Friday, 19 August 2016

A Walled Garden of Wildflowers at NT Ickworth

Hoverfly on an umbellifer

NT Ickworth, here in Suffolk, has a walled garden, currently boasting a superb display of Dahlias around the edge. However, it is the huge expanse in the centre that catches the eye for it has largely been given over to a mass planting (by Urban Forestry) of wildflower seeds. These were sown in April.

This post comprises a scattering of the photos I took when I was there last weekend. The wildflower petals were beginning to fade and seedheads were becoming prominent. There was still plenty of pollen about for the insects ...

The seed mix, which has apparently been on sale at Ickworth, includes Cornflower (a particular favourite of mine), Poppy, Borage (a hit with the bees), Golden Tickseed, Red Flax, Corn Marigold and other species.

My understanding is that the 2015 and 2016 seasons of wild flowers will give way to other kinds of planting once the flowers have helped to prepare the soil. But for now it is a walled paradise, and in a summer that has not seen many insects, a veritable haven for bees and hoverflies.

Bee on Golden Tickseed

I love the complementary blues and golds ...

The view from the bench

Another pollinator at work ...

... and another Hoverfly

Looking up to the 200+ year old wall and the church beyond

... and looking across to the far side of the garden


Umbellifer (which one?)

More Poppies (see the 'pepperpot' seedpod)

This reminds me (in a small scale way) of the swathes of Sunflower fields on the road to Edirne from Istanbul!

More Cornflowers ... and 'pepperpots'!

The Royal Horticultural Society offers advice on its website - here - for those who may be considering a wildflower meadow (or patch) of their own. The RSPB site also has suggestions.

My homepatch is a suburban garden so it will not be sowing a meadow, but I plan to plant a wildflower seed mix next spring in our 'wild corner' of grass and nettles, in the hope that it may add colour and help to give wildlife a home.

NT Ickworth, Horringer, Bury St Edmunds


Simon Douglas Thompson said...

That wildflower meadow is the biggest and most beautiful I've ever seen

eileeninmd said...

Hello, the flowers are gorgeous. I love the field of wildflowers! Happy Friday, have a great weekend!

Ragged Robin said...

Really really beautiful and so wonderful for pollinators :) It is a pity it is so far from here as I would love to visit.

We've got a mini wildflower meadow here - are having problems though with couch grass so have planted a lot of yellow rattle in the last year. It is lovely to have your own small patch though so you can see what comes up and the insects etc. it attracts :)

Crafty Green Poet said...

what beautiful flowers and lovely to see the pollinators love them!

Jennifer Tetlow said...

What a beautiful place, and I'm not surprised you've come away inspired to make your own little meadow area. Love your long shot images and then the intimate close up details.