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!).
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.
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.
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,
as the primroses start powering along, beginning with the elegant pale yellows and then going completely brazenly berserk by early May.
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:
And then, of course, the grasses begin to grow taller, the spring flowers fade and soon greenery takes over.
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.
And the grasshoppers could be deafening. Good!
But it’s not all greenery. In early June it’s bordered with acqueligias,
and it’s not long before the birdsfoot trefoil
and knapweed make their presence felt. The butterflies love both, and so do I.
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,
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.
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???