Wild flower meadow project (October 2021)

As this series of blogs has already mentioned the first year was a disaster as “we had the wrong sort of grass”! So this is effectively the first year following seeding last September. And this is effectively the meadow’s one year anniversary.

I was sitting in the meadow enjoying the warm autumn sun and suddenly realised I should have done an update on the meadow.

The last blog was June the 13th and we were pleased with the meadow with many flowers coming out. We then went on holiday for three weeks not sure what to expect when we got back and we were in for a surprise.

You tube Video of what we came home to!

Yes that all grow in three weeks. Daucus carota Wild Carrot to 1.2m tall across the whole meadow.

And as well as the wild carrot there were other wild flowers coming out, Centaurea nigra Common Knapweed .

Of course August is the time to cut all of this back.

The mechanical scythe which makes light work of cutting the meadow down.

The cut meadow is then left for a few days for any seeds to drop before a very manual job of racking it up and dumping it into the sheep field for the sheep to eat.

This was effectively the first cut this meadow has had and I was interested to see what would be left. The mechanical scythe cuts at about 7cm which meant chopping through many of the flower plants!

I needn’t have worried, after a few day everything is looking great.

Closer up you can see a few of the many wild flower plants that should come through next year together with flowers grown from seed that has dropped.

In fact some of the Oxeye daisy Leucanthemum vulgare decided to flower having been hidden from the light by the wild carrot. So far it is looking good for 2022.

It is hard to describe how much enjoyment we have had over the last couple of years. Covid has meant we have been in our garden much more with most holidays cancelled or not possible. I think gardening has saved a lot of us during these times.

We have used the time to create an improved seating area. Here we have used wooded blocks held in place aby a soft steel frame with the front edge at the same level as the grass to facilitate mowing. This seat is effectively under the canopy of the tree so can provide shade when required.

And the view from this seat.

A second seating area. This time in a sunny position that will also get the evening sun. We made the frame quite high so that when seated you see over the fence.

The only issue now is where to have our gin & tonic.

Wild flower meadow project (June 2021)

At last the meadow is beginning to look like we imagined. As this series of blogs has already mentioned the first year was a disaster as “we had the wrong sort of grass”! So this is effectively the first year following seeding last September.

However, right now we are getting excited and spend hours in the meadow identifying what is coming out.

The yellow rattle is flowering and everywhere there are signs of perennials that have germinated. Few of the perennials are flowering yet with the exception of the Oxeye daisy but as there were annuals in the mix on our first attempt and also as we disturbed the soil when we rotavated prior to seeding a host of annuals have come through.

The following series of photographs were taken this morning. (click on any image to scroll through them)

I have also discovered that it is hard to really capture a wild flower meadow in photographs!

Even with a wild flower meadow weeding still needs to take place. There are some weeds you definitely do not want to go to seed!