30 Days Wild – Day 27

This does seem to have been a particularly rainy 30Days with some overnight and a lot more today, at least we had a little sunshine in the morning. I ran the moth trap at home and caught a few moths, a couple of small ones were new for the year, the first was the rather smart meal moth, which feeds on stored vegetable matter and perhaps garden waste.

meal moth

The other was Homoeosoma sinuella a heathland species locally and quite frequent on the New Forest.

Homoeosoma sinuella

With the weather being poor I only had a few minutes in the garden when the sun was out. The mini-meadow is looking good at the moment, I have got traditional borders planted with insect friendly plants but they don’t come anywhere near the sheer abundance of flowers in the meadow. The meadow has abundance, with multi-layered diversity, that I could never imagine getting in a border.

mini-meadow

This picture has ox-eye daisy, bloody cranesbill, cat’s ear, wild carrot, corky-fruited water dropwort, lesser stitchwort, two species of buttercup, field scabious, yellow rattle, bird’s foot trefoil and lady’s bedstraw all in flower now, it had cowslip, bugle, mouse-eared hawkweed, goat’s beard, grass vetchling and dandelion and will have knapweed, devil’s bit scabious and others that are still to flower. This is not a full list by any means and I am still finding new species that have arrived I know not how. One of these that I first saw today is musk mallow, with large pale pink flowers, not an easy one to miss.

musk mallow

All these flowers are great for insects of course and another first for the year in the garden today was small skipper.

small skipper

This meadow was established out of a traditional lawn, no turf stripping, just let it grow and add some seeds. I cut it once a year by hand, but that is just because I like to keep the anthills and I take away the cuttings, very simple. Most of it grows no more than 50cm tall and a lot of it less. It is so simple it seems remarkable that we cannot have our incidental grass areas, so often mown within an inch of their lives, managed like this and all be surrounded by flowery grasslands full of life. It would perhaps make only a small difference to the biodiversity crisis we are in but it would make a difference. The fact that it is not done suggests that for all the talk of reversing environmental collapse that might come from government, on the ground nothing changes because those that actually issue the contracts and do the work don’t get it. If we cannot even do the simple things what hope do we have for doing the difficult things that inevitably lie ahead?

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