When we bought seed for the new flowery meadow to be sewn in the New Orchard, the website told us that the annual mixture of seeds would produce a brilliant show from mid-May to the cold weather of November. The website told us right. Now that the first frosts have come in Suffolk, the display is finally dying down. The first flowers appeared, as predicted, about eight weeks after sowing and the display – for that is the right word – changed from a spring-like white and pink to the full summer glory of poppies in scarlet and bright pink which gave way in autumn to a suitably seasonal mixture of reds and yellows. Finally, yellows predominated underneath the yellowing leaves of the fruit trees. We are totally satisfied apart from the fact that we have to start again – but that’s always the case with annuals. Ours is a huge area for this sort of treatment but smaller areas, even a border bed, would look terrific for seven to eight months of the year with very little maintenance – you just need to sow and leave. I would, however, say that it’s best where there are no competing flowers, just trees, hedges or grass. And don’t walk through the flowers. In our case, we had plain grass paths through the meadow. Nor was there trouble with birds, rabbits, squirrels, muntjac or any other pest, except milk thistles which persisted in appearing, only to be pulled up by the trailer load. Look for yourself on www.pictorialmeadows.co.uk.
Pictorial – and how