In praise of... these wildflowers

No, I haven't been lucky enough to spend my weekend strolling through lush, sun-kissed meadows. Work visits aside, in the past few months I've only left Hammersmith a few times since Easter - and only once did this mean the wide expanses of Sutton's Nonsuch Park. No, the only rural getaways I've had in the past two months have existed solely in my imagination and in place names, reminiscent of a time - pre-railways - when London consisted of a small city, clustered around the Thames and its ports, and the current sprawling mass was all brooks and tiny bridges, fields and villages and small market towns. Brook Green... Shepherd's Bush... Parson's Green... Stamford Brook... Covent Garden... Stonebridge... Ladbroke Grove... These have been my substitute escapes to the country! 

But if I can't yet make it to the wilds, then I'm glad to say that some wildness has come to me. All I have to do to see these wildflowers is walk for a few minutes, to the junction of Shepherd's Bush Road and Hammersmith Broadway. There, on an island, surrounded by traffic and noise and buildings, is this little oasis of poppies and cornflowers, daisies, cranesbill and a host of other little beauties; a mini meadow in the midst of concrete and busyness. 

I do not know all these flowers' names; but I do know their heart-lifting effect on me, every time I approach and use that crossing. And I do not know whether this was a deliberate piece of rewilding by the local authority (there's no signage), or if it was the work of an anonymous guerilla gardener.* I only know that I am very grateful - as, I'm sure, are the local bees - and that a walk to the shops has been transformed. 

I've read that wildflowers symbolise happiness - which, given their vibrant colours and uncultivated, uncomplicated freedom is very likely. And as today is the greyest, soggiest midsummer imaginable (here in London, at least), it seems a good day to share these, in case your day is grey too. Maybe, too, it's a good opportunity to think about all the little oases and small beauties we are able to find and enjoy, even in the midst of Covid19 uncertainty and gloom.

Proof, in case you need it, that this is indeed a traffic island.

And a link to my Instagram, where you can see several more photos.

* I later discovered it was the work of a local group, the Friends of Brook Green. Thank you!