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" National Meadows Day - 3rd July - Loweswater, Cumbria "
Date & start time: Multiple years culminating in 3rd July 2021.
Location of Start : By the red phone box, Loweswater, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 143 211 )
Places visited : The garden and paddock.
Walk details : Round and round, back and fore over the years.
Highest point : Watching the flowers grow
Walked with : Myself (my late wife Ann) and the dogs, Dylan and Dougal.
The plot : A cool, rather damp corner of a field with a small beck to one side.
© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.
Over the last few years I've been working (seemingly very hard) on my own "low maintenance" flower meadow.
This year at last, it has reached the point where I feel happy that I have something really different from what went before.
On Plantlife's "National Meadows Day" I gather my thoughts on what I've been able to achieve.
- - - o o o - - -
First let take you back to the last century . . .
This photo must be about the 1950's as the house in the picture, Gillerthwaite, has been renovated but their garden and outbuildings have not.
In this picture the photographer is looking across my middle garden at what I now call The Paddock, the lower section beyond the hidden wall.
Both areas were still part of a sheep meadow at this time.
This was the view of the paddock area I bought back in late 2017.
At this time the middle garden was incorporated within my cottage boundary but the lower field was still part of the sheep meadow.
I had the chance to purchase the plot, some tenth of an acre or roughly about 30 yards long and 18 yards wide
and with professional help from John Lowe did a few ground works.
The field had a boundary stream which we engineered to form a large meander, a flowing pond at the foot of the paddock.
Two days of men and equipment and just short of a thousand pounds later our plan was in place.
With the groundwork done, it was planted with a hedge, twelve or so fruit trees, a few spring bulbs
and three or four packets of wild flower seeds which were cast onto fairly disturbed soil.
The first growing season (2018) saw a few flowers growing over the whole plot, but nothing exciting !
A year later (April 2019) the grass had grown back and early flowers were limited to the daffodil bulbs I had planted.
Not wanting to scarify the new, attractive looking grass, I grew two hundred plug plants in the greenhouse and had the joy (!) of planting them out.
That had very little effect either.
Still the marsh Marigolds planted by the stream had taken nicely
and they were providing an early burst of colour to compliment the daffodils.
2020 I decided to have another go at the "meadow" and over winter I invested about £120 in mechanical removal of about eighty square yards of turf
and £80 in wild flower seed from Colin Reader, Wild Flower Lawns and Meadows Ltd to spread on the exposed soil.
[ The seed was sown on a metre wide strip to the left, and the large semi-circle of land to the right of the mown path.]
This was the picture in June 2020 . . . I still wasn't over impressed, but Colin said "have patience" !
- - - o o o - - -
This year the Plantlife National Meadows Day (3rd July) prompted me to gather some pictures
and try to make sense of what has happened in the last twelve months . . .
This is the sheep meadow here in Loweswater, grazed but not otherwise fertilised.
It could be considered the "before" photo.
This is the paddock today.
The trees have grown well but the grass has really taken over, growing tall due to the lack of grazing.
But let's look at the 80 square yard patch that I de-turfed and re-seeded . . .
That is significantly different.
Here we have a wide variety of flowers with a profusion of Ox Eye Daisies at this time
Excuse me if I don't know the name but between the flowers are those tall grasses that we used to play with as kids,
twisting the stem over itself and "firing" the seed heads at each other.
They have five lovely, deeply notched, pink petals.
With the flowers come the bees . . . which let's face it, was the original driving force for the project.
Now all I need is the time to sit and enjoy it to the full.
Technical note: Pictures generally taken with either a Panasonic Lumix TZ60 or my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . chance to sit down and enjoy.
Previous walk - 1st July Skiddaw Fells with Martin
A previous time here - 20th - 26th February 2018 - The Paddock Transformed (the start)
Next walk - 5th July High Nook and White Oak Mines