Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Wild Flower Meadows

I love wild flowers and none more so than the wild meadow flowers. Aren't they just the best? Take a good look at the pic above. Breathtakingly beautiful, isn't it? Here's a close up of another meadow, taken in early June.
Much more interesting and beautiful than an ordinary lawn trimmed and nuked within an inch of its life, don't you think?
Here, the same meadow in it's full glory. Any idea yet, where I took these pictures?
That's right, Great Dixter, the late, great Christopher Lloyd's garden. Two years ago I spent a glorious Sunday afternoon there, basking in all the delights that Great Dixter provided.

When I first saw those beautiful meadows in front of the house I wanted to do what Dolly is doing here;
dive in it, roll around in it, take a big bite out of it, in short enjoy it to my heart's delight. But then I thought: better not, I don't think Mr Lloyd will appreciate me rolling around in this gorgeous meadow that was so painstakingly made by his mum, about half a decade or more ago. So I didn't do the rolling thingy, but it wasn't easy!

When I got home from Great Dixter and other gardens I'd visited in Kent, England in 2005, I had my own flower meadow to enjoy. Don't you just love all those cute little daisies in the grass. Who would be without them?
I like these simple and modest little flowers so much that I've even named my Maine Coon cat Dolly Daisy after them. Daisies have so many happy childhood memories attached to them. Remember making daisy chains or picking little daisy posies for your mum or for miss, the school teacher? Or doing the s/he loves me -s/he loves me not thingy?

So I really do not and can not understand that some people prefer a lawn with only those boring green blades of grass without any daisies, clover or dandelions to relieve the utter snore fest that 'perfect' lawns are. There must be something seriously wrong with you if you don't like daisies. :-)
And you don't have to be human either to love daisies in your lawn; here's Sam (Russian Blue) and Vita (Maine Coon) frolicking amongst the daisies. Fortunately, at Bliss we can all roll on the grass to our heart's content as is clearly demonstrated here by Pippa, Sam's daughter. Is she having fun or what?
I have always loved the wild meadow flowers, even as a little girl. I remember taking spins with my dad on our bicycles in the countryside when I was about 6 or 7 years old. As soon as we saw a meadow with wild flowers my dad would let me run riot in it. I can still remember how happy I was, running through the high grasses and wild flowers that were about waist high then. And after all that running around I would lie flat on my back and look up at the blue sky with the white fluffy clouds, my vision framed by beautiful red poppies that were dancing in the breeze.
Those beautiful meadows full of wild flowers were everywhere in the countryside then and not a rare sight as they are today, unfortunately.
Before my dad and I would return home, I would pick the most humongous bunch of flowers and grasses my little arms could hold. And as soon as we got home, I would give the bouquet to my mum and she would put the flowers and grasses in the biggest vase she could find. They would only last for a day or two, but oh what a glorious sight for the eyes and soul!

When daisies pied and violets blue
And lady-smocks all silver-white
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
Do paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men; for thus sings he,
Cuckoo: O word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear.
William Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost


Libbys Blog said...

Totally agree with you. If I had a bigger garden I would plant a wildflower meadow for myself!!!

lisa said...

Terrific post! I try to keep my lawn a meadow like that, since I love the look as well as the extra birds and critters it attracts. I get the daisies, bee balm, bellflower, and black-eyed susans, but this fall I want to overseed with more wildflowers for variety. Sure is great to live out in the boonies with no "rules" regarding the look of my lawn, cuz' some folks hate the long grass. (Heh...too bad for them!)

Marie said...

Oh, how I wish I had the area for a meadow of wildflowers...

One of my first memories was picking flowers in tall grass with my mother as she put them in her up turned apron.

Yolanda, I have left an award for you on my blog. Please check it out.

Garden Wise Guy said...

Yolanda: what a sumptuous meal of eye-candy your posting is! I'm in the process of blogging folks into submission, suggesting that the monoculture of lawn they pour their time and our resources into could be converted to something more sustainable and beautiful.

I'll be linking to your blog to expand on the idea. Thanks to Lisa for pointing me this way! If you'd like to trade links, stop by http://gardenswiseguy.blogspot.com and see if we have a nice reciprocal "fit."

Billy G!

Marian said...

