Sunday, 20 May 2018

Fair Isle Inspiration from a local Orchid

In 1759 the Royal Society of Arts encouraged the large scale mapping of the counties of England and Wales. The mapping of Norfolk was undertaken by William Faden, who was geographer to King George III and was planned at one inch per stature mile. I love this map. It shows the the lane I live on was bordered by Carleton Common and parts of it were either just enclosed or would become enclosed in the following years. The southern area was not enclosed and has remained a common until this day. It is now called New Buckenham Common as it is just outside the picturesque village of New Buckenham which has a coffee shop, general stores and great restaurant. The common is now a SSI of approximately 37ha and under the management of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. There have been commoners rights to the land since the 12th Century.

It is an area of mainly unimproved grassland with a large pond and other areas of open water. 
General view of  the common
It is one of my favourite places, not least for the rare Green-winged Orchid (Anacamptis morio) of which there is the largest colony in Norfolk. On one of the balmy, hot sunny days last week we walked there  to see the orchids and were not disappointed. 

An orchid colony with other grassland plants

One of the orchids. 
Confusingly the flowers tend to be purple or pinky, they have 3 lobes. The sepals above the flower appear as a hood- it is this that has the green veins. 

I am deciding on a fair isle jumper or cardigan to knit. I have decided it will be my orchid jumper/cardigan. After deciding on the design the next stage will be mathematical. I will naturally dye the wool that I will use in the green winged orchid inspired design. Wearing it I will think of this beautiful place so near to my home. 

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