flowering meadow

Ashton Park School

Back in March a group of dedicated parents came together on a cool Saturday morning to tackle a new space in the well-being garden that they had been working on (first project had been to open up a space around the school pond). The ground was pretty tough going with brambles having reclaimed much of it and a wide range of plastic and glass littering the soil. This was planned to be phase one – choosing a space that would be the first half of the new wildflower meadow as part of our West of England Combined Authority funded ASNR. In addition to much pulling and extraction of bramble roots, some spring flowering plants were put in – bluebell, aconite and wood anemone.

Next came our group of hard working students to remove more grass, brambles and nettles and prepare the ground for sowing our wildflower seed mix. They also added a few more spring bulbs around the edges and discussed how the space could develop and we explored some of the smells of the wild plants already growing to ground us in the place and feel more connected to it.

So the space was now ready and and stage was set for sowing seeds. Right at the end of March and before the Easter break our focused group of young people came out again to rake the ground and sow a good many handfuls of seed.

So we watched in April as the little seedlings started to nudge their way skyward. At this point the plants were making great progress and we didn’t know we were about to get a long period of drier and hotter weather after a wet start to the year – would the ground store enough moisture for our meadow to flower?

Then with a burst of speed despite the lack of rain and barely any watering – a few watering cans around the edge – the space exploded with colour. So 2 months after sowing we have our meadow with poppy’s and cornflowers dominating currently but with many more plants ready to bloom and with a bit of rain it should be a great show.

Our most recent visit has been to put in some lavender along the edge of the meadow to mark the path that will lead in to the space. More visits are planned this school year and next with a celebration of what the young people have achieved, some more nature based activities and then phase 2 this autumn to prepare the adjacent space for sowing.