Meadows are in!
Meadows are the latest garden must-have. We have looked with a little envy at the gardens created by the likes of Piet Oudolf and have been frustrated that such plantings do not do well in our wetter climate. His plantings look wonderful in the crisp, dry, frosty weather of the continent but are simply mush here in Ireland. Dead herbaceous plants look well against a blue sky while covered in sparkling frost but less so when standing in water or mud. Grasses can, likewise, look very miserable.
In recent years there has been a great interest in wildflower meadows which look colourful during the summer season and are then cut down in autumn, a practice more suited to our weather conditions and a practice which does a little towards providing suitable plantings for insects, the pollinators so essential for the good of our environment.
There are various meadow seed recipes – some for annual meadows and others for perennial meadows – and one can choose as suits ones needs and aesthetic preferences. I have seen road verges and roundabouts planted as meadows and they are very attractive and certainly add wonderful splashes of colour to the countryside.
We spent a week on The Burren last month and took a short walk around the meadows at Gortlecka Crossroads. Nature is certainly the best designer and planter or meadows and their simple beauty is a joy to experience. It would be a genius who could replicate such plantings, at once simple and remarkably complex.
I hope you enjoy the photographs and I recommend you visit and enjoy the experience yourself some time.
Some individual plants from Gortlecka Crossroads: