Mid-autumn is the perfect time to sow wildflower seeds and that’s just what we have been doing here at Blackwater Valley.
At the beginning of October, I was joined by BVC Trustees Bernard and Chris and volunteers Edmund, Jeremy and Paul at Hawley Meadows. We kicked off a season of wildflowers by planting Devil’s Bit Scabious, A pretty and vulnerable wildflower suitable for the type of grassland we were working on. Grown from a single plant (that Steve Bailey saved from a now non-existent meadow) into 130 plants, we had our work cut out for us.
First, we had to prepare the ground by strimming a 50cm x 50cm patch in order to reduce the grass thickness. Then the volunteers used hefty spades to dig up the turf in that patch. This was tough going as the sun was beating down and the grass was very thick. They then churned up the soil and finally planted between 2 to 4 Devil’s Bit Scabious plants within that space. We moved up and down Long and Rushy Meadow, planting as we went, to distribute the plants well and give them a good chance of thriving.
Once the back-breaking work was finished we sowed some wildflower seeds on the disturbed ground along the new path and within the patches we had dug. The seeds, collected by Steve and Paul, included Great Burnet, Betony and Bird’s-Foot Trefoil.
Thank you very much to Bernard, Chris, Edmund, Jeremy and Paul for your help. I can’t wait to come back in June and hopefully see the plants flowering. If you would like to join me then please follow the link to find Hawley Meadows and the location of the new plants.
Acting Ranger Jenny