Blogger: Aggie Rothon, Communications Officer

We went in to the city on Saturday, for the bank and for me to buy a dress for a wedding. It reminded us that we are more country folk than city folk. There’s not much space in the city is there? Still, ask my sister or my best friend Huw, both hardened city types, and they’ll tell you of their favourite view; lights twinkling from a darkened cluster of skyscrapers, or their favourite place to be; a bustling cafe-bar, full of chatter until the early hours.

It got me to thinking what my favourite things are. Morning, just as the sun appears over the rim of night and breathing cool, fresh air. Trees, in craggy winter dress or in their first green flush. Birdsong at dusk. At the moment, the verges are alive with flowers and at this time of year they are definitely some of my favourite things.

Cow parsley

Bubbling waves of white on fleshy green stems, cow parsley clothes the roadsides. It reminds me of tanned skin from playing outdoors, the end of school terms and riding plump ponies along narrow, country lanes. I’d be on my strawberries and cream coloured cob my sister on her more glamorous cowboy-coloured pony, slowly meandering along with the flies. The cow parsley would be too good to resist and the ponies would snatch great mouthfuls as we went, teeth clunk-ing through the stems.

Yellow flag iris

I grew up more a coastal north Norfolk girl and it wasn’t until later that we crept closer and still closer to the magnificent Broads. It was walking through the tangled alder and reed carrs as I explored my new homelands that I came across these flowers. And what an apt name for a flower! You are surrounded by the damp calm of the woods and water but standing strong and tall amongst the greens and browns will be a statue of yellow. Flower heads in a stiff salute and almost neon against the muted backdrop of undergrowth.

Pink campion

It lined the wooded paths. Bright, stars of pink or red fading to crisp buckets of seed. Press one of these hard seed-shells just as they turn husky and dry and hundreds of brown seeds will pour from them, scattering on to the leaves below to become next years sea of pink-red.

And so many more! The vibrant blue of cornflowers and comfrey and the crumpled red skins of poppy petals. Oxlips and cowslips and the brightness of valerian in the driest of spots. Magnificent in their diversity can they all be my favourites?

What are your favourite countryside things? Tell us on /

Cow parsley. Photo credit: Andy Hay (