Beyond The Cottage Garden a gently curving mown grass path cuts its way through a large belt of grass beneath The Birch Wood. A large standing stone at the far end also marks the lower extent of The Acer Glade.
The Meadow is only mown between the second week of September and late October, a regime timed to the seeding of a population of the June flowering Southern Marsh Orchid, Dactylorhiza praetermissa. To reduce the soil fertility and accordingly the vigour of grass species present all mowings are removed. In addition we have added Yellow Rattle, Rhinathus minor which is a semi-parasite on grass species and also helps reduce its growth.
Our aim with The Meadow is encourage diversity in the species that will tolerate these conditions, the most obvious of which are the bulbs. Recycled from a former planting in the walled garden is an astonishing strain of Camassia leichtlinii which range in shades from cream to old rose, through every shade of blue and even purple with blends and bicolors to boot! These coincide in flower with the gorgeous grey green Ornithogalum nutans added in 2007. In September 2008 we added 10,000 Fritillaria meleagris (Snakes Head Fritillary) which will define the curve of the grass path as they flower in April.
Each year we also add new non-bulbous species. Recently these have included, Geranium pratense, Catananche and Thalictrum as well as an exquisite pale lemon-flowered form of the Field Buttercup, Ranunculus acris and a double-flowered form of this species.
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