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Sep 102011
 
Mowed down meadow

Mowed down meadow

The meadow has been mowed. It’s hard to believe that someone would want to mow down all those pretty flowers, but they did. We don’t know when it happened. Sometime between July 11 and September 10 — a long span! However, wildflower meadows need to be mowed once a year anyway. Ideally, it would have been mowed in the fall so that the seeds could make new flowers. But, we’ll simply plant more wildflower seeds in the bald spots after the first frost. In the meantime we’ll pick the non-wildflower weeds and keep it clear of garbage. Perhaps in the spring we’ll have to take some action to prevent another ill-timed cutting.

Flowers are still growing

Flowers are still growing

The picture above shows that some of the wildflowers survived the cut. I think I see the chrysanthemums and chamomile.

I also just found THIS SEED COMPANY SITE which has some good information about growing wildflower meadows.

Jul 112011
 
Tiny Meadow in Bloom

Tiny Meadow in Bloom

Wojtek took these photo on July 11. It’s Amazing! It’s Stupendous! It’s a Tiny Meadow!

Poppy in the Meadow

Poppy in the Meadow

Look at this beautiful poppy.

Poppy Buds

Poppy Buds

Here is a close up of the Poppy’s buds.

Chrysanthemums about to bloom

Chrysanthemums about to bloom

The Chrysanthemums are about to bloom.

Chamomile peeking through Chrysanthemum leaves

Chamomile peeking through Chrysanthemum leaves

And finally Chamomile poking up between the Chrysanthemum leaves. You can see the feathery leaves of the Chamomile.

May 222011
 

I am not in Poland, but Wojtek took these photos of the Tiny Meadow on May 21. The sticks were knocked down, but something is growing there.

Early Growth in the Tiny Meadow

Early Growth in the Tiny Meadow

However, at this point, we are not entirely sure just what that growth is. The feathery one below could be Chamomile (Rumien Polny) or Mayweed (Maruna Bezwonna).

Seedling of Chamomile or Mayweed

Seedling of Chamomile or Mayweed

The seedlings below are abundant. Not sure what they are yet. Not Chamomile, not Mayweed. The broad leaves indicate Chrysanthemum or Poppy. All the other flowers in this mix have narrower leaves (Vetch, Cornflowers, Corncockles), and since there were not very many Poppy seeds in the mix, my guess is Chrysanthemum.

Chrysanthemum Seedlings

Chrysanthemum Seedlings

 

Mar 312011
 

Here are the wildflower seeds that will be planted in the tiny meadow. I got these from the incomparable Łukasz Łuczaj, who not only sells handpicked mixes of Polish wildflowers but also conducts a very great Wild food workshop in Bieszczady in Southeast Poland. To prepare the seeds, I took some sand and water and mixed in the seeds. Unfortunately I can’t remember the exact measurements, but it’s something reasonable. Let them sit in the refrigerator for a day and then put them in the freezer. (These are Lukasz’s directions.) Each quarter of the bowl contains about 50g of seeds for about 6m2 of land. When I’m ready I’ll take them out, mix with more sand, and broadcast.

Preparation of wildflower seeds

Preparation of wildflower seeds

This particular mix is called meadow flowers or cornflower annuals (kwiaty polne). It contains the following flowers:

Wildflower seeds - close

Wildflower seeds - close

  • Złocień polny (Chrysanthemum segetum) – Chrysanthemum
  • Mak polny (Papaver rhoeas) – Poppy
  • Maruna bezwonna (Tripleurospermum inodorum) – Mayweed
  • Rumian polny (Anthemis arvensis) – Chamomile
  • Chaber bławatek (Centaurea cyanus) – Cornflower
  • Wyka brudnożółta (Vicia grandiflora) – Vetch
  • Wyka ptasia (Vicia cracca) – Cow vetch
  • Kąkol (Agrostemma githago)- Corncockle
  • Poziewnik (Galeopsis speciosa, G. pubescens i G. tetrahit) – Hemp nettle

This mix can potentially produce flowers in the first year, and although some of them are annuals, it seems like a good idea to get something going as quickly as possible. I have another mix called Dry Grassland (Kwietna Murawa), which takes a little longer to get going. I’ll try those somewhere else.

Mar 292011
 

I found a place for the first tiny meadow. It’s on Wołoska and Madalinskiego in Mokotów, Warsaw, Poland. It’s a silly little slab of land, where there was once a tree. From the looks of the stump, the tree didn’t make it very far before it was chopped down. I remember a friend of mine speculating on why the trees in a Williamsburg, Brooklyn never seemed to grow. We figured as soon as one started to die, the city came and took it out in the middle of the night and replaced it with another one that looked exactly the same. That way the trees always looked healthy, but they also never grew. Looks like someone dropped some breadcrumbs for the birds.

A little piece of not much

A little piece of not much

Today I dug it up. I’ll let it sit for  a few days, and then turn over the dirt again. Then repeat every once in a while until I plant. I’ve heard this is a natural way to get rid of weeds because the digging disrupts them from taking root. Best to do this in the spring, when they are trying to grow. It’s a funny idea to kill some weeds, whatever is here, and replace them with other weeds.