Saturday, 27 August 2011

Meadow (27 AUG 2011)

 
Seeds sown in Spring 2011

In June I wrote about the annual & perennial seedlings, which I planned to fill my flower beds with this summer, that were decimated by slugs & snails using my plastic greenhouse as a sauna and salad bar. I managed to save a few which I planted in pots outside and covered with netting.

Having realised that I had made a big error by trapping moisture in the greenhouse, I developed a belt & braces strategy to ensure that I would fill my flower beds somehow :

(plan b) I sowed more annual seeds (even though it was too late).

(plan c) I planted all of the mixed foxglove seedlings that germinated (the slugs did not touch these), instead of just saving the ten biggest as I did last year. However, I didn't anticipate that self-sown seeds from my favourite foxglove which flowered this year would start germinating too, which leaves me with a dilemma.

(plan d) I spread the prolific self-seeded marigolds around the garden, and they are now giving the previously dominant houttanyia and the weeds a run for their money.

                    (plan b)                                               (plan c)                                             (plan d)
            













My second batch of annual seedlings must have been the most spoilt seedlings ever raised. They started life in a packet of mixed cottage garden annual seeds supposed to be outdoor-sown in May; the flowers were pictured but nameless. I didn't want to risk sowing all of them outdoors so I started off by letting some germinate in the kitchen, pricked them out so that there were at most two occupants in each pod of the seed trays, then moved them to the plastic greenhouse (well ventilated this time) so the seedlings could catch some sunshine. Then gradually as they matured, I prepared patches of soil around the garden as nurseries to which I transferred the plantlets, knowing full well that I would need to re-plant them again with wider distances in between. This was to make watering easier and more concentrated (the soil was parched at that time), because I don't water my perennials or shrubs, and to ensure that I wouldn't mistake them for weeds. In addition, I placed a conspicuous stone next to each seedling to mark them out. Unfortunately, there are several conspicuous (and less noteworthy) stones lying on and embedded in my flower beds so this hasn't really helped with identification.

                    













In fact I didn't need to water the plantlets as expected. The soil is now saturated, due to the incessant rain recently, to the extent that I can pull out dandelions with tap roots intact just with my finger and thumb. Re-planting the plantlets further apart should be a safe operation, as there is no fear of them drying out in the current climate.

Below are a few of the original plantlets, which were saved in a hurry from the slug & snail attack (without labels), and a few from the second batch of mixed cottage garden annuals. I can identify campanula, evening primrose, love-in-a-mist and aster from the original batch but only nasturtium from the second. I have to say that, even though my garden hasn't been full of blooms this summer, I have quite enjoyed watching the seedlings growing into plantlets, not knowing what flowers they will produce. They have passed their vulnerable stage now and are making their way to the finish-line, only autumn frosts will stop them now.

     

  


           

So I was tramping over the sodden lawn, which I haven't been able to mow so frequently and inspecting the flower-less beds when I realised that my garden is in bloom after all, I just wasn't looking in the right place ...

 
My "Meadow"
 
©Copyright 2011 b-a-g. All rights reserved. Content created by b-a-g for http://experiments-with-plants.blogspot.com/2011/08/meadow-27-aug-2011.html

17 comments:

gardenwalkgardentalk.com said...

This is so funny you posted this. I too did a meadow post today and it was because I left a comment on another blog and got a LONG reply for the author of the post. So excuse me if I don't mention anything about meadows and stay out of trouble. I am all typed out too!

b-a-g said...

Certainly is a coincidence Donna - Just read your post, I didn't realise that gardening could be so controversial ...
My "meadow" probably isn't supporting any eco-systems, but pollinators love it.

patientgardener said...

Goodness you have had some bad luck this year.

I see from the comments that meadows are now controversial - how mad is that

catharine Howard said...

Now that was a big undertaking. One of the spinoffs of the seed sowing is that the second generation seedlings are better adapted to the microclimate. I sow annuals in patches where I am battling with perennial weeds.

b-a-g said...

