Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Five Months In The Life Of The New Wildflower Meadow

Tulips, 29th April 2016

The development of the the long grass, bulb and wildflower area at the far end of the Provost's garden began in mid October last year. The large area of grass was scarified in preparation for the planting of the bulbs and wildflowers a few weeks later, see blog entries 14th October 2015 '600 Tulips, 500 Allium and 100 Camassia' and 13th November 2015 'Planting Wildflower Plug Plants', and has now had its first cut down at the end of its season.

Tulips and Camassia, 10th May 2016

First to emerge were the many hundred tulip bulbs providing a vibrant, colourful display in April and May. More colour joined the display, large spikes of blue from the camassia and purple of the snakeshead fritillary, the first of the wildflowers to appear were the delicate, yellow cowslip.

Cowslip, 10th May 2016

Fritillaria meleagris (snakeshead fritillary), 10th May 2016

Allium, 31st May 2016

As the tulips and camassia faded the spherical heads of the allium took over providing a splash of purple seemingly floating above the long grass.

Ragged Robin, 31st May 2016
Towards the end of May to early June there was also a change amongst the wildflower planting, the yellow was now provided by the meadow buttercups and the bright centre of the Oxeye Daisy with the Ragged Robin and Meadow Cranesbill providing the pastel colours.  

Meadow Cranesbill (Geranium), 31st May 2016

Oxeye Daisy, 31st May 2016

Allium, Ragged Robin and Meadow Buttercups, 8th June 2016

 Field Scabious 22nd July 2015

The bluish-lilac flowers of the field scabious were the last wildflower to make an appearance, blooming after all the others had faded.

Flail Cutting

During all the various floral displays the grass had continued to grow and had started to collapse. The decision was made to cut the grass down using the flail attachment on the small Iseki ride-on mower, this would allow the cut grass and yellow rattle seed to drop and settle before the grass is eventually collected and taken away to the compost heap. 

The team are quite happy with the first year's display but, in order to make improvements, more bulbs and wildflowers will be added this autumn.
Flail Cut Area

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