The orchard meadows in June – Achillia and Viper’s bugloss.

When the orchard garden project was being planned five years ago, four meadows were created with nutrient-poor soil to encourage a different diversity of flowers to adopt the area. The nutrient-free aspect was achieved by putting down a thick bed of sand into each of the meadows. These were then sown with a perennial seed-mix and planted with bulbs. Of the latter, the gladioli and some dwarf narcissus made a come back this year. So, now in June, what is happening?

Prominent are the tall flowers of Achillia, accompanied by Viper’s bugloss. We think the former certainly came from the original seed mix, but that the latter has naturally seeded (but see comment below).

Lurking in the undergrowth appear to be young flax plants, so they should put on a good show next year. The meadows have been largely left to their own devices, little pro-active gardening is attempted (if only because one would have to recruit volnteer gardeners), but some thistle removal continues since they are bullies and might take over.

I am sure there is much more in these meadows that could be identified by an expert! Anyone want to go there and report back what might be happening? What is exciting is that the nature of these meadows seems to change each year – last year not necessarily for the “better” (whatever that means) but this year is proving especially exciting!

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