The last couple of weeks has seen the woodland and meadow really burst into life; it's amazing when you look at it to think that it has only been sown and planted for one year.
The tree's have, in many case, doubled in size already and the covering of wildflowers, many now self seeded from last season, is magnificent.
It is a picture of perfection.....and a very good advert for the forest of flowers technique!!!
It is interesting to see the difference in the areas where we cleared the field compared to those where we didn't. I'm very glad we did what we dd...it was definately worth the effort.
The clearing away of the wildflower hay from last season that was still standing after the winter has allowed for another full carpet of flowers to grow. In places where the hay was left there are bare patches of earth where seeds have not been able to germinate. And where they have it is hard to see the flowers because of the tall standing hay (see pictures)
I'm not saying that those areas are suffering, rather that the other areas are growing superbly!
I'm still very glad we left some areas and didn't cut the hay down from the whole field as it provided much needed cover for wildlife throughout the early part of the season. Birds could be constantly seen dipping in and out of the tall flower stalks, feeding on the seeds and insects.
Complete perfection and we were lucky enough to be able to plant it here on the farm!!! A massive thankyou to Peter for the inspiration!!!!!!!! :-) x
Peter from the Woodland Trust dropped in for a surprise visit a couple of days ago and we took a rainy walk around the woodland...having only walked around the edges over the last couple of weeks i was surprised to see that we had plants in flower... I returned today, in the sunshine, and took some pictures...
There are flowers flowering that we never even planted :-) welcome to the woodland plants! :-)
If anyone can help\identify any of the 'mystery' plants listed (even the ones we sowed are a mystery to me at the moment as they only have leaves and no flowers) then i would really appreciate it :-)
The trees are growing amazingly, some have reached 6ft tall in a little over a year due to the soil inversion method (and the love of course! :-) x)
Photo's taken on a walk around the woodland and meadow yesterday afternoon...
I managed to walk across the field for the first time since planting (it's been impossible before due to the number of flowers!) and was able to examine many more trees..everyone i checked was alive and doing well :-) :-) brilliant! :-)
Most of the meadow flowers have now gone to seed with the field appearing very brown in contrast to the vivid yellows, blues and whites of the summer.
In the areas sown last the flowers are still blooming (there was a month between the first seeds sown and the last), providing a welcome burst of colour.
The last few weeks of wind and rain have flattened much of the flower growth, which has at last exposed the trees for us to see. I'm happy to report that the success rate has been amazing; every tree i checked today was alive :-)
There does appear to be a diference in the growth of trees in different parts of the field. It seems likely that the trees in the areas that were sown with meadow flowers first have grown slower than those where the seed was sown a month later. The extra light available to the trees surrounded by the later sown flowers in their early growing period seems to have made a noticeable difference. I'll report my findings to the woodland trust :-), but for anyone thinking of creating a version of this tree and flower planting i would reccomend holding off on sowing the flowers for as long as you can for optimum results.
Next year will be interesting to observe as all the flowers will come up at the same time as each other..
anyway enough of my ramblings, here's some pictures! :-)
The meadow flowers are now finishing and the trees are becoming more visible...it's looking like most (all the ones i can see) are growing well and have survived the lack of light caused by the millions of flowers surrounding them.....!! It's been an amazing year and such an exciting project...i just thought i'd up load a few more photos from the last couple of months, then with a clear phone memory i can begin documenting the 'autumn look' tomorrow...
The meadow flowers and trees are both growing really well...you can't see most of the trees becase of the flower height and coverage but an explore shows that all trees are still growing despite lack of light!!
We've noticed something interesting about the tree growth over the past weeks; as you may know sowing took about a month to complete from start to finish. This has meant that parts of the field are in different stages of flower growth which has allowed us to see the effect the flower growth has upon the trees...
We think that, (although many factors could be at play), in the areas where the flowers were sown latest the trees have grown taller. This would make sense as they have not had to compete with the flowers during their early growth period.
The intention had been to sow the flowers early, but the ground had caked up after planting and took a long time to break down again (with a rakes and a hand rotivator) so sowing was delayed.
The drought that followed the sowing further hindered the growth with all parts that were sown during the drought sowing very little or no germination until the rains returned.
It is these parts that show the maximum tree growth. THe flowers in these areas are perhaps slightly shorter but the delay has shown no real difference in growth or flower production.
The large time from start to finish of sowing has led to areas of the field showing different colours, a tapestry like effect as the white flowers are followed by blue and then yellow.
If you get a chance please go and have a look... it is an unforgettable experience to walk around the headland, never before have I seen so many flowers in one place, or heard such a hum of bees and insects...truly amazing! :-)
The first flowers are blooming :-) and the trees are doing great :-)