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after watching Sarah Raven



  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    I'm having a try at this. I'm in Warwickshire.

    My efforts are extemely amateur. So don't follow what I'm doing. This is just for your entertainment, and showing you how not to do it.

    Anyway, in an area of rough grass, I tried removing some strips of turf, which I sowed with 4 varieties of wildflower seeds (some from T&M, some from Johnsons):

    I sowed about 10 days ago. Because it's been very dry during the past few days, I've been using a watering can. Some seeds have already germinated:

    The ground looks rough. I didn't do much preparation. If these plants are to hold their own against grass, then they'll need to grow up tough.

    I've also tried planting some plugs, like this:

    I had a disaster with some red clover plugs. The day after I'd planted, some animal ate most of the top growth on the little plants. So these are now covered with cloches for protection:

  • dobby2dobby2 Posts: 9

    Well done on your planting. Its all good fun and hopefully all will grow nicely. Then there will be something to look forward to next year as well. My seeds will be going straight into the prepared soil in the next couple of days, and fingers crossed they will do what they know how to do. So its patience for us for a few days to see their results.

  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    Showery weather is forecast for the next week and the soil is warm, so this is an ideal sowing time.

    Just for interest, these are 3 of the 4 packets that I sowed:

    Johnson's - Mixed Bumblebee Friendly Flowers (an impulse buy from my local supermaket while doing weekly shop)
    T&M's Wild Flowers - Meadowland Mixture
    T&M's Wild Flowers - Cornfield Mixture

    It will be interesting to see how well each batch does. And also to see which batch the bumblies actually do prefer.

  • burhinusburhinus Posts: 58

    I think Miriam Rothschils tok about 10 years to create a replica ancient meadow

  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892
    burhinus wrote (see)

    Miriam Rothschils took about 10 years to create a replica ancient meadow

    You're absolutely correct.

    Sustainability is the key to meadows. This important issue was entirely glossed over in Sarah Raven's programs. In fact, most of those programs had little to do with meadows. In many of her examples Sarah Raven was simply sowing or planting herbaceaous beds, somewhat like the mini-beds I've sown.

    A natural meadow acheives a balance between flowers and grass because the soil contains no nutrients. The way that happens is through continual cutting of the grass (haymaking) and removing all the cut hay, so that the nutrients held in the hay do not return to the soil. In a naturally evolving meadow it takes decades to deplete the soil of nutrients.

    Miriam Rothschild created her meadow artifically, by removing several inches of top soil and reseeding. She removed thousand of tons of earth. An operation like that is very expensive, and destructive. She admitted that destroying all the wildlife causes 'ecological disruption'.

    Personally I don't accept that the destruction of all wildlife is necessary nor desirable. Nor could I afford an operation like the Rothschilds'. Unlike the Rothschilds, I don't own an Investment Bank.

    In a mini-meadow, which is what I'm creating, it should be feasible to remove any aggressive grass from around the plugs, and mini-beds, by hand, if and when necessary. We'll see what happens.

    Incidentally, I was in Tesco yesterday, and a packet of seeds caught my eye. I couldn't resist. So I've just made and sowed another mini-bed:

    The presence of packets of seeds like that one, in Supermarkets, shows that a lot of people are interested in trying things like this.

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