Iphonejuky 19carnival 033

Priestlands Wildflower Meadow

Published on 2015-07-19 by Gill Hickman

Priestlands Grow Wild

The wildflower area at Priestlands is of generous size and now, at the end of the summer term, it is simply stunning.

Most of the plot is a riot of colour with annuals jostling for position. Earliest flowers were tiny Stocks and Linaria, and these were quickly followed by cornfield annuals – poppies, cornflowers, corn marigolds, corncockle and corn camomile. We added extra seed such as echium, bishop’s flower and cosmos to Priestlands mix both to prolong the flowering season and to give extra bee interest.

There are lessons to be learnt: one side under the shade of an old cedar tree is very dry and despite extra seeding it has fewer flowers. Itis slowly colouring up and we hope that by September, gaps will be filled!

In terms of butterflies and bees, this has worked. Meadow brown and speckled wood butterflies are regular visitors and there have been several sightings of marbled whites, large whites, small tortoiseshells and peacock butterflies. The setting of the wildflower area, effectively in a sunny woodland clearing, makes this a perfect site for butterflies.

Priestlands meadow collage

The meadow supports a profusion both of hoverflies which enjoy the yellow flowers such as corn marigold, and of bumblebees. The latter show a predilection for cornflowers, and in particular, blue cornflowers. However, there are also honey bees and flower bees, both of which are suffering nationally. One of the reasons the project was set up was to help to provide extra diversity to help arrest the decline in bees, and in this respect we can say that it has been a great success, not just at Priestlands but throughout Lymington and Pennington.