Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Wild Flower Seeds vs Wild Flower Mat - 6 weeks on

Seeded wildflower area, six weeks after sowing.
It's been six weeks since I sowed £10 worth of wild flower seeds onto about 2 square metres of prepared ground in my garden.  Making the seedbed and randomly sprinkling the seed on to it before lightly raking them in took me about 30 minutes.  I have watered the area almost every day and  I've had to weed it at least once a week and I've been rewarded with..............not much so far.

You can see from the picture that there are a good few plants here.  In actual fact, I suspect around 20% of these are not what I've sown.  There are some self sown sunflowers looking very robust, a couple of oriental poppies, also self sown, some bindweed, thistles and something with round leaves and a blue flower that I can't find in my book. The bindweed and thistles are pulled out as soon as I'm sure that's what the seedlings are.  It's a tedious job and I wish I'd sown the seeds in some sort of pattern so it'd be easier to identify imposters.

On the positve side, there looks to be a strong population of corn marigolds, several cornflowers and quite a few things that I can't identify yet. So, hopefully, in another six weeks or so I'll be publishing pictures of a more colourful kind, hopefully alongside portraits of some of the bees and butterflies they're going to attract.

My MeadowMat on the other hand has romped away.  I have lots and lots of yellow rattles and one of the grasses is flowering profusely but I have to admit, that I did think I'd see a bit more colour by now. There are oxeye daisy's blooming in the hedgerow, as well as vetch and birdsfoot trefoil, but although the leaves are definitely growing strongly, there's no signs of any buds.

Don't get me wrong, every day I toddle off down the garden and see a different species.  I can hardly believe how many different shapes and forms of foliage there are in this MeadowMat.  I'm also amazed at how quickly the roots have established themselves into my garden soil.   When I'm talking to turf buyers about how soon after laying their turf they're safe to get the mower out, I always tell them if they grab a handful of grass, give it a good hard tug and the turf stays where it is, then it's really well established.  I think I can safely say that my MeadowMat is firmly rooted to the ground.  I suspect, the plants have been too busy growing roots to grow flowers.  I must learn to be more patient.  This time next year, I shouldn't be surprised if my few square metres of MeadowMat is a floral fantasia buzzing with pollinators.
May 2011: MeadowMat 6 weeks after installation

Yellow Rattle, Clover, and vetch are clearly identifiable in this small area (approx 10cm x 10cm) of MeadowMat

wild carrot leaves in the foreground with vipers bugloss hiding behind

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