Saturday, 7 May 2011

planning a meadow of insect friendly flowers


Managing the orchard
The conditions in the slowly revealed orchard are challenging. The soil is thin and dry. But it is south facing. What to do with the ground beneath the trees?
Ideal conditions for a flower meadow with a difference!

We are inspired to create an annual meadow of cultivars that we know have insect appeal. A visit to the wonderful RHS Gardens at Harlow Carr in 2009 (see photo) let us see how beautiful a meadow of simple flowers could look.

The plants should be able to regenerate from seed with minimum management:

This is a developing list:

early
  • crocus
  • cowslips
  • primrose
middle season
  • clover
  • phacelia
  • borage
  • campion
  • cosmos
  • cornflower
  • love-in-a-mist
  • zinnia
late
  • snapdragons
  • calendula

The area will be cut back and the vegetation removed each late summer/early autumn so that soil remains impoverished. Seed from the flowers will regenerate the area in the following year.

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust has loads of ideas of simple flowers to plant that are great for bees.

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