Wildflower Meadow 2017-03-16T17:31:50+00:00

WHEELDON TREES FARM

Wildflower Meadow

The story of a small field…

During our renovations in 2007-8, the area behind our garages had become a sort of dumping ground for rocks, earth and undersoil removed when we dug trenches for our ground source heat pump.  In the summers of 2008 and 2009 we were blessed (!) with a bountiful display of thistles, dock leaves and nettles.

We thought we might be able to do better…

So, in October 2009, we prepared the field to be reborn as a wildflower meadow.  Having no idea how to go about this, we contacted the National Park Authority who proved extremely helpful…

We collected the wood debris for burning and buried rocks and stones in a couple of convenient depressions in our fields.  Next, we needed topsoil – in particular ‘poor’ or unimproved soil that had not been fertilized with animal or synthetic fertilizer.

Lucky for us, Bill Nadin (the local farmer who rents most or our land for grazing) mentioned that he had a bit of soil – i.e. a couple of hundred tons – which he believed had been removed from the top of what is now Hindlow quarry.  A soil sample analysis by the Park Authority confirmed it was suitable and several dumper loads later we had a pretty impressive looking patch of earth.

The Peak Park kindly supplied us with a bagful of wildflower seed together with instruction on the type and density of grass seed with which it needed to be mixed prior to sowing.  We seeded the field accordingly and waited for spring…

After a very cold winter and very dry spring, it seemed like an eternity before anything happened.  Slowly but surely, the bare earth acquired a green tinge, followed by a grass stubble.  As instructed, we removed docks and thistles that dared to invade although they continue to lurk on the margins.

By July 2010 we had a reasonably realistic grassy knoll (c.f. Blackadder the Third for clever literary reference…) and our first wild flowers – Yellow Rattle, Ribwort, Cat’s Ear and White Clover.

A year later, and the meadow was full of ox-eye daisies and an ever increasing variety of species…

In March 2011, we planted ten fruit and nut trees supplied by in the meadow – give us a few years and we’ll be making our own cider !

 

 

OK Minnie, what exactly were you thinking....? ... See MoreSee Less

OK Minnie, what exactly were you thinking....?

Comment on Facebook

Chuck hitching a lift...!

That's not a mini. I think it's a Ford

Super busy cooking day at the farm today...5 Shepherd's Pies and 5 Lasagnes as well as a batch of marmalade and kneidlach for the chicken soup we made yesterday - wow, well done Us ! ... See MoreSee Less

Super busy cooking day at the farm today...5 Shepherds Pies and 5 Lasagnes as well as a batch of marmalade and kneidlach for the chicken soup we made yesterday - wow, well done Us !

Comment on Facebook

Wow, you guys are clearly hungry. I'm so surprised how many people this post reached....!

Wonderful place to stay and wonderful food to eat! I was inspired to buy a rhubarb plant after trying your rhubarb and Strawberry crumble.

We so need to come and stay with you guys again xx

We can't wait to come in October! Count down is on!

Save some of the chicken soup and kneidlach for me please

Marmalade and kneidlach in chicken soup...mmmmm 😀

Love kneidlach...x

not hungry but it looks so good,and I have not had Sheppards pie since 60 years I guess!Love Susy and Sigi

very busy your guys!Bravo Kate!How is the little one?Kiss evrybody1

Well done you indeed.

Delicious!! Xx

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