Tuesday, September 23, 2014

not so wild flowers

On an earlier bike ride from Orléans to Amboise, I passed by a number of stretches like these where the wild flowers had been spread in a rather dense manner.  I'm showing just a fraction of this huge field of colorful beauties.  I hope this will be a new trend.


  1. This isn't a new trend. It's known as jachère fleuri and is a hangover from the not so distant days when farmers were encouraged to plant this seed mix on set aside land and get a grant for doing so. The grant for set aside was abandoned several years ago, but people, including farmers and local authorities, continue to sow the seed mix because they like to see the flowers and they discourage problem plants such as thistles on otherwise unused land. The original idea was to take land out of production, increase habitat for pollinators and control invasive crop weeds. It was only partially successful (pollinators used them, but not in the way expected, for example), but the practice caught on from an aesthetic point of view. The plants in the seed mix are not all native wild flowers, although some are. The mixes tend to be dominated by non-native cosmos, zinnia and Californian poppy, which personally I think is a shame. Vilmorin sell various versions of jachère fleuri seed mixes and I use one of them in my potager, where I have been very happy with it. Some mixes are better than others. Unfortunately the cosmos heavy ones are the most common.

    1. That is fascinating history. I had assumed that since I saw them along the bike path, that it was tourism plan to increase the enjoyment of the many cyclers. I may be remembering incorrectly, but I then one of fields we saw had a little sign from the local community authorities saying to enjoy the flowers by looking at them and not picking them. That's were I jumped to the wrong conclusion. I now with I had take a photo of that sign. But I'm not pedaling another 100 km back to Orléans to find it ! Anyway, thanks for the great explanation.

  2. Very pretty! They plant them along the highways here.