Thursday, 3 May 2012

Wild Flower Meadow in May

Wild Flower Meadow in May

cowslips in the wild
May is the month when the countryside really starts to prepare itself for summer. In the traditionally managed meadow not far from my home, cowslips are braving the rain and merrily blooming in the hope that the sun will come out for long enough for bees to pollinate them. The grass is thriving in this weather and is beginning to grow strongly and it won't be long before the cow parsley explodes into fluffy white flowers beneath the trees.

In my garden, Dandelions are putting on a defiant show in the lawn and because it's been too wet to get the hoe out, there are red and white dead-nettles flowering beneath the fruit bushes...not that I mind, they're great bee food.

My own little wild flower patches are thriving too.  The Meadowmat patch is now 1 year old and looks very different to when it was first installed.  There are undoubtedly more flowering plants and more species than last year, the grass is less rampant..probably thanks to the yellow rattle in the seed mix and I am estimating that the campion will be in flower in about a week's time...the buds are swelling nicely but I'm not sure if this is a white campion, a red campion or a bladder campion.  All 3 are in the seedmix so I'm playing a waiting game.

campion and plantain almost flowering
There'll be no more mowing in my meadow until at least the end of July.

The area I sowed from seed is less biodiverse but the plants are bigger...probably because it hasn't been mown over the winter.  It looks as though I can expect flowers from yarrow, plantain, campion, scarlet pimpernel and some self-sown dandelions.

I have to confess that I haven't taken a look at the seeds I sneaked onto my farmer-husband's uncultivated land.  All being well I'll be able to check on them over the weekend.  I also have some heartease seeds to sow - I'll probably waft them about when he's not looking.  Interesting development on the farmer front.......he's growing peas this year and remarked that there couldn't possibly be enough bees to pollinate every pea flower on his field......all the more reason to encourage bees with wild flowers says I....with the situation as it is your crops might not be yielding their your full potential.  That pricked his ears up.  Pollinators don't interest him, by profits do!
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