For the last three years I have been attempting to cultivate a difficult corner in our ‘meadow’.  It is a very uncultivated  area of grassland, apart from mowing, which is a slalom that hubs undertakes, not me. I cannot handle the petrol mower. He’s glad of it I believe, as it’s a task that is uniquely his own. I don’t mind at all!

Why is grass-cutting a slalom? About the time of year when you have to decide to do a cut, our wild orchids burst forth and flower. They are prettily  multiplying. Last year we discovered amongst the ‘crop’ of Orchids one that was a bit different. To my surprise, research threw up that it is known as the Common Spotted Orchid.  The spots are on the leaves. These Orchids are becoming hard to find.  Anyway, hubs carefully mows around all of the Orchids. How he manages to control that heavy bit of machinery to such a fine art, I do not know.  It’s paying off though, as this year I saw that we had increased our Common Spotted Orchids by 100%: we now have two!  One is at the front of the house and the other one is near the whirly washing line at the back of the house.

Common spotted Orchid-a rarity

The difficult corner is a nice sunny corner where I have seen plants thriving then suddenly horribly wilt and die.  Hubs was creating a bund there between us, the chain link fence and our neighbouring farm. When the sheep are milling around behind the fence, there is likely to be all sorts of temporary run off courtesy of them. In addition, to keeping unwanted nettles and other grassy weeds under control there is the occasional farm spraying just in that location, usually broadened out by the prevailing winds.  My Lamium and other hardy plants couldn’t cope with it. Yesterday, with some difficulty, I pulled out the Lamium. Talk about networks of roots.  They would have been ideal to hold the soil in position, if the circumstances had been right.  Meantime, I put on my thinking cap. Question; what grows easily and well forward of that corner? Looking around me I had a eureka moment. Of course, grass grows no problem.  So, I have planted a small cluster of evergreen ornamental grasses and for good measure, I have put a fascinating evergreen Curry Plant in the mix.

This was the only plant that thrived in ‘the corner’ patch last year. It came from a seed dropped courtesy of birds I suppose.  At its peak, supported by a pair of my tights, which were tied to the fence,  it stood at approximately  5ft.7″ high. We let it seed, sadly, there is no sign of it this year.


    • Thanks Cathy, I was trying to remember the name of that plant. I was told the first flowerings take a couple of years to appear. I hadn’t realised it was a biennial. I haven’t pulled out anything apart from chickweed, (so I could see what I was doing) nor have I,raked over the area where the plant was.


  1. Your orchid is a delight! Five foot seven? Goodness me! You certainly have plenty of gardening challenges in your corner of the world.Hope your grasses

    • Hi Snowbird,

      Erm, it was another plant that grew to five foot seven. Cathy, above, reminded me of its name, a Mullien.

      The orchids when blooming are a delight, although, I also find it very interesting to see them develop their distinctive leaves out of nowhere. I can’t deny that I was over the moon last year to find out we had a wild Orchid that was now a rarity. This year’s increase was a thrill. xxx

  2. Lucky you with the orchids. Well done on leaving a small area that and for growing grasses, which I’m sure that you’ll enjoy and the wildlife will appreciate. Happy gardening. xx

    • Thanks Mr F. Accounting for both front and back ‘meadows’, the areas are either big, or small fields. Maybe that’s why the orchids like it. My gardening areas are small, somewhat dwarfed by comparison to the grassy, mossy, etc growths surrounding them.

    • How do you kill fake plants? Our weather will do that for us. Thanks for the applause, it may be premature. Me and our weather are not best mates! Xxx

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