August – traditionally the month of cornflower blue skies, sunshine and holidays.
Lots of wildflowers will have already completed their lifecycle and produced seed. Look out for different seed vessels like the poppy shaker pots, which can look lovely left in situ.
Oxeye daisies may have a second flush of flowers if they have been cut back. Cornfield wildflowers such as corn chamomile and corn marigold should be flowering profusely.
Knapweeds and scabious are still blooming and creeping thistles can be seen along field edges, whilst road verges are yellow with perennial sow thistle, toadflax and birdsfoot trefoil. Ragwort, a member of the aster family, is a toxic plant that provides the food source for the striped caterpillars of the cinnabar moth.
Stately purple loosestrife, rosebay willowherb and great hairy willowherb are in flower, along with meadowsweet, bell flowers and the dainty blue harebell.
The abundant white and pink umbels of wild carrot and yarrow in all its various stages will be providing a landing platform for insects. Wild Carrot is a biennial, completing its lifecycle in two years, so you will need to wait for the lacy flowers which arrive in the second year. The flowers can range from large flat white blooms to tiny pink tinged stars. Wild carrot seed heads are beautiful too, forming a cup shaped fist full of tiny fluffy seeds.
Wild carrot is also known as Queen Anne’s Lace, after the legend that the Queen pricked her finger whilst sewing and a drop of blood spilled onto the lacework, look out for a red centre on some of the flowers that give it this name.
Towards the end of the month it will be time to get planning and scattering your wildflower seeds ready for next year’s show or even the year after!