Ach, dat doet me denken aan een oud-collega van me, die ging al vroeg in het voorjaar madeliefjes uit de bermen spitten om in zijn gras te zetten!
Hier doen ze het ook fantastisch, het worden er steeds meer, zelfs het zenengroen neemt steeds meer gras in beslag, en dan die héle kleine blauwe bloempjes, Veronica geloof ik, dat maakt het alleen maar mooier
(zelfs de hobbeldebobbels van de mollen) ;-)

Entangled said...

Wonderful pictures, as always, and an inspiration because I plan to turn the front part of our new lot into a butterfly meadow over the next several years. Our house is just a bit less grand than Great Dixter, however. ;-)

Kylee said...

Romie wants to do the meadow thing, too, but I'm not so sure. If we can figure out a way for it to not look like weeds much of the time, I'd do it.

Great post! Love your kitties enjoying the daisies!

kate said...

Those meadows filled with wildflowers are beautiful. I love how they bring back memories for you of riding your bicycle with your papa and bringing back bouquets of flowers for your maman.

Oh it is wonderful to see your cats rolling around and frolicking in the flowers.

marl1 said...

Helemaal mee eens: een bloemenweide vind ik een van de mooiste stukjes natuur om naar te kijken....en een van de moeilijkste om aan te leggen...hier moet ook òm de madeliefjes heen worden gemaaid :-)
Vorig jaar waren wij op Great Dixter en gezeten op het bankje aldaar met uitzicht op de bloemenweide kwam de teckel (Dahlia?) van Mr. Lloyd bij ons zitten....heel bijzonder!
OT Vrijheid- Blijheid --->daar hou ik wel van ;-)

Dirty Fingernails said...

Oh my goodness I saw Willow and thought I was staring at my own Penelope... Willow what a great name and such lovely photos of a meadow.. What a wonderful place to spend a day or two.

SchneiderHein said...

Da haben wir ja sehr ähnliche Kindheitserinnerungen! Jahrelang habe ich hier in der Umgebung die Feldränder mit Kornblumen, Mohn und Wildblumen vermisst. Glücklicherweise tauchen sie jetzt langsam am Straßenrand wieder auf. Vasen voller Blüten vom Straßen- oder Waldrand waren für mich schon immer besonders reizvolle Sträuße. Für meinen ersten weißen Vorgarten hatte ich die Gänseblümchen aus Wiesen ausgebuddelt, da Bellis längst nicht so schön sind. Und der langweilige Rasen in unserem Garten wurde gleich im Anfang zur Wiese erklärt. Leider fühlen sich nicht alle meine Lieblingspflanzen dort wohl. Aber nach und nach siedeln sich doch einige Pflanzen an. Unser Post dazu ist gerade in Vorbereitung...
Wir haben uns sehr über den Positive Global Change Award gefreut und werden demnächst unsere 5 Favoriten zusammen mit unserem neuen Wiesenpost veröffentlichen.
Liebe Grüße Silke

RUTH said...

Absolutely stunning...breathtaking. Great Dixter is one of the places on my long list of "want to visit" places. Love your photos of the cats too :o)

Poppins said...

What lovely pictures from meadows you show! And how fun it is to read about your childhood memories. Thank you for sharing them with us.

quu said...

I guess even a two squre meters of own meadow would make people happier and butterflies too - there we go to cats, because cats love catching butterflies.

At my home is still many of meadows, full with Filipendulas, Campanulas... Specially around horse or cow pastures. Nearly every neighbour has a horse or two. Godfather takes care of 20 young stallions every summer. Fall is sad time, because stallions leave and big pastures are empty. Then you really realize that fall and winter is more closer.

Gloria said...

The fourth picture is very recognizable as Great Dixter.You get to visit the best gardens.
I have always loved meadows.from the flowers in spring through the waves of purple,silver, rust, brown and gold of fall. Such open areas are rare in our increasingly urban state. There is a group named Openlands here in Illinois that is working to keep the last undeveloped land free.

Anonymous said...


Bev said...

Meadows, daisies, cats, what more can we ask of life? Your post gave me a breath of fresh air on this hot Colorado Day.

jodi said...

