Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Wild Flowers in Winter and Seeds v Meadowmat

Winter weather has arrived in Norfolk.  Although the sun has been quite bright during the daytime, we've had a couple of overnight frosts and there is a distinct nip in the air. 

corn marigold blooming in december

That's why I was so surprised to find this corn marigold blooming its little socks off in my seeded wild flower area.

Finally, the wild flower area I've been trying to grow from seed is developing a nice population of perennial plants.  I can recognise Yarrow, Sorrell, Scarlet Pimpernel (with buds on!) and there are at least two other species that I'm struggling to identify.

The Meadowmat however, seems to have more species than ever!  I've mown it quite short so that any seeds trying to germinate in the sward have as much light as they possibly can have and as a result I'm seeing really strong populations of clover, yarrow, plantain, sorrell and vetch.  Again, there are some plants that I'm not familiar with - at least not without their flowers!

I hope that the Yellow Rattle will grow in my Meadowmat again next year, there's still a little more grass than I'd like there to be (although Lilly and Lunar the Guinea Pigs didn't object to the hay crop it produced).  I've read that a combination of mowing through the autumn and winter along with having yellow rattle in place will help to supress the grass so that it doesn't overpower the flowering plants.  I have two other weapons in my armoury to keep the grass short........Jennifer and Jemima...my two buff orpington hens who love to peck at the fresh green shoots.

Jennifer chicken enjoys Meadowmat

wildflower plants grown from seed

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