The dynamic and apparently spontaneous appearance of meadows has found renewed appreciation in our times. ‘Meadow’ can mean a range of types of semi-natural grassland, from English hay meadows to North American prairie vegetation (at its best just after native meadows have been cut in late summer). Meadows are breathtakingly beautiful, apparently random and in constant flux. Behind this most ‘natural’ of scenes is a complex interplay of ecology and human culture.
A meadow keys a garden into the ecology of a place. Flowering grasslands increase biodiversity, supporting a vast range of plant and animal species and forming connecting habitats within a landscape. In visual terms they knit the smaller orderly world of the garden into the larger scale of the landscape around it.
In collaboration with Professor James Hitchmough of Sheffield University, we have been involved in the creation and management of a number of both native and exotic meadows.