On Wednesday 1st July the Beech Gardeners visited a beautiful wildflower meadow at Doug and Suzy Palmer’s house, just round the corner from Beech in the Basingstoke Road, at Warren Farm.
It was a really hot afternoon and Doug took us up to the top of the meadow along what used to be the Alton to Basingstoke railway line. We walked along the mown path round the perimeter of the meadow and saw a plethora of wild flowers – orchids, trefoil, clover, knapweed, scabious, convolvulus and hedge bedstraw.
The garden round their house was full of beautiful flowers too and there are photos of some of them below in the gallery.
Doug told us of the history of how he had bought the farmhouse next door and converted the barns for themselves to live in. Because of the railway alongside the meadow it had never been cultivated or had cattle on it for years, so the poor soil which had never had much fertilizer on it, except sheep and rabbits in the winter, was perfect.
Consequently the wild flowers thrived in the meadow, and when the flowers had all dropped their seeds in the autumn Doug would mow it and collect up the hay (by hand) and then let the sheep run on it, and tread in the seeds, until the next Spring.
We sat in the shade of umbrellas round of the patio at the back of the house and Suzy served up tea and home-made cakes plus scones, jam and cream. Delicious!!!
Everyone had a really enjoyable afternoon and would like to thank Doug and Suzy for their hospitality. Click on the first picture of the gallery below and then follow the arrows.
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Sue Robinson sent in 3 lovely photos which she took that afternoon – much better than the author’s. Her caterpillar is magnificent –