We'd like to say a special 'Thank you' to MeadowInMyGarden.co.uk, these lovely people donated a rather large amount of seeds to our plot and they also happen to stock some INCREDIBLE varieties - visit their site to create your own floral haven for bees, butterflies and song birds.
DIARY OF A WILDFLOWER PATCH
End of April 2012 and a young girl’s dream was finally acted upon...
As an idealistic teenager I’d not been the type to swoon over Gary Numan: a walk across the local fields blackberry picking with my smashing Grandad was more my thing. My dungarees were not worn a la Dexy’s Midnight Runners mode they were more a nod to the country bumpkin that lay semi-dormant in this council-housed Sheffield lass.
Anyway this is not a autobiography - I’d always dreamed that one day, somehow, I’d plant a field of wildflowers (the Timotei adverts have a lot to answer for, subliminally influencing all those hormonally-charged teenage girls of the early eighties!) Well, it’s not a field but a little scrap of land, that after quite a bit of research belongs to... not sure who... (adjacent to Ramsbottom Vets and behind Isherwoods). It is being transformed, slowly from the derelict, overgrown chip fork heaven (77 chip forks and counting!) that used to hide the beautiful old fashioned lamppost to a wildflower patch that will hopefully attract masses of butterflies and bees and look simply beautiful.
It is one thing to have a simple dream but to actually pick up a fork and start digging in view of strangers and neighbours is, I’ve realised, a commitment- but not the sort that keeps you up all night it’s the sort that keeps you going just that bit longer… Some partners buy their loved one flowers, thankfully I’ve got a hubby who’ll pick up a fork with me, make numerous trips to the tip shifting rubble and actually grow the flowers-thanks love.
Everytime we go out to dig something cool happens:
Day 1: Literally on propping our forks and spades against the wall and deciding where to start my hubby looks to the skies (birder!) and a Sparrow hawk begins chasing a flock of Goldfinches right over our heads.
Day 2: Almost everyone who walks past shouts northern words of encouragement like, ”Oh, you’ve got yourself a right job here!” or “That’s been looking a right mess for years!” and Smoking-break-Isherwoods employees promise to bring some seeds!
Day 3: We meet the lovely, elderly local lady who’s faithful cat follows her down the steps and halfway into Rammy then waits with us for her return and we begin talking local history. Offered tea and the use of a garden incinerator (burn-y bin to you and I) by another local resident
Day 4: Wildflower seed promotion at the Co-op. So we share our project with the local co op shop at Holcombe brook and they kindly donate all their left over seeds and give us a £20 donation for more plants and seeds - Yes!
Day 5: Hubby writes to co op head office to ask for any ‘national leftovers’ - you don’t ask: you don’t get!
Day 6: I discover you can tell a lot about a person’s personality from the way they dig. I’m all speed and enthusiasm and wanting to get the job done whilst our mate Jase is steady and thorough and will dig down thirty feet if necessary to remove a large stone. On comparing the two areas we’d dug that lay beside one another it was plain to see we are all very different.
Day 7: After working for a few hours from ‘The Chop’ brings a selection of hot Pannini’s and beverages - what a reward!
Day 8: A young man asks what we’re up to. We explain that we’re ‘Guerilla Gardening’ on the derelict land and hoping to seed a wildflower patch. Turns out he owns a fabulous garden centre in Rawtenstall called Lea Brook, no cards, no café just plants. He kindly offers to donate some wildflower bulbs to plant for next year and suggests herbs for the edge of the plot near the steps so people can help themselves as they walk past - it’s really starting to take off!
Day 9: A mystery gardener adds a few plants - Brilliant, thank you whoever you are…
Day10: A large parcel arrives from Co op head office - 100 packets of seeds!!!
More tales from the wildflower patch coming soon but in the meantime feel free to get involved - something good always happens...
Drawings and keeping track of what's growing
I've started cataloguing what flowers and herbs we have growing here at the wildflower patch and have drawn some of them which you can see in my slideshow.
P.S.We will post any working times here on the Incredible Edible Ramsbottom website and on twitter (@joyladds) or if you want to feel free to get stuck in yourselves. There’s still more than half the patch to clear of grass and weeds but wear gloves as no doubt there’s more chip forks lurking...
Joy (the dreamer) Ladds x