Archie’s Meadow Part VI

More on Archie’s meadow – the two acres of demo we started work on next to the A303 last year. I went down there after Archie cut it earlier this week to spread some of the hay about and weed some of the margins. It has been divided into two sections, one of which, our special meadow mix, has been spectacular as we sowed it withPerennials a “nurse” of annual wildflowers. The other section looks much less ostentatious, but is now going nicely too. It is a mix of perennial wildflowers, Yellow Rattle and grasses from Julian at local supplier Goren Farm. Although Archie has cut most of the area we’ve left a strip of this mix for a few weeks longer. In addition to some interesting grasses and the Rattle, even this duffer botanist could see lots of plantains, Hawkbit, Fleabane, Red Clover, Sorrel, Yarrow, and Buttercup. I’m sure there’ll be a lot more species I haven’t spotted. Very encouraging, very easy – and to think I was worried about it a couple of months ago… We’ll clear the hay off the rest after a few days so that any seed in it will have chance to drop to the ground.

Related Posts:

Meadow Magic
Archie’s Meadow Goes Bananas
Archie’s Meadow Update
Archie’s Gravelpit Meadow
Local Seed For Meadows

Archie’s Gravelpit Meadow

I’ve blogged before about the meadow we’re putting in at Archie’s farm (‘Local seed for meadows’). Over the summer we’ve been preparing a corner of one of his potato fields for sowing – you can see the pictures here. The idea is that it will attract people’s attention, as it’s next to the A303, visible from the Eastbound carriageway about half a mile from the Sparkford roundabout. It will also act as a venue for our meadow management courses which start next year, allow us to showcase some interesting seed mixes, and, of course, create a stunning new meadow for Archie (and, with a bit of luck, the odd Shrill Carder Bee).
Yesterday we sowed it. After a last minute weed and some tidying up of the margins with my trusty scythe we sowed two seperate mixes. On the western third of the site we are trialling a mix from the Blackdown Hills, which is as local as I can find and which should be fascinating. We hope to sell it next year, supplies permitting; it comes from Goren Farm, who currently supply our Yellow Rattle. Lots of Rattle in the mix, interestingly, and some beautiful grasses. We’re using well proven mixes for the other two thirds; our diverse Special General Purpose Mix of native grasses and perennials, over which we have sown Cornfield annuals as a nurse. These are both fantastic quality mixes from Herbiseed.
I hope we’ve done a reasonable job. The soil was damp (and got a lot damper !), the surface good and clean, and we used a fair bit of sand to bulk up the mix and to show us where we had been. We also regulated our application rate to have enough seed to broadcast it west/east and north/south, if you see what I mean. Hand sowing is, however, a bit of an art, and it did rain pretty hard yesterday afternoon,so fingers crossed. If we’ve left lots of gaps I’ll sneak out in the Spring and infill them without your knowing, anyway…