Final Postcard from Cornwall: Wild flowers and pasties

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The thing that struck me more than anything during our week in Cornwall was the wildflowers.  Anyone who has holidayed in Cornwall will know all about the narrow windy roads with high verges.  I have often holidayed in this area in July or August and the verges have been grassy with a few flowers.  However, maybe because we were away much earlier than usual and also possibly because of the late Spring, the verges were positively groaning with wild flowers.

I have no photographs to demonstrate this as I was driving but the photograph above was taken by the car park outside Portscatho and this gives you a glimpse of what the verges were like.  We say bluebells, campion, foxgloves, various ferns, cow parsley, another unknown umbellifer which had angelica overtones, nettles and goodness knows what else.  There has been quite a bit in the news recently about local councils cutting verges destroying habitats in particular Plantlife has criticised councils for cutting verges too often.  We did see some verge cutting in Cornwall  but this was around junctions in the towns; the countryside verges seemed very much left to their own devices.

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Even my sons commented on the meadows on the headland above Porthcurnick Beach, managed by the National Trust.  I do hope  that other councils will take note of the work, or lack of it, carried out by the  Cornwall councils.  After all in simple economic terms if they reduced the amount of verge cutting they would save signficant amounts of funds.

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Oh and in case you are wondering about Portscatho and why we had visited it, the photograph above demonstrates what a charming fishing village it is.  Also I had read somewhere on the internet about The Hidden Hut at Porthcurnick Beach.  Apparently it was on a recent television programme about Cornwall and had good reviews.  The Hut is located about a 10 minute  walk from the car park and is a complete gem.

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It has a simple lunchtime  menu of focaccia rolls, cooked fresh on site, with various fillings or steak pasties. They also did some hot dishes such as chowders but we opted for pasties and I have to say  it was the best pasty I had all week. They also do evening meals on special  nights and we spotted large paella pans and a BBQ.  It was such a clever and simple concept and delivered incredibly well. Even on a midweek lunchtime outside of the school holidays it was busy and I am sure that they will continue to go from strength to strength.

There can’t be much better than sitting eating a Cornish pasty overlooking the sea on a beautiful sunny day and I  think it will be one of the lasting memories of my holiday.

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11 Comments Add yours

  1. helenatfoxgloves says:

    If the umbellifer you saw was lime green in colour it was Alexanders. I live just over the border in Devon and the hedgerows and banks around here are thick with it. Have loved reading your blog this week. So glad the weather has been so kind to you. Safe journey home.

  2. hughcassidy says:

    Enjoyed this post and I think many people could learn about letting wild flower and meadow areas develop as habitats for our native plants and animals

  3. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip. Cornwall looks very different from what I think of as English countryside. Your mention of pasties reminds me of when I lived in Wisconsin there was a cornish pasty shop called Miles’ Teddy Wedgers. I ate way too many of those things, but couldn’t help myself. There was also a nearby town called Mineral Point which had been inhabited mostly by Cornish miners at one time, and the Cornish presence is still visible.

  4. we eat some of those kind of weed *first picture* *i dont know how to call those plant in english* in Indonesia, can you believe it? but yess we do. 😀 hohohoho

  5. I live in Normandy having moved from N. Ireland. There wild flowers have been decimated by excessive use of fertilizers and slurry. Here the banks are incredible from spring right through to late summer. They do get trimmed back but that helps to control bracken and bramble.

  6. Cathy says:

    Hopefully you are home safely now after what must have been a most satisfactory week – and think of all the money you have saved on postcards!! Thanks again Helen 🙂

  7. I totally agree about verges, Anglesey seems to take the same stance as Cornwall, they are a riot of colour. Interesting that you say you saw cow parsley. We have loads of Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum), which I’m pretty sure is the umbellifer in your last photo, but I’ve not seen any cow parsley at all. I am wondering how my little Anthriscus ‘Ravenswing’ seedlings will do, they are certainly not flowering, which doesn’t bode well. Glad you had a good pasty experience, every Cornish holiday demands at least one, sounds like a memorable holiday all round, thank you for sharing it with us.

  8. What a charming adventure, the kind of trip you remember forever. The photos are really gorgeous.

  9. Pauline says:

    Here in Devon, they follow the same cutting regime as Cornwall, the lanes are frothing with cow parsley, red campion and bluebells. The road junctions get cut for safety, but the rest are allowed to flower away until they get cut sometime later in the summer. The cow parsley and red campion have jumped over the hedge and are now spreading in the woodland, I will have to dead head them before they go to seed! Thanks for sharing your holiday experiences with us.

  10. Phil Brammer says:

    I haven’t edged my lawn since I filmed Jim Carruthers talking about How to not Garden at Gardening Scotland. 10 things to NOT do to improve a garden’s biodiversity – it’s hilarious but he has some serious points to make.
    Keep up the good work!

  11. Where we are in SE Cornwall, the wildflowers are wilder than ever this year. We think it’s all the endless winter rain. To remind you of your trip, The Last Good Man novel, set on our beach in Cornwall, is available free on Kindle until Tuesday 18th June: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Last-Good-Man-ebook/dp/B006T386VM/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1371245920&sr=1-6

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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