At the side of the house I have a small sloping area of lawn. And I use the word “lawn” loosely. From a distance it passes for lawn, but close up it reveals itself to be just mown weeds. It was after a mowing session on a particularly hot and steamy day that I came up with the idea of turning it into a meadow.
I’ve long been envious of the wildflower meadows you see in England, and always assumed that the idea wouldn’t work in Australia. But what the heck – give it a go – and if it doesn’t work I can always go back to mowing the weeds again.
The first things to grow were the usual suspects … dandelion, plantain, farmer’s friend and some pretty ageratum – which needs to be removed as it features on the very first page of the local weed handbook.
Next to arrive were some Weeds of National Significance and Noxious Weeds – white blackberry, camphor laurel, seratro and lantana. They had to go immediately.
Then I noticed some more interesting weeds, white clover, oxalis, mock strawberry, fleabane, Verbena boniarensis and something that looks like hemlock but could be wild carrot.
Thankfully some natives also popped up – kidney weed (dichondra), Glycene microphilla, Native geranium, Commelina and Slender sedge.
Plus quite a few luxuriously fragrant Lemon Scented eucalyptus saplings, which have to be pulled out due to the fact that they can grow to 35 metres and I already have one !
I’ve really only scratched the surface, and there are many more plants in the understorey to be identified together with a few insects. It will be interesting to see what develops over the coming months …