Time for a quick catch up on the meadow areas ahead of our courses at the end of the week. There’s nothing very photogenic going on in Caroline’s new patch, which at the moment features a whole load of Rattle, clearing the way for more seed in the autumn. At least it has taken well and the bumblebees are enjoying it. All the wildflower annuals we have here this year are spring sown, so still not in flower yet, and interestingly it looks like no Cornflowers or Poppies have made it through the dry spring. In contrast to Archie’s meadow! This is the meadow we stripped of top soil and sowed last year in the corner of one of Archie’s potato fields on the A303, just east of Sparkford. We not only seeded it with a mix of perennial wildflowers and grasses, but splashed it with annuals too for some early colour and to help suppress the weeds. As a point-and-click photographer I haven’t done it justice, but what do you think?
The movement in the wind of the grasses we have used is as magical as the flowers. What happens next? In the short term there are more annuals to flower. The meadow is bursting with Corncockle, which will turn it purple (just coming into flower at the bottom of the Cornflower pic) – more photos to come in our gallery section. Once all the species have flowered we’ll cut it. I’m not sure whether it will be possible to wait until all the annuals have set seed; if it does we’ll use the green hay to seed an adjacent bare area. This will leave the developing perennials, which will then have time do to some further growing. The meadow will look quite different next year. It may increasingly look like the area we have at home, but as we prepared the ground so differently – by stripping off the topsoil rather than have the pigs on it as we did here – I’m not sure quite what it will look like… Our main meadow area at home is currently swamped in Buttercup and Rattle, with Red Clover, Oxeye Daisies and Sorrel also out:
Archie’s Meadow Goes Bananas
Archie’s Meadow – Update