The wildflower patch was sown with a lot of seed in Autumn 2015 after the grass was cut down. It isn’t yet clear that this has made any difference to what grows there, as there is still a lot of new grass. We have included yellow rattle to try and control this. One wildflower that has appeared all over the garden this year is cuckooflower, and there are many of these in the patch.
Looking down towards the house from the seat in the corner above the wildflower patch. Since the old panel fencing blew down the brambles have begun to take over this corner again. We are planning to create a mixed hedge along this part, after the brambles have been dug out. The pond is planned to be where the two conifers are currently growing. One is in a very poor state and both spoil the view from the house.
June 2016 and a solitary red poppy has flowered right in the middle.
Left is coltsfoot, which closes its flowers up around midday. This is the only coltsfoot plant seen so far. Right is lesser stitchwort which is a tiny flower and is spread throughout the patch.
Corncockle (left) has appeared 14th June, this plant was definitely amongst the seed mix that we used. There are many more around getting ready to flower which should please the bees as there still isn’t a lot to attract them to the patch apart from the ever-present buttercups.
We think this is a field marigold (below), it appeared on 16th June but only seems to open in sunshine.
24th June and we have Birdsfoot Trefoil bursting out all over the patch. The tall grasses are still laying down in places after recent rain, and there have been no more poppies or corncockles. Nor is there any sign yet of the Yellow Rattle included in the seeding to control the grass.
Lesser Knapweed is appearing amongst the rampant Birdsfoot Trefoil but there is still no sign of the grass-inhibiting Yellow Rattle. Bees and butterflies seem very happy with the flowers so far though.
This is how the wildflower patch has developed. It is plain now that our preparations last autumn didn’t do enough to discourage the grass and this year we will attack the grass with the rotavator after it has had the autumn cut. So many flowers have just not appeared at all and some pictured earlier have disappeared altogether. Particularly frustrating is the lack of Yellow Rattle which was meant to keep the grass down. No Ox-eye Daisies either, in fact a total lack of colour other than the yellow Birdsfoot Trefoil and still developing purple Lesser Knapweed. The apple tree in the foreground was a mass of leaves and blossom at one time, but the deer have routinely chewed at it so there are no apples forming. It will receive better protection next year.
5th September and it’s fair to say the wildflower patch has finished giving any more flowers this year. When time and weather permit we’ll cut all that remains as low as possible, then rotavate it. No small job but if it helps get rid of grass roots it will be worthwhile. We also plan to leave a path through the middle from one long side to the other so that it is possible to see what’s what in the middle of the patch in 2017.
Page last updated 7-Oct-2016