Shady Meadow

The only kind of gardening that goes on in the orchard is a mowing about once a month, sometimes stretching to six weeks if the weather is dry and slows the growth down. I've experimented with leaving parts of it wild but I get concerned that my dogs who do like to go down there on occasion, might end up with ticks which they are miraculously free from now without any chemical help.  Touchwood. So it is allowed to get a little bit wild but not too much and thats what it was like today when I went down there to take some photos.

I was surprised to see last week when I went down there, quite a lot Chinese Violet, Asystasia gangetica. Not a huge surprise as its a pretty invasive weed  here - just that it looked more meadow like with its pretty flowers mixed in with  the lanky Alternatha Sessilis pictured here. Both are actually edible so I picked a nice bunch of the Asystasia which ended up in a frittata. There's an interesting video recipe for a dish combining alternatha sessilis leaves with lentils that I must try out.

There are a few different grasses down here, Kyllinga nemoralis, which is a big problem wherever I have lawn because it grows so quickly. Here it's polka dot white flowers look quite pretty and its an interesting plant in its own right with some interesting medicinal qualities, its leaves having antimicrobial properties.

There's also Nut Grass or Java Grass or Cyperus rotundus, whose roots are supposed to have protected cavemen's teeth from decay. Otherwise not a particularly interesting looking plant. There are a couple of patches of fountain grass which I will not see unless my gardener has machine issues and delays his visit for a couple more weeks, taking it up to a couple of months between mowing. Bamboo grass Pogonatherum crinitum keeps a low profile here whereas I see it becoming quite tall in places that have been left to grow wild.

This shady meadow has changed somewhat since I first got here. There were quite few garden escapees down here- Caladiums, Cococasias and quite a bit of Syngonium Podophyllum. I've moved them all into other parts of the garden. There was a medium sized weed tree, Clausena excavata, that got blown over in a storm that has since been removed as have quite a few rocks and pieces of concrete. This has changed sun exposure and competition and for the better - there's definitely a softer, meadow like feel and what seems like slightly different patches of diversity.

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