Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Mini-meadow

When we moved into our new house at the end of February, the end of the garden was full of crocuses and primroses.

It was very pretty, so we decided to leave a patch of the lawn unmown so that we could see what else flowered over the summer. We ended up with a beautiful mini-meadow full of ox-eye daisies, clover, ragwort, self-heal and all sorts of other things.
Mini-meadow with our pond behind
During the summer I planted a few seedlings from my Mum's garden, including teasels, cowslips, evening primrose and fax and cubs, which will hopefully all flower next year. We also have an abandoned sports ground at the end of the garden, which is absolutely full of wildflowers (you can see some of the flowers that are just over the fence here). Hopefully lots of seeds will be blown over the fence and into our meadow!

We thought we'd also have a go at sowing some seeds this autumn, just to see what happens. We had wildflower seeds that we'd been given at various events (in our 30 Days Wild pack and at the Wild Fair in Oxford) and half a packet of old seeds that were waiting to be used up. We also collected a few seeds each time we were out and about, including knapweed, agrimony, vetch, some big spiky thistles, teasels, goldenrod and wild marjoram. We collected a few rosebay willowherb seeds for the elephant hawkmoth caterpillars and Mum gave us some dark mullein for the striped lychnis moth caterpillars. There were lots of other seeds in the mix ... those are just some that I remember.


We had cut the meadow a few weeks ago and got rid of all the cuttings. It's been so mild though that the grass had grown quite a lot, but so had some of the flowers. We found one primrose in flower and plenty of primrose leaves, plus the ragwort that had been cut to the ground had flowered again.

Primroses in flower in October!

Ragwort flowers - these plants were covered in stripy cinnabar caterpillars in
the summer
We sowed our seeds this afternoon. After raking up the leaves from our ash tree and some of the dead grass, we scuffed up the ground as much as we could. Then the kids chucked the seeds everywhere, using a variety of techniques!

Barefoot and controlled seed dispersal

Fling it far and wide seed dispersal
I had also bought some yellow rattle seeds, as this plant is particularly good at keeping the grass at bay. It's semi-parasitic on grass and will hopefully allow the wildflower seeds to take hold and not be swamped by grass.

Now we just have to wait and see what appears in the spring!

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