Wild flower meadow project update (April 2020)

Another four weeks in lock down! We have been so lucky to have a garden to play with and to enjoy. The weather for much of April has also been exceptionally warm and sunny. Some 10 degrees centigrade above typical April temperatures. There is lots to do throughout the garden but we have spent many hours on that chair just enjoying the moment.

The Snakeshead Fritillaria Meleagris has worked well. These were originally planted in 2018 in pots as the legal purchase of the land was taking forever. However we re-planted them in the autumn 2019 and they have come up looking as I had envisioned.

They are ideal for a meadow as they flower early and then disappear with very few leaves etc.

Looking across the meadow you can see some of the Narcissus Pheasant Eye with the Snakeshead across the middle. This was taken on 20th April and there is little to see apart from grass.

The new tree in the corner is Crataegus laevigata ‘Paul’s Scarlet’ is just beginning to come into leaf. All the new trees have been put on automatic watering. The hose on the right is part of the system which connects to drip hoses around the trees under the bark chippings. Keeping new trees watered in the first couple of years is essential.

The Fagus sylvatica ‘Tricolour’ as yet to show signs of leaf but this is not unusual as beech seldom gets any leaves before the end of April. Again it is on automatic watering.

The English Bluebells, Hyacinthoides non-scripta, have come out and should bulk up over the next few years.

Of course as well as the Bluebells the buttercup, Ranunculaceae, are also flowering.

This wild violet has also found a home in our meadow.

Where the seed mix was on bare earth there is a multitude of plants coming through.

And where we sowed the seed mix into existing meadow then you can see a variety of plants starting to grow.

One important plant for creating a wild flower meadow is Yellow Rattle Rhinanthus minor. It is an annual plant that likes to grow in grassy meadows. It is semi-parasitic on grass. … The grass is weakened by it – which is why wildflower meadow makers love it and farmers hate it.

Although this Horse-chestnut tree is just outside our fence we feel it is effectively part of the garden. This has come into leaf and the flowers are spectacular.

Under the Horse-chestnut tree we planted a seed mix for hedge rows. There is a large variety of plants growing here.

The drifts of Narcissus Pheasant Eye has started to look their best. The idea of planting them in a wild flower meadow was something I borrowed from the RHS Rosemoor garden.

Our lockdown continues into May. Take care of yourselves and I will update the meadow progress at the end of May.

18 thoughts on “Wild flower meadow project update (April 2020)

  1. What a grand horsechestnut! I know there are several species that grow as big trees, but I never see them. Only one species is native here, and it is an understory tree that defoliates through the warmth of summer. I sort of like it in the wild, but not enough to plant one. (There are actually two outside that will need to be planted eventually.)

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    • Thanks Tony. I guess the tree is over 100 years old and I suspect it will start falling down soon. It is more or less hollow. However, a replacement has already been planted alongside it.

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    • Thanks Jackie. It is very odd . You would think that the lockdown would give us so much time to blog. I keeping meaning to re-start doing one on my main garden. But with a list of garden jobs to do the time is very short!

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  2. A wonderful project and it is developing very well. We have a very small area along the same lines – lots of snowdrops early on etc, Pheasant Eye Narcissus at present and a few Common Spotted Orchids to come. The fritillarias will increase well by self-seeding and get better year by year. Looking forward to seeing it again next year.

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  3. I just noticed today that Camassia cusickii is coming into flower in my similar – though much smaller – area. It is a small camassia and doesn’t swamp everything else and comes just with/after the Pheasant Eye Daffodils. It might be a good addition.

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  4. I have got the teeniest of meadows with snakeshead and some camassias,; the snakeshead looked lovely when they flowered and the camassia are in bud so I am one happy person. I am now regretting not planting my Pheasant Eye there too! Nothing like your beautiful meadow of course, but small things and all that… 🙂

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    • Yes, we can spend many hours here. Interestingly some areas are doing very well for their first year. Others will need some attention to reduce the vigor of the grass.

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  5. Pingback: Wild flower meadow project (January 2021) | Glebe House Garden

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