Here I am at this time last year, studying the wealth of flora on a roadside bank near Preuilly. Since I'm standing in a ditch, I can inspect the plants eyeball to eyeball, as it were. Simon is probably very grateful that I had this opportunity to engage in my favourite pastime without embarrassing him too much. According to him, most people's first sight of me is with my backside in the air, bent over to peer at something very close to the ground.
The Cowslips you can see in the picture featured in our blog post from last year here. They will be succeeded by orchids. The soil in this bank is typical of the soil around Preuilly - a sort of chalky loess. Both the primrose family and the orchid family self seed very easily, and roadside banks are prime sites for looking at them - so long as you can park up safely, not always easy or even possible. This road, although narrow and bounded by deep ditches, is fairly quiet. All the same, the French person who has just passed us is probably muttering under their breath about the stupidity of some people.
For more on orchids, please click here