Posted: 18/04/2012 at 07:37
Miriam Rothschils took about 10 years to create a replica ancient meadow
You're absolutely correct.
Sustainability is the key to meadows. This important issue was entirely glossed over in Sarah Raven's programs. In fact, most of those programs had little to do with meadows. In many of her examples Sarah Raven was simply sowing or planting herbaceaous beds, somewhat like the mini-beds I've sown.
A natural meadow acheives a balance between flowers and grass because the soil contains no nutrients. The way that happens is through continual cutting of the grass (haymaking) and removing all the cut hay, so that the nutrients held in the hay do not return to the soil. In a naturally evolving meadow it takes decades to deplete the soil of nutrients.
Miriam Rothschild created her meadow artifically, by removing several inches of top soil and reseeding. She removed thousand of tons of earth. An operation like that is very expensive, and destructive. She admitted that destroying all the wildlife causes 'ecological disruption'.
Personally I don't accept that the destruction of all wildlife is necessary nor desirable. Nor could I afford an operation like the Rothschilds'. Unlike the Rothschilds, I don't own an Investment Bank.
In a mini-meadow, which is what I'm creating, it should be feasible to remove any aggressive grass from around the plugs, and mini-beds, by hand, if and when necessary. We'll see what happens.
Incidentally, I was in Tesco yesterday, and a packet of seeds caught my eye. I couldn't resist. So I've just made and sowed another mini-bed:
The presence of packets of seeds like that one, in Supermarkets, shows that a lot of people are interested in trying things like this.