Thursday 15 August 2013

Wild Flower Meadow Garden: for the Bees!


Today I thought I'd show off some photos of my summer garden. I don't normally go off-topic on this blog and although it has nothing to do with pots or painting, I've been so pleased with our garden this year I just had to share the results. Shockingly, I also realised I haven't blogged at all throughout the whole of July: so I hope these photos of last month's garden display will make up for that.

In the past five or six years ceramics have taken over most areas of my life: and one of these areas has been the garden. Long ago, before any kilns were installed or bags of clay took up space in corners, I was growing some vegetables and summer salads in my garden, happily pulling up some decent sized parsnips and even having a few successes with mushrooms or the odd little chili plant. But all this greenery requires a lot of attention, weeding and watering which in the end had to go by the wayside in favour of making pots. Pots are very demanding things!

Busy Bees!

By the end of last year the garden had fallen into serious 'disrepair' to the point that one day (inspired by the thought of some exercise) IC decided to pull up every single plant and thoroughly dig over the entire ground. The plan was to have a very low maintenance garden that needed no work at all but which still looked good. So we decided to plant a meadow full of wild flowers especially for all the bees.

Corn Marigolds and Corncockles

This was incredibly easy to do! In fact, once the ground was cleared and most of the weeds pulled up, all that remained was to rake it over a bit and sow the seeds. I purchased the seeds from an Internet site that provides wild flower meadow seed mixes. I chose two mixes full of native plants suitable for all-summer colour and perfect for bees and butterflies. Not all the species made it through to flowering, and probably our original 'home grown' grasses bullied some of them out of a space altogether. But bearing in mind how little preparation we made and how casually I cast the seeds (from a bucket one afternoon in April just before a downpour) I have to say it has been absolutely fabulous.

Secretly I feel it's been our best garden so far - even better than when we grew vegetables. During the whole of the summer drought I didn't have to water any of it, it looked fantastic for weeks, it changed constantly with different species coming through daily and best of all it was full of busy bees!

Corncockle with Corn Poppies in the Background

Here's a link to the site where I bought the seeds by the way. And although I've said this blog post has nothing to do with pots or painting, I have a feeling that this year's garden has already had an influence on me and inspired some creative ideas.