Wild orchids in our garden

Greater butterfly orchid - Platanthera chlorantha

The Greater butterfly orchid, Platanthera chlorantha, is very common in the area. You can find groups of hundreds plants on the verges where the roads run through woodlands. It is, however, not very easy to spot these greenish flowers when you pass in your car at 70 MPH.

They grow under the trees in a lightly wooded part of the garden. When we bought the house, the garden was covered in scrub. The first bee orchids appeared in the spring after we started clearing the scrub, but the woodland orchids did not appear until the weather turned wet again in 1999 after more than 10 years of near drought.

Click the pictures to show them full size

Lady orchid - Orchis purpurea

Wild orchids in our garden

Narrow-leaved helleborine - Cephalanthera longifolia

From French cornfield to English garden

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The music is the Chopin Winter Wind Etude Op 25 No11 played by Robert Finley.