Eight months in the meadow

We’ve started, very gradually, strimming parts of the meadow. It’s very early – this is normally a late September job – but there’s been so much growth this year that there’s a hay-disposal problem. So we’re doing a bit at a time; there’s far too much of it to strim, leave a week and mow as we did the past two years. But then we have had a summer this year, so I’m not complaining…

Time for a look back through all my photographs of the meadow this year. I could give it some dignity by calling it an annual review but that’s a bit formal, plus it sounds horribly reminiscent of my working life before self-employment (run away!).

From January,

meadow snow

with a light covering of snow, to today, with a light covering of knackered gardeners.

February sees the snowdrops, and they are clumping up and spreading in a most satisfactory way – just what I hoped for, but have seldom managed to achieve.

snowdrops

Ditto the crocuses, and I am looking forward to seeing how far they get next year.

By March, the daffs were starting – a bit late this year, but they made up for it.

daff start

I know no fear, for I have just ordered another fifty – including some more Poeticus to extend the season. Help, my name is Kate and I’m a daffoholic. A little narcissi-sistic, perhaps? (Sorry.)

By April, of course, the daffs are no longer alone,

daffprims

as the primroses start powering along, beginning with the elegant pale yellows and then going completely brazenly berserk by early May.

Primula ZAP

By this time the fritillaries are also out, though they did suffer this year in the mad cold snap we had at just the wrong time, and in the winds:

horizontal wind

And then, of course, the grasses begin to grow taller, the spring flowers fade and soon greenery takes over.

meadow

And, er, yellery from the buttercups. If that’s not a word, it should be. IMO.

Traces of the paths remain after the meadow gets its autumn number one crop, and we always mow them in the same place. It is becoming clearer and clearer every year that developing the meadow has led to an enormous increase in primroses. They were always good, but there is noticeably less development where paths have been mown. They really do need more undisturbed time to set seed and for that seed to establish itself, than I’d assumed – sounds obvious, but it becomes crystal clear when you see theory working out in practice.

June is when the meadow goes for into Bonkers 2 mode, and this year the grasses were amazing. Taller than me, sometimes.

grasses

And the grasshoppers could be deafening. Good!

But it’s not all greenery. In early June it’s bordered with acqueligias,

bench

and it’s not long before the birdsfoot trefoil

Birdsfoot trefoil

and knapweed make their presence felt. The butterflies love both, and so do I.

Knapweed and BFT

By late July and August the grasses are either generally flat out and soggy, or dry and ready to go. Happily this year it’s the latter option,

dry grass

which may be equally messy but at least is easier to deal with. And we have cut the meadow in rain – not an experience to be repeated.

So what do you do at the height of the tourist season, when travelling anywhere by car becomes an endurance test and it can take over 30 minutes to get through Barmouth (not a big place)? You play in the hot sun with big strimmers, that’s what.

cut

At least we can get at the apple trees easily, and some of the fruit is ready too. The grasshoppers are still singing, so the rest will just have to wait. Probably just as well – where’s the ice cream? Where are the cold beers? Hmmm???

Advertisements

22 thoughts on “Eight months in the meadow

  1. Pauline

    Thank you for a wonderful wander through your meadow, loved all the flowers in amongst the grass. Your primroses are so beautiful, they are one of my favourite flowers. It must be wonderful to hear all the crickets in the grass, a sound of summer which we don’t hear enough unfortunately.

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      Thank you for joining me! The crickets have been amazing this year; I’m used to them in the meadow, but they’ve been all over the place. There was one on top of the greenhouse water butt just now. I’ll really miss them when they go!

      Reply
  2. Dobby

    I really must start to take more regular pictures of my garden. A lovely walk down memory lane. Can you say that for an 8 month period or would it be considered pretentious? The meadow has done well this year. I think a nice cold glass of wine is in order. (I don’t like beer)

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      Go for it, Jane – we must get you blogging… In the end I settled for Crabbie’s Ginger Beer – would that be acceptable? Bit theoretical, really, ‘cos I drank it.

      Reply
  3. Christina

    Kate, what a joy your meadow is! You must be so pleased, I loved it in all seasons. It’s nice to look back in August when it is hot and nothing much is flowering.

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      Thank you! It’s lovely, it really is – and to think I started it to get round the problem of what to do about daffodil leaves dying back. A real success, and so different every year. Plus the wildlife loves it.

      Reply
  4. Janneke

    You show great pictures of every season of the meadow, it looks so peaceful from the beginning to the end. It is nice to lay in the grass in summer before the grass has been mowed.

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      It would be more peaceful without the crickets – but then it seems all wrong when they shut up at the end of the season. You are so right about the pleasures of lying in the grass!

      Reply
    1. kate Post author

      I’d forgotten some of it too – well, not forgotten, exactly, but you know what I mean, got bogged down in how it is right now (messy). I was working out whether I could really excuse getting a few more daffs (50? A few??) and decided to flick back through my shots. Can definitely fit more in…

      Reply
  5. Cathy

    I thought 50 was a bit conservative too! What a lovely trip down memory mown path, Kate. Thanks for sharing – what a series of delights!

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      Hee hee… I’ve been good, though (er, sort of, in a gardening sense). Went to small local garden centre, did not buy bulbs. However did buy Parthenocissus henry, a Pittosporum and another Elder Black Lace. Hmm….

      Reply
    1. kate Post author

      I think it needs sound effects – grasshoppers / crickets / my neighbour removing all the render from his house with a drill… that sort of thing!

      Reply
  6. Welshhillsagain

    I am getting a bit cross that wordpress blogs don’t seem to be registering my comments! This is the fourth one I have been back to that seems to have lost what I said. I can’t remember it now. It was something to do with the fascination of the passage of time. Sorry for grump. The meadow is fab.

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      I’ve got you now! It seems that it suddenly blocked several people, and other wordpress bloggers are reporting the same thing. I’ve very emphatically approved you – so please let me know (off WP) if it happens again, and I’ll take it up with them…

      Grump away!!

      (I’ve had this on some blogger blogs recently, so maybe they are being deliberately awkward…)

      Reply
  7. Janet/Plantaliscious

    I love your meadow, lovely to see it through the year like that, and I had to laugh at your bulb buying confession! Our meadowette patch doesn’t work, unfortunately, as when the grasses get really tall it all looks out of scale in such a small area, so we’ll have to go for a wildflower lawn and strum in the summer I think, and keep the knapweed – how did I manage without it all these years – in the borders. Oh, and I meant strim, not strum, I gave my guitar to someone who might actually use it… Hope you managed to get the strimming done before the wild wet autumn hit!

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      I’m expecting the Giant Bulb Delivery of Doom tomorrow, so if anybody near me sees a huge truck, possibly with trailer attached, that will be it. Oh dear…

      We’re just done. Garden looks bald. Sniff.

      Reply

Leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s