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Creating a meadow

Christine’s last post with her beautiful field of Anemones got me totally inspired! The idea of a meadow brings to my mind the memory of childhood in my family’s back garden. Tall grasses and sunshine and the smell of wild flowers! My Dad used to make hamburgers on the grill and my Mom set the picnic table with a checkered table cloth and paper plates! And then …

when I was reading my favourite gardening magazine, I came across an article on creating your own meadow – I was moved to action!

I had all I needed to start this process. A great area to work with under the 4 fruit trees (lemon, fig, guava and loquat trees). It’s patchy and unattractive. The soil is really not bad and with the wandering chickens giving it a working over from time to time, it must have enough nutrients to sustain a wild meadow!

We had a wonderful full day of rain and the back garden was waiting for a facelift. I had it ear-marked for this idea last year but waited for the rain before I tackled this project. The ground is clay and very, very hard (like cement) in summer, so little can be done with it during the hot spell. I had a packet of indigenous daisy mix and I also had a packet of Berea Lawn seeds (also indigenous). Together with this I combined another packet of garden mix with poppies, lilies and tons of other dainty flowers. A real pot luck of blooms! I added the seeds to a peat moss, compost and bone meal mix. I prepared the area by raking it all open to at least 5cm in depth. Levelled it all out and sprinkled the mix onto the prepared area and then watered it thoroughly!

The Area – before





And After



Ok, you can’t see much, but it was a lot of work!

A meadow brings to mind a wildlife friendly garden, imitating what nature  really intends. Everything living in harmony together and the butterflies and the bees. It becomes self-sustaining and watering will be cut down once it is all established.

I will keep you up to date!!

Happy Gardening xxx

By Barbara

Country living is the best! Being a true spirit of the earth, my garden is all about vegetables and fruit trees and herbs and chickens roaming free. I was keen to really start gardening when we moved to Philadelphia in 2005, but not your typical suburban-type garden – sterile and bug-free! I wanted an edible garden.

9 replies on “Creating a meadow”

I believe you that this was a lot of work. It always is when making a new garden bed. I love the flowers you chose and I think it will be a stunning and cheer corner of your garden. I hope you’ll post pics of the result. Magazines always make it look easier than it really is. Gotta love the work though. Good luck.

Hehe — the projects that require a lot of work but result in essentially a bare patch of soil are great for the garden, but terrible for photographs. 🙂

I really want to see how this progresses. Are most of the plants perennial or annuals? Whenever I’ve tried to create a wildflower area, it always ended up being 75% weeds the second year.

I am so looking forward to seeing what this space looks like in bloom. I also appreciate how you create a meadow is a relatively small space. Many people probably think they can’t create a meadow unless they have lots of room.

It will be beautiful!! I love how meadows always seem to hum with life. Are you gardening in Philadelphia, PA or South Africa? I can never figure out where your garden is located!

A ‘little’ work will go a long way in making your natural site filled with the birds and butterflies you desire. I hope you get your rains to get those seeds off to a good start. The ‘meadow’ in the book looks a lot like the abandoned city lots I show sometimes, having native, opportunistic species of wildflowers and grasses.

Keep us up to date! This is one of my dreams, to have a wildflower meadow. Not sure exactly where I will house this in the middle of town but I might just have to get myself a pasture somewhere one of these days.

I hope all those seeds come up – it will be glorious! The best thing about gardeners is they can see the dream, even when the reality hasn’t caught up to it yet! Non-gardeners may see dirt, but gardeners see a meadow in the making!

This really made me laugh … “Ok, you can’t see much, but it was a lot of work!”.
I know how you feel. Some of the hardest tasks are those with nothing to show afterwards! haha.

This is going to be lovely if it works. I’m very interested to see the result.

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