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.
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.