Wild flower meadow project update (March 2020)

At the start of my last blog I said “at last it has stopped raining”. I was wrong as it feels like it has been raining ever since! We are several weeks behind with the garden and still have to finish some of the rose pruning. The Under Gardener says that I am always concerned about our progress at this time of year so maybe everything will be OK.

Of course the major event happening here and around the world is the coronavirus epidemic. The UK is certainly not prepared for this epidemic following 10 years of our government starving the National Health Service and public sectors of cash. We have just gone into virtual lock down with almost all events being cancelled and many people being asked to stay in their homes for the next few months! We are very lucky to have a large garden where we can spend many hours in lock down. With so much cancelled I shall be spending 100% of my time sorting out all the little jobs that never get to the top of the list.

So, lets talk about how our wild flower meadow project is developing. Previous blogs on this were:

I have just started buying spring bulbs ‘in the green’ from what appears to be a very good nursery Eurobulbs. So 50 Eranthis Hyemalis Winter Aconites found their way into my order and are now planted into one corner of the meadow.

Some of you will remember that we planted around 2000 Narcissus Pheasant Eye to provide drifts of white flowers across the meadow.

These are now coming up and we are looking forward to them flowering.

We also planted Fritillaria Meleagris (Snakeshead) again to provide drifts. A combination of mice and bulbs rotting meant that our success rate was very low, around 25%. Last winter I again planted 1000 bulbs in separate cells and kept them in a cool greenhouse. Once again germination was low with many of the bulbs rotting.

However, we did get enough to create a nice drift in one of the damper parts of the meadow. If anyone knows a foolproof way to grow Fritillaria Meleagris, please let me know.

Although we had some trees planted professionally (see previous blog) there was one tree that had been planted elsewhere in the garden and needed moving as there was not enough room where it had been planted. The tree, Carpinus betulus ‘Frans Fontaine’, was first pruned to remove some of the bulk and then a wheelbarrow was used to support the root ball while it was moved to its new location. The good news is that the leaf buds are just beginning to open.

Across the meadow plants are beginning to germinate from the seed we distributed last September. This particular plant has come up in many places but until it flowers we have no idea what it is.

Looking back from the meadow, across the ha-ha into the main garden spring continues to develop. I am planning to restart my blog covering the main garden over the next few weeks.

Lastly the first of Primula Vulgaris Wild Primrose is about to flower. Wonderful!

In the meanwhile all take care and look after yourselves.


13 thoughts on “Wild flower meadow project update (March 2020)

  1. I’ve heard stories of your stormy, rainy winter. We’ve had an unusually dry and mild one. Glad spring is finally making its way to you. For my stepfather’s 80th birthday, I bought him a number of jonquils, miniature narcissi, fritillarias and species tulips to plant in their front lawn. I think deer usually pinch off most of the tulips, unfortunately, but the rest seem to come up every year. My main problem with the fritillarias is they often dry out before I have time to plant them. This year, they are finally on their way.
    We’re on lockdown too. Which is something I wish would have been mandated far earlier. But, our country is run by a bunch of grafting, incompetent clowns, so now we’ll just have to ride it out and hope for the best. Stay safe, Steve, and take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, nice to hear from you again. Deer is a problem we normally do not have although occasionally I see one. As I said this mess we are in should give us a chance to catch up on all the jobs in the garden and still have time to enjoy it.You take care as well.


  2. Lovely to see the progress. I remember the tree planting. I struggle with F. meleagris too. Have no ideas myself on why, although The Garden Impressionists blog has given me some rather interesting ideas about bulbs generally and I seem to remember that he’s written about Frit meleagris a few times. Have a wonderful spring!

    Liked by 1 person

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