Wild flowers are a growing trend in London, on the ground.
I have been struck recently by the proliferation of urban wild flowers. Many of London's parks, large and small, now have wild meadows where once there were well manicured lawns.
Of course, groomed green grass remains a major feature of London's parks, but the wilder areas add colour, texture and huge visual appeal.
They also provide a habitat for insects and the birds that feed off them, as well as other creatures, and help to clean the city air.
Wild flowers are not only flourishing in designated parks and gardens that are open to the public, but also in many small fenced off green spaces on housing estates.
Such enclaves have always provided space around blocks of flats, allowing more light into the buildings and offering a more pleasant view than tarmac or concrete. Now, many of them lend a new wild beauty to their neighbourhoods.
In some cases, new wild meadows have been proactively created by sowing seeds. Others have been allowed to develop simply by not mowing the grass. Many species of naturally occuring wild flower seeds lie dormant under lawns and will only grow once the grass is left uncut.
Policy followed by councils and other owners of London's parks and gardens is spreading the trend of urban wild flowers. However, human intervention is not the only driver.
Nature needs little encouragement. Wild plants have always found nooks and niches, cracks and crannies in which to thrive.
Next time you take a walk anywhere in London, pause to enjoy the wild flowers preening at you from parks and gardens, walls and footpaths, steps and pavements.
Below are some of my photos showing just a very small selection of the variety of wild flowers and plants growing in the area within a short distance of my flat. Please share your own photographs with me, either by email or on my social media.
Walks and tours available for booking
The London On The Ground Summer 2023 schedule of walks and tours is now available to book. For details and tickets, please click here.