Meadow management


If you were flying above me in a small drone you would have seen an odd sight. Particularly in this heat.  Early morning, raking work with the meadow strimmings. Suddenly I spied the dread yellow flowers of a verbascum and I was off like a dog off a chain.

From slow steady wheelbarrow work I was suddenly racing across the terraces in seach of my quarry.


These are the clever verbascums which have survived the first decapitation but are sprouting again.

My tally was only three small plants.  Not a bad haul.  It means my entire season of careful weeding of the massive lower terraces has succeeded.

And then I returned, heated but refreshed from my morning slaughter.

mulberry summerI love going past our silkworm mulberry tree. It has been the scene of great delight with the wild boar all summer.  But boy have they done some damage.  A huge pack hunting the juicy white fruit has resulted in a lot of careless wall destruction.

wall damagedetailJust look at all the stones they have knocked out of the terrace right beside the tree.


I was contemplating shifting them back to the base of the wall, but remembered that I can’t even keep a pair of secateurs in my back pocket without a pinging insistence.

So decided to leave them until I can beg a favour from a stronger pair of hands.wallstones

So what has this to do with meadow management?

Not much. Except these terraces below the farm are my ‘meadows’. And I do like to be able to get along them without tripping over rocks.

I have had a brilliant success with the first terrace (the mulberry one is the next one down).  Thymes and hypericum and flowering like mad.

And I have spent weeks trying to get a decent shot of the gorgeous purples and yellows stretching out the length of the grass terrace.

But for that you need a good grey day, or to go out at dusk. Instead it has been way too bright and sunny and my dusk has been taken up with gardening chores when it’s less hot and bothersome.

So here are a few paltry attempts at illustrating my delight.


Trust me it looks better in real life. And the scent when you walk over them (being careful not to tread on any bees) is sublime.

raggedrobynThis has been a great year for the flowering thymes all over the farm: good rain in early spring and then a bit of mowing neglect.  And when Nicolas strims the thigh high weeds, he always manages to spare the mounds of thyme. I have no idea how he manages that.

I was contemplating having a bit of a go at the fourth terrace down.  It is just starting to get out of control.  I could strim it (or, let’s be honest, direct someone else) but actually it can be mown if the blade is on super high.

That way I could spare the thymes, but chop off the heads of the annoying broom (genet, Spanish broom) and brambles and nascent beasties. stjohnswort

But the mower decided to cough and die.  I realized that my notes when I purchased the new steed was to trickle charge it overnight if it hasn’t been used for two weeks.

Well with two weeks of pretty solid house guest hosting and then a holiday in the Alps, I have not touched the machine.

So the meadow stays unmanaged for another month.  The plants will go mad. As will I for having to leave so many projects unfinished. Sigh.