11 MAY 1929, Page 15


The fight for the preservation of our wild flowers is not to be allowed to die. The sword is to remain out of the sheath till " England's green and pleasant land," dissimili flare renidet, gleams with rare flowers. Gloucestershire, whose Bishop gave the lead, remains in the van of the campaign. General Sir Fabian Ware is talking on the theme this week at Cheltenham (where the homecroft movement centres) and effective work is being organized near Cirencester (the place that only the local English can pronounce). Someone has suggested the deliberate sowing of the seeds of flowers on the argument that active propagation is better than negative conservation. This may be possible with common sorts, but would be extremely difficult with many of the rarer. At the same time a good many species have been broadcast in the past. Was not the King: way space full of varieties of sown flowers ? In most country places there are to be found a few vagabonds from gardens. The greater eelandine, carved, thou by mistake, on Wordsworth's memorial, is itself a stray.

An example from my particular neighbourhood is the dusky geranium ; and the very elect—from Anne Pratt to Bentham and Hooker—cannot always distinguish the native from the artificially sown.