Meadows are a beautiful sight but have you ever noticed their scents? During the day there is not much, except maybe the sweet smell of curing hay. Come the fall of evening though, the scents come alive. One of the rewards of working outdoors late into the evening is the discovery of another world that starts to come alive as we are thinking of turning … Continue reading Night Scents and Secrets
Sometimes an early rise during haying weather brings a surprise. We had a lovely hour of mowing in the atmospheric mist. The mist gradually burned off as the sun rose. The sun on the wet vegetation was stunning. I take a lot of pictures of sunny, hot hay making. Below are some pictures of the delights to be found in a misty meadow.
RHS Chelsea Flower show starts next week. And we will soon begin hay making with our annual “Chelsea Chop” Conventional advise has suggested waiting until July or later before beginning to cut wildflower meadows. In recent years this advice has begun to change. We now begin our hay making at the end of May and continue throughout the summer. This has interesting benefits for both … Continue reading When to Mow your Wildflower Meadow
Although it does not feel like it, spring will be upon us soon. Whether you have acres of grassland or a wildlife patch in the corner of your allotment, this is an ideal time to plan how you will manage your meadow over the coming year. Below are some tasks to get started on soon and others to think about in the seasons to come. … Continue reading Planning your Meadow Management
It’s officially Spring, yet at this time of year the wildflower meadows are keeping the glory to come well hidden. A combination of autumn grazing by our two cows, followed by winter grazing by our flock of sheep has left the vegetation short. It looks unpromising now but it is all ready to grow away with the warmer weather. The role of grazing in … Continue reading The hidden promise of the winter wildflower meadow – the role of grazing in management
It’s a weekend of firsts – we had our first beginners scythe course of the season yesterday and we started the first hay making of the year. Phil also found the first orchids in the hay field. The first was in bud……. and the second was starting to open. The beauty of the scythe is that the mower is very aware of the vegetation that is … Continue reading The Summer of Hay Making Begins.
For the past couple of years I have mowed a labyrinth into the wild flower meadow in the Top Field as part of the Summer Solstice celebration we hold here at the Trust. The children really enjoy it, and were determined there should be another one this year. So, wielding the trusty Austrian Scythe, I went out in the drizzle on Saturday morning to mow. … Continue reading Mowing a Labyrinth