Watering The Close

A stroll with 2 watering cans to The Close to wet a couple of rectangles of grass stripped patches, often brings a welcome chat with a fellow Pitton resident or two. We chat wildflowers, experiments in rewilding, biodiversity and naturally the weather.

The two stripped patches are an experiment, in which we are crossing fingers and hoping to learn what wildflowers we can entice to The Close.  

Our experiment started with stripping a couple of patches and planting wildflower plug plants. We planted Yellow rattle as this is a parasite that attaches to the the roots of grass and it is often heralded as the best method to stop grass from taking over. We have their fingers crossed that the 25 tiny plug plants we planted will endure, disperse their seed and come back stronger next year. 

We also planted oxeye daisies, field scabious and cornflowers, all wild native species. We seeded the bare area with a summer mix of native wildflower seed. Seedlings are starting emerge and again fingers are crossed tightly. As I write the cornflowers are the healthiest looking of the plug plants and so far seem to be surviving in the soil.  

We should learn from this experiment whether stripping more grass will enable wildflowers to proliferate and if so, which wildflowers are best suited to the high phosphorus soil conditions.

The rest of the area we will leave largely untouched, apart form Lyn’s planting of fox gloves, which we will need to wait another year to see. The aim is to understand what nature will do, without intervention. In the Autumn we will cut a third of the area and clear all cuttings. The Guides will also help build a bug hotel.

In May we widened the path through the middle and cut another to entice people to walk through. We plan to cut more paths so people can meander through and children can run through! Please take a slow stroll through to see  a variety of plant species. I whole heartedly recommend catching a long glimpse of buttercups and tall grass against a blue summer sky; it certainly brings me joy when watering.

If you would like to volunteer and help us please get in touch.

Rosie Lane (Trustee)