Great Dixter...a place I would dearly love to visit. Did you buy Christo's book about meadow gardening?
Your kitties look so happy! Joyful cats are one of the perfections of the world, aren't they?
We have lots of wild spaces around our seven acres, and the 'lawn' is full of things that would make lawn lovers cringe--especially clover. I love clover and so do the bees. The cat children like anything to do with grass, but are respectful of the bees. Clever catchildren!

Carol said...

I like the meadows and the daises. Growing up, we made clover chains instead of daisy chains. Around here most meadows gradually turn into prairies, with much taller grasses and plants, if not carefully tended.

Beautiful pictures!

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

LostRoses said...

Yolanda, heaven must be a wildflower meadow! At least it's only in my dreams. As Carol mentioned, we are more likely to have prairies, which can be beautiful in themselves, but a far cry from Great Dixter! Gorgeous photos.

Biby Cletus said...


I'm new here landed up searching blogs on resources on pets. cool blog you have here, keep it up. i'm also interested in dogs and do have a german shepherd named devil ( named after the phantom's dog - i was a huge phantom fan in my childhood ) any way its nice to be here. i'll be back some time later for more updates.

Warm Regards from India

you might find this series
on dogs
in our blog interesting. do leave comments there. see ya.


Kerala, India

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Bliss. A few new faces I see and what fun that you all like the wild flower meadows so much. :-)

Libby: those meadows are great, aren't they? And you never know, perhaps it will be possible to create one someday?

Lisa: your wild flower meadows sound wonderful! I must admit that all those rules regarding lawns and their upkeep in the US flabbergast me. Over here we don't have rules and regulations like that.

Marie: we share the same kind of memories. Isn't it great that we both turned out to be such avid gardeners?

Garden Wise Guy: welcome and glad you liked it. I'll check out your blog, it sounds very interesting!

Marian: oh ja, die lieflijke bloemetjes van de veronica, die ga ik volgend jaar ook planten in het gras want die vind ik toch zo mooi. En wat geweldig dat die oud-collega van je madeliefjes ging scheppen voor in de tuin. Fantastisch!

Entangled: almost everybody's house is less grand than Great Dixter. :-) But what a lovely idea to make a butterfly garden. Can't wait to see it all happen on your lovely blog!

Kylee: there is a lot of info available on how to make a wild flower meadow. The ones I've seen so far look good for most of the year. To have a flower meadow as the one in the front garden of Great Dixter, involves a lot of work. Make no mistake, wild flower gardens like that are high maintenance. On the other hand, a wild flower meadow such as in the last few pics are very low maintenance, this one was created my mother nature herself in my country and would only need mowing twice a year.

Kate: my kitties rolling in clover and daisies are a firm favorite with many a garden blogger. ;-)
Glad you enjoyed it too and my childhood memories.

Marl1: ik had niet anders van je verwacht, bloemenweides zijn prachtig!
Wat een geweldig leuke ervaring daar in Great Dixter, dat zijn van die gouden momenten! Toen ik er was heb ik Christopher Lloyd zelf nog even ontmoet. Hij kwam voor het eerst weer buiten na een operatie aan beide knieen. Het was zijn laatste zomer .........

Dirty Fingernails: Welcome to Bliss and what fun that my Willow and your Penelope are so much alike!

Silke: how lovely that we share some childhood memories! I love the Kornblumen, they are so blue and go so well with the poppies and daisies. Here we see, very slowly, the return of more and more wild flower meadows about which I'm very happy. I'm looking forward to your post!

Ruth: glad you liked it and I hope you will be able to visit Great Dixter, it is such a lovely place to be.

Hillside Garden said...

Thank you for the journey to Great Dixter - I love this garden!


mrsnesbitt said...

Strange, fetch a camera out and the cats have to be centre stage! LOL!

Thanks for your visit...do pop over and collect the badge I designed for everybody to share!

Nicole said...

Very lovely pics, certainly makes one feel like rolling in a meadow. I completely agree with you on wildflower meadows, and hate those suburban lawns, which far too many homeowners in the tropics copy!

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Oooh... what beautiful pics, and what a lovely post! I agree with you that those meadows are much better than lawn "nuked to within an inch of its life."

Felicia said...

I enjoyed your flowers and your kitties :)

stadtgarten said...

