Monday, 18 March 2013

Nitty gritty, down and dirty...

I thought I would start this post at the virtual bottom of the garden and gradually work my way up to the house, comparing what is ,with what was, and what may be again...

The bottom part of the garden has a shallow wildlife pond (more of which later) and an area of wildflowers. I hesitate to use the word 'meadow' as it is, in truth, more of a 'strip', if you see what I mean . This runs along the beech hedge marking the boundary between our garden and our neighbour's orchard. 

This photo shows the area as it is now, complete with bonfire pile, including defunct christmas tree - it's only March !

The photo below shows the same spot as it was in July 2012. 

I had to sow the wildflower seed later than I would have wished, due to the weather, as the soil was far too cold and wet to sow in April. Despite the late start it all came on beautifully and looked fantastic for about a month - until heavy rains and wind beat it all down. Sadly it never recovered and the photos shows it at its best. The plants never stood fully upright again, but they did keep flowering up to the first frosts. There is a mix which is 'Short stemmed Annuals' and perhaps that would have been a better choice, in retrospect.

 I got the seed from 'Pictorial Meadows at 

and it was their 'Annual Standard/ Classic Mix'.

The mix was a lovely one and it changed hues throughout the season, starting off with pastel pinks and pale blues and ending with strong reds and oranges.

I left the annual wildflowers completely alone after they had finished flowering so that they would set seed naturally which would disperse around the area.

This growing season I am hoping that there will be lots of self seeded plants which come up, and I will be interested to see how they will be distributed.

The plan is also to buy more seed from 'Pictorial Meadows' but this time I am going to buy a perennial seed mix, which will take longer to establish but will obviously have permanence. The self seeded annuals will hopefully fill it out with some colour. 

It was definitely worth doing, even though it shone for only a short time, and there is something very nostalgic and romantic about massed wildflowers.

Watch this space ...

My next post is going to be about one of my passions - David Austin English Roses. I would love to share and receive tips for happy healthy roses.


  1. hello, found you via the Patient gardener... did you write about roses? Being in Manchester, I bought 3 England's Rose for their rain resistance & flowering season & a Fighting Temeraire for it's wonderful open blooms, in 2011. The England's Rose plants are very frail looking; I have followed supplier's instructions to cut back by 1/3 instead of hard back & really wonder if my instinct to decimate them would be better in the long run. Do you have a view on their advice? thks Ann

  2. Hi Ann
    many thanks for your comments. I have now posted about English roses and I really hope it could be helpful to you to learn from my mistakes! As you can see from the post I have done my homework this time and I am treating them as they deserve to be treated !

    You say yours are frail and spindly - have they lots of space around them, not crowded in by other plants, and are they in full sun or light shade ? (Some varieties can tolerate light shade). The David Austin site advises pruning back by 1/3 to 2/3 so I would be reluctant to go further than that. Have you given them a good feed ?

    I would be interested to hear how they progress !


All Gardening Sites