Area: 2 acres
This meadow was formerly grazed, with herbicides applied regularly to manage the docks. In seeking to turn it into a restorative and revitalising space the first priority was to allow the land to return to a healthy natural state without use of any chemicals. The docks are rather pretty in autumn - but when they become too vigorous they are scythed back or dug out - and they have not taken over. The next priority was to explore the land from all angles and find the best spots to soak up the view.
Narrow mown paths allow passage, brushing through feathery grasses. Wild flowers of the first summer were only pale thistles, pink rosebay willowherb, buttercups, nettles, and docks. Two years later birds foot trefoil, purple vetches and common knapweed emerged, whilst hedgerows, thrice their original width, included the delights of wild roses and honeysuckle which had found space and time to flower. If you halt for a moment by the hedgerows you become aware of the constant twittering of small birds, raising their fledgings in the safety of dwellings hidden deeply from sight.
Structure with a light touch is important to make a wild garden welcoming for people. Some paths are now lined with plums and greengages; newly planted wild roses are forming pockets of sheltered scent and a future pond is marked out by the hammock. This is a shared space, home to wildlife and human owners in equal measure.