themselves just before harvest. I leave the rest of the land uncut to encourage both wildflowers and wildlife. The only interjections are occasionally cutting back any bramble thickets trying to create a blasted monoculture in winter. As well as pulling out any ragwort or worse that has reared it’s ugly head.

The land has not been ploughed since my family bought it. It has not been sprayed with herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers – with the exception of spot spraying a few noxious weeds over a decade ago – since purchased.

Because of the methods used maintaining our orchard it has preserved and encouraged a rich biodiversity of wildflowers and wildlife. This has to a large degree also naturally kept on top of pest species of our trees as it has a strong ecosystem. Nature has her ways after all 🙂 

History of Llanblethian orchard​

The orchard has been in my family for around 30 years. Originally we grazed horses on the land before beginning to plant the orchard in 2006.

Being low lying land bordering a watercourse the land has probably been used as a meadow for grazing livestock for centuries.

Alongside the land there is public right of way which was used to drive
animals down to drink from the stream when Mount Ida opposite was
grazed. One of the houses in Piccadilly still holds the historic grazing rights
for the common land on Mount Ida.

The previous owners  used the land as a riding school. The railway wagon used as a makeshift stable for it is still present near the gate.

From chatting to older residents of Llanblethian at one time previous owners of Dan-Y-Graig used to harvest and sell the watercress from the stream in the orchard.

The previous owners of Dan-Y-Graig also had an old photo of pigs being kept on the land. I really wish I’d asked for a copy before they moved alas.

Field before planting orchard
Meadowsweet habitat

Habitats in Llanblethian orchard

To the west of our land lies Mount Ida, which is part historic woodland, part recently colonised woodland. In the shadow of the ‘mountain’ we have a row of ancient ash trees bordering our land. This  provides the perfect shaded habitat for a range of spring flowering woodland wildflowers

At the entrance to the land the ground is raised and fairly compacted. This gives a naturally short grass allowing a range of small meadow plants to thrive.

The grasslands of the floodplain provides perfect habitat for damp loving meadow wildflowers.

A traditional herringbone drainage pattern runs across our orchard. The banks of which provide  good habitat for wildflowers specialising in banks and ditches. As well as wildflowers adapted to winter wet  growing in the ditches themselves.

There is both a stream and  river navigating our land. They provide habitat for aquatic adapted species.

Wildflowers present in Llanblethian Orchard

Below are the photographs of wildflowers growing in Llanblethian orchard I have taken over the years. I have attempted to identify them as best I can. If you do have any corrections please feel free to contact me here.

I hope you enjoy the photographs!

Persicaria amphibia
Amphibious bistort
Rubus fruticosus
Hyacinthoides non-scripta
Arctium minus
Tussilago farfara
Aquilegia vulgaris
Lotus corniculatus
Common bird's-foot-trefoil
Violaceae riviniana
Common dog-violet
Centaurea nigra
Common knapweed
Heracleum sphondylium
Cow parsnip (Hogweed)
Ranunculus repens
Creeping buttercup
Lysimachia nummularia
Creeping jenny
Cardamine pratensis
Ranunculus repens
Cut-leaved Cranesbill
Narcissus pseudonarcissus
Taraxacum officinale
Rosa canina
Mercurialis perennis
Dog's mercury
Sambucus nigra
Circaea lutetiana
Enchanter's nightshade
Convolvulus arvensis
Field Bindweed
Pulicaria dysenterica
Common fleabane
Apium nodiflorum
Fool's water-cress
Myosotis sylvatica
Wood forget-me-not
Polygonatum × hybridum
Garden solomon's-seal
Alliaria petiolata
Garlic Mustard
Veronica chamaedrys
Germander speedwell
Typha latifoli
Great reedmace
Epilobium hirsutum
Great willowherb
Pentaglottis sempervirens
Green alkanet
Glechoma hederacea
Asplenium scolopendrium
Hart's tongue fern
Conium maculatum
Oenanthe crocata
Hemlock water-dropwort
Geranium robertianum
Veronica hederifolia sub species lucorum
Ivy leaved speedwell
Ficaria verna
Lesser celandine
Arum maculatum
Galium palustre
Caltha palustris
Marsh marigold
Stellaria holostea
Greater stitchwort
Cirsium palustre
Stachys palustris
Marsh woundwort
Ranunculus acris
Meadow buttercup
Filipendula ulmaria
Leucanthemum vulgare
Oxeye daisy
Narcissus Poeticus
Poet's narcissus
Lychnis flos-cuculi
Silene dioica
Red campion
Plantago lanceolata
Ribwort plantain
Potentilla anserina
Prunus spinosa
Epilobium tetragonum
Square-stalked willowherb
Veronica serpyllifolia
Thyme-leaved speedwell
Hypericum androsaemum
Nasturtium officinale
Mentha aquatica
Water mint
Cardamine flexuosa
Wavy bittercress
Trifolium repens
White clover
Angelica sylvestris
Wild angelica
Allium ursinum
Wild garlic
Geum urbanum
Wood avens
Fragaria vesca
Woodland strawberry
Solanum dulcamara
Woody nightshade
Duchesnea indica
Mock strawberry
Meconopsis cambrica
Welsh poppy