Quaking grass: establishing wildflowers in Bath Quakers’ burial garden

Susan Tomes writes:

As a way of encouraging more butterflies and bees into the burial ground the gardening group is creating a wildflower patch under the cherry tree. There was already an area of cocksfoot grass around the tree that we have not mown this summer and it seemed natural to extend this patch and sow the flower seeds amongst the grass.

We decided upon a variety of perennial flowers that we hope will appear every year rather than a bed of annuals like poppies and cornflowers.  This week Rose Rodgers who is a professional gardener (and who used to maintain the burial ground for us) helped me clear small patches of grass and sow yellowrattle seed. We are hoping this will be our magic ingredient, as it is an annual flower that has a special ability to reduce the vigour of grass and hopefully will create room for the wildflowers to grow.

Our next step (when the weather cools) is to sow a mixture of native wildflowers including  ox-eye daisies, field scabious, quaking grass, and knapweed and cow parsley.  Part of the excitement next summer will be seeing what has survived and thrived.

There is much to do to maintain the burial garden at the moment, especially as we were unable to garden during early summer because of the lockdown.  If you like the sound of safely spending an occasional couple of hours weeding in a beautiful space with a small group of Friends please contact susanetomes@me.com

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