Thanks Janet & Catharine - It seems that I've been unlucky, but it was self-imposed. I could have visited a garden centre and bought a load of plants. The marigolds are adapting a bit too well to my micro-climate ...
I recommend reading Donna's post, she highlights some interesting topical issues about native gardening : http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com/2011/08/27/the-native-melting-pot-of-plants-what-goes/

Alistair said...

Hi b-a-g, I think you are having great fun with your successes and failures, its all experience which has to be gone through. I read Donna s post, which was incredibly informative. When preparing to comment I sat and stared at the screen then realised that I did not have the knowledge to reply.

Sunray Gardens said...

Well luck wasn't with you but with our heatwave here I am thinking any blooms are better than no blooms.
Cher Sunray Gardens

One said...

As per your suggestion, I went over to visit Donna first before commenting.

I think you have a beautiful meadow. :) I have one coming up; self-seeded cosmos. Don't know if it is a meadow or not. I'm not so concerned about meadows nor natives. They are just terms to me. I am happy with the wildlife in my garden. They change from time to time. My dogs are happy in the garden, consuming not only weeds but vegetables as well. How wrong can things be? ...except that I only have one tomato...

b-a-g said...

Alistair - Yes I am having fun, it might seem that I have too much time on my hands to be mucking about in this way (with seedlings & stones) , but it's what I do for relaxation instead of watching the TV.

Cher - Thanks for reminding me to be grateful. We always complain about British weather, but the truth is that it allows us to enjoy flowering plants almost all year round.

One - Maybe you can grow cherry tomatoes in hanging baskets, the dogs wont be able to get those. On the positive side, the dogs probably eat all of your slugs which explains why you have never seen one.

HolleyGarden said...

Love your meadow! While I was reading this, I thought "why don't I ever put annual seeds in my garden?" I bet it really would help cut down on weeds! (plan d) Thanks for giving me a new idea!

One said...

I've grown cherry tomatoes. That was doing a whole lot better. My dogs didn't eat up the tomatoes. There are flowers but only one fruit.

Congratulation! Your caption has been selected and is posted today.

Autumn Belle said...

I would love to have a meadow like yours. I was trying to sow some precious sunflower seeds. The only problem with sowing them on the ground was that the birds had a feast leaving me with many empty shells. I am hoping the remaining dozen that sprouted live long enough to tell a tale or two!

Stacy said...

Having read Donna's post now, it sounds like if you just keep putting ironic quotes around "meadow", you'll be able to float serenely above the fray. I think dandelions have--unfairly--been given a bad rap. They certainly look cheerful and carefree in your "meadow"!

linniew said...

I have noticed that every garden and even every corner in one garden varies hugely and has its own issues. I feel like I am carrying plants around like Cinderella's slipper, trying to find the right fit. But then one works and it's like winning a prize. --And I like the meadow.

PatioPatch said...

Looks like Autumn Hawkbit that you have growing there b-a-g though I'm no expert on wildflowers or meadows. I love reading the trials and tribulations of your gardening - you have a contagious optimism which the foxgloves and marigolds have picked up on

Malar said...

The meadow look so pretty! I have unsuccessful stories too where my seeds eaten my the ants!!

b-a-g said...

Thanks Holly - The annual seeds that I outdoor-sow are not successful, but self-sown seeds grow really well. So far I have marigolds, foxgloves and nicotiana. If my mixed cottage annuals self-sow this year, I wont have to do any planting or weeding next year.

One had One Tomato - bet it was really tasty though. Thanks for posting my caption.

Thanks Linnie, Stacy & Autumn Belle - Glad you like the "meadow". By the way, I also have a "woodland" and an "oasis".

Thanks for naming them Laura - I have been calling them little dandelions so far.

Thanks Malar - I didn't know ants eat
seeds! They build nests under my patio - maybe that's where they're hiding my outdoor-sown seeds.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...