After such a long hard winter, and such a slow start to the summer, the wildflower meadow burst into life in early June and was a blaze of colour for a wonderful six weeks. The roses were better than ever before, both the wild dog roses and field roses in the hedgerows and on graves, and the David Austin roses around the Roundhouse. Rosa rubus comes into flower first, and then Rosa Frances E Lester, shown here in the photograph.
With a month of such hot and dry weather in July, however, the season has been a short one, the wildflowers going to seed very early. You can see knapweed here in the photograph, a few oxeye daisies, betony, and buttercups, amidst the seeding wild grasses. It is now the thistles that are coming through, the teasels flowering, the field scabious and meadow cranesbill bringing soft mauves and purples to the burial ground through the tall hay of the grasses, playing in the wind. And around the edges, there are the soft pinks of the bramble flowers and willowherbs. The older crab apples are also now fruiting – memorial trees that are over five years old.
And thankfully the butterflies, hoverflies and bees, so late in appearing, are now with us in abundance. Meadow browns, gatekeepers, whites, small skippers, small heath butterflies, and a whole range of moths I can’t begin to identify. If you come up to Sun Rising, you’ll see the meadows going to seed, beautifully tatty with such subtle colours and lines, and the whole thing humming with life.
We shall begin to mow over the coming weeks, first strimming the grasses that have fallen in wind and rain, and under footfall. If you have any queries, do let us know.