Where the wild things are
Amateur Gardening|September 04, 2021
Val looks at the benefits of uncut meadows and verges
Val Bounce

I THINK we’re moving in the right direction when it comes to wildlife because more and more of us are leaving wild corners and having areas of long grass in our gardens. This allows wildflowers to colonize the grass. Sometimes they come back of their own accord, and at other times gardeners like me plant them. The Best Beloved and I have two unmown (and locally unpopular) verges, plus a summer meadow and a spring meadow in the garden. As I said last week, the spotted orchids I planted went AWOL for two years, but this year several resurfaced in our summer meadow.

However, it’s our spring meadow that’s come up trumps this year. The Best Beloved noticed a bee orchid (Ophrys apifera) in the long grass. It’s the first one we’ve seen in the garden, and the word ‘delight’ doesn’t cover our euphoria, although it may well disappear in the future and we may not get another. Despite that, we will leave the cut until autumn in future years, just in case.

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