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Dramatic difference in wildflower meadow growth



  • matt_fendermatt_fender Posts: 160
    Thanks @Jellyfire - it's still early days but such a transformation already. Just as I posted yesterday about waiting for the first dog rose blooms, today we have this (which I already posted in the rose season thread):

    So the hedge should look really good shortly, given the amount of dog rose buds I can see. Perhaps in future years we'll get hawthorn and rose at the same time, and perhaps a few others as well.
  • guttiesgutties N. IrelandPosts: 223
    @matt_fender Out of interest could you put up a few closer pictures of the hedge.  I'd like to see how to looks.
  • JellyfireJellyfire SuffolkPosts: 741
    excellent, the bees absolutley love dog roses, you'll be humming with noise fairly soon!
  • matt_fendermatt_fender Posts: 160
    Here you go @gutties - a few short sections in close up. There's hazel in there as well, which I forgot to mention earlier. I think if you want a more "hedgey" hedge, then you'd want a higher percentage of hawthorn perhaps. I also put 6m of native hedge in our front garden, but this is more of a boundary type hedge so has I think 60% hawthorn plus some wild privet and beech, which I don't have in the back. Also not sure I'd add Elder to the mix again - its crazy vigorous and needs cutting back during the season. The dog rose are also very vigorous, as you can see.

    The purple flowers are a Chilean potato vine which we got last year from the kids' school plant fair. It's gone absolutely crazy ever since - perhaps not something I would have chosen for the native/wildlife area but I think it looks rather nice now.

  • guttiesgutties N. IrelandPosts: 223
    Thanks Matt.  I can only imagine the wildlife that is being attracted to that.
  • LucidLucid Posts: 334
    @matt_fender - thanks so much for your very detailed reply and it's great to see the further photos you've added. I'll have to do some proper working out to see if we can fit some hedging in somewhere, although I'm not sure if we've got the 90cm of bed space where I was thinking. We're currently planning a bit of a change in the garden - extending flowerbeds etc, but have already got things growing where a hedge could ideally go. My dream for our next house would be to have enough space to have native hedging right around the boundary. Not sure if we'll ever get there but it's nice to have a dream!

    Lucid :)
  • matt_fendermatt_fender Posts: 160
    Just a quick update on the last pic, which was 9 days ago. The "good" area is now perhaps 40cm tall and thriving whilst the poorer area is maybe 6 inches on average, with cornflowers being the only variety taller (strangely the cornflowers seem to be doing as well on each side). The slower growing area is at least filling in now, so it will be interesting to watch it develop and see if different varieties come to the fore in that area than the other.

  • matt_fendermatt_fender Posts: 160
    Well just under a month later, and the wildflower patch is looking great! The "fertile" patch (still a slight mystery) actually doesn't look as good as the rest now; its very verdant, with poppies and grass dominant and later to bloom than the rest. You can make it out in the pic below as the slightly taller and greener area at the far back left, just in front of the office. Although many of the poppies in the less fertile areas are very stunted (some are only 10 inches high), they still seem to put our decent size blooms. Much more of a mix of species evident in the less fertile areas as well.
    So far I love it, just wondering now how long it will look good for this season, and how easy it will be to manage it in the same way for next year.

    Side view from lawn:

  • FireFire LondonPosts: 6,439
    It looks amazing. Well done for all the hard work.
  • matt_fendermatt_fender Posts: 160
    Thanks @Fire it has really exceeded my expectations so far. This is just a side of the garden - perhaps a quarter - and the rest is just conventional lawn & border. I am trying to convince the rest of the family that we don't need a lawn (but not making much headway)! I may have to encroach on the lawn with the wildflower patch a foot or so a year and hope no one notices.
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