Oh how we would like a Meadow Field like the one above!!!!!
It’s not every day when you welcome a visitor to look at your garden to be told ‘ such impoverished ground. Far from being dismayed at this news we were delighted. Let us begin at the beginning. We have a large front garden – our main garden with a large plum tree, borders around the lawn with a range of plants. Our soil is solid clay, but, we are working on that. We are happy with the way it looks and our free range chickens like it just the way it is! At the back of our property there is a raised bank held back by railway sleepers. The sleepers are about 4ft high and then the bank slopes slightly upwards to our boundary (made up of protected oak trees). The width of the bank runs about 48ft and depth of 12ft. The oak trees have recently been lopped (with planning permission) thus allowing a lot more light onto the bank. Growing on our garden bank we have inherited two small buddleia bushes, a large shrub (name unknown) and a clump of native bluebells under the shade of the oaks. We have tried planting a lavatera and hydrangea in the solid earth, but, that was a big mistake so they will be coming up and replanting elsewhere. That is more or less the history and brings us up to date 15.7.20.
There has been a lot of talk about wild flower meadows, how we all should be doing our bit for bees and bringing more wildlife into our gardens. We watch nature programmes and every gardening programme known to man! In fact lock down has allowed us more time to think about our garden as we are sure it has done for many people. So it may come as no surprise that we decided to look into the idea of a wild flower meadow on our bank.
What everybody must be aware of is that each garden, plot of land is different. What works for us may not work for you and visa versa. What we do in our garden may not work for you……………… so there is no right or wrong.
Where to start, we have read a fair amount and googled a fair amount. It is so easy just to order wild flower seeds online, but, we stopped ourselves from doing this. We were very lucky to be introduced to David who lives in Broadway, Fairlight. He has made a wild flower garden at the front of his bungalow and has the common spotted orchid and some bee orchids – lucky chap! David works as a ranger and is extremely knowledgeable about natural habitats, wildlife etc. We asked him if he would have a look at our bank. I refer back to my first sentence. David saw the bank and talked about how impoverished it was. Now, that is exactly what wild flowers need – a result! So far so good.
David began by telling us what we already had growing, to the untrained eye I’ll be honest you might pull them up thinking weed! I had to get paper and pencil it was quite a long list – who would have thought!
- Common Centaury
- Ox eyed Daisy
- Ox Tongue
- Cats Ears
- White Clover
David suggested we make sure the earth stays as impoverished as possible. This means raking off falling Autumn leaves to stop them improving the soil. As the soil is so poor the grass does not grow well and I haven’t had to cut it this year. David has told us to cut it in mid-August and rake off everything. We talked about buying wild flower seeds etc. This remains an option, but, David was keen for us to wait and see what else we had in our bank before introducing anything else. It remains an option, but, we are holding fire until next year. Watch this space!