Great Dixter - I loved this wonderful garden when I was there last year!
Thanks for bringing my good memories back through your photos!
Groetjes, Monika

Bert said...

Hi Yolanda,
Very nice those "wild" meadows,
sssimple and still very beautiful creations of nature.

Susan said...

Yolanda Elizabet —

I visited Great Dixter 8 years ago or so (the same day I visited Sissinghurst!) and was amazed.

I'm traveling with my family to Germany and Prague tomorrow and wonder if you know of any great public gardens near Munich, Berlin or Prague that would be worth a visit?

— Susan from South of the River

Layanee said...

You've got to love a meadow! Great Dixter is on the list! You are lucky to have seen it!

Chitweed said...

Such beautiful meadows.
Reading your post reminded me of picking wildflowers for my mother when I was young (lots of queen annes lace, chickory, milkweed, nutsedge, asters, and daisies). I was taught these were 'weeds' as I got older...but I still let some of them stay in 'special' places in my garden. I wish I had more space to let them all stay.

karin a said...

I just love the meadow with poppies! Nice with grasses and poppies. :) I'm also fond of meadow flowers but in the city you have to "tame" them a little bit. Recent years there has been a meadow trend in gardening, I really do like it.

marga said...

Heerlijk toch....zo'n bloemenweide. Veel beter dan zo'n strak gemaaid grasveld.
Toen we gisteren met de honden aan het lopen waren kwamen we ook langs zo'n bloemenweide en hebben we er nog ff lekker met de honden gestoeid......heerlijk.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Welcome to Bliss!

Poppins: you're welcome!

Quu:meadows are something we can never have enough of. ;-)

Gloria: over here more and more peole are realising the value of wild flower meadows and they are slightly on the increase now. Thanks for the link!

Anon: thanks for the link, I will check it out.

Bev: not a lot. ;-)

Jodi: I have no books of Christo at all. How very remiss of me but I intend to rectify this asap. You've got 7 acres? Wow, you lucky girl you! Personally I love a bit of clover in the lawn and so do the bees. And my kitties love it too because now they can literally roll in clover. :-D

Carol: I've never tried clover chains before. Must try that too, sounds like fun!

Lostroses: but of course, it just has to be. ;-)

Biby Cletus: welcome on Bliss! Thanks for the compliment!

Sigrun: you and me both! :-D

mrsnesbitt: with the amount of kitties that live at Bliss it would be hard to miss them. ;-) Your lovely badge has pride of place on Bliss now and will be spread around!

Nicole: lawns in the tropics, who would have thunk?

Kim: if we want to keep our planet healthy we need more meadows not nuked lawns.

Felicia: glad you enjoyed it all!

Monika: glad to oblige you my dear!

Bert: the truly wild meadows are mother nature at her best.

Susan: Great Dixter and Sissinghurst on 1 day? Wow!

Have you tried googling because I really wouldn't know as it's too far removed from my neck of the woods.
Hope you have a lovely time in Prague and Germany!

Layanee: meadows R us! ;-) And you're right I'm very fortunate to have seen Great Dixter and even its late owner Christopher Lloyd. I met him briefly in what was to be his last summer here on earth.

Chitweed: it is sad isn't it that so many beautiful plants and flowers are written off as 'weeds'.

Karin: they are a joy, aren't they? It is not for nothing that so many gardeners have poppies in their garden, eventhough they are a bit different from the wild ones.

Marga: wat heerlijk zo'n stoeipartijtje met de hondjes in de bloemenwei!

Birgit said...

Hallo Yolanda, melde mich zurück und schaue erst mal bei Dir rein. Zauberhafte Bilder! Ich liebe solche Wiesenblumen. Zauberhaft auch, wie lieb Sam und Vita sich des Lebens freuen.
Bonnie und Nicki möchten gern Dein Cat-Team taggen. Vielleicht hast Du ja Zeit mal in mein Blog zu sehen, dort stehen die Fragen für Deine Fellnasen.
Ganz liebe Grüße Birgit

growyourownveg said...

so very nice looking.

i started this year (may) to convert two areas of my garden to wildflowers.

prepared the soil, and raked in two packets of seeds i had bought. unfortunately nothing came up.

should i have done the seeding in fall of last year?

want to give it a try for next year.

apart from looking great it atracts all sorts of wildlife.