Saturday, 19 November 2011

wild flowers in november, mowing meadowmat and my big wildlife garden

yarrow and ragged robin pictured in mid november

This amazing picture was taken by our Sales Office Manager only last week!

All this colour and diversity in the middle of November.  Amazing!

Debs took the picture on the Meadowmat production field.  Admittedly, we have sneaked some annual wild flower species (cornflowers and poppies) in here for extra colour but doesn't that ragged robin look stunning?

Lenny, who's long legged good looks only serve to enhance
the beauty of these native wild flowers
Also looking stunning, is Lenny who ought to be a supermodel - even if he does say so himself!

Mow, Mow, Mow your Meadow
Traditional wild flower meadows - including the one featured in this blog - are grazed at this time of year.  Grazing keeps the grasses nice and short so that they're not competing with the flowering plants for light.  It also scuffs up the ground, creating bare patches where flower seeds can germinate. 
My little patch of MeadowMat is too small to support a cow and although I'm tempted to let Jennifer and Jemima (my two buff orpington chickens) have a scratch around on there, I'm worried that they'll scoff any seeds that are trying to germinate.  So, the next best thing is my trusty Hayter Harrier.  This afternoon, once the sun had dried up all the dew, I ran the mower over my Meadowmat with the blades set as high as possible.  All the clippings were despatched to the compost heap.  My "meadow" looks much neater now and I'm confident I haven't damaged any of the flowering plants - they all sit quite close to the ground.  In fact, now that the grass is shorter, I can see a couple of species I haven't noticed before - hurrah! 
My Big Wildlife Garden
Installing Meadowmat in my garden has really inspired me to do more for wildlife.  I've signed up to the Big Wildlife Garden Competition being run by the Wildlife Trusts and the RHS.  Hopefully I'll be able to pick up some hints and make some new friends.   Check out Angela's patch at bigwildlifegarden.org.uk
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