The meadow in my garden in Saltsjöbaden - kept in bay by the cold and salty winds from the sea, but still needing maintenance to keep out the unwanted invaders.
Meadows formed also as a result from the ancient farming practice of growing winter feed for the cattle on open land. The grasses were cut down in the end of the summer and carted away and their seeds were left on the fields, and so could regenerate the vegetation the following spring. Pastures are not really meadows as they are continuously grazed by animals that keep the grass short the whole season.
Beautiful, seaside pastureland with grazing sheep at Beachyhead, East Sussex; I warmly recommend it as a a wonderful place to visit.
Meadow gardening and "prairie style" gardening have been popular since the 1990's when Piet Oudolf's and Oehme & van Sweden's designs (only mention a very few) got a lot of space in the gardening magazines. And of course, Christopher Lloyd's many books, with beautiful pictures of lovely meadows have had an enormous impact. In my research for my first garden history thesis, I found some wonderful articles in Swedish gardening magazines from the 1930s promoting meadows in gardens, as the first picture above. During the 1930s, meadows as an agricultural practise was disappearing and many garden writers were worried about that the cultural and ecological environments would disappear as well. One of the most popular garden architects in Sweden during that time, Sven A. Hermelin, suggested using meadows instead of lawns in gardens, as they are more esthetically pleasing and give a larger biodiversity than the monotonity of a close-cut lawn. It just took another 60 years before his thoughts became popular... is nothing ever new in gardening?
A birds-eye view of the meadow towards the moat and the pavillion at Sissinghurst, with mown paths, roses and fruit trees in the grass. I took this picture from Vita Sackville-Wests writing tower.
Later update: see also my post European meadows, American meadows.
There's something so beautifully life-affirming about meadows. No barren land, but green grass peppered with wildflowers, and a thriving, busy animal colony on various levels, while looking serene and unruffled on the surface.
Beautiful photos which make me wish I was there.
Your comment in "awaytogarden" caught my eye, it is soothing to come back into natures arms as a FLOWER! I love the picture with your daughters in the beautiful garden of the late Christopher Lloyd.
Hi Sunita, maybe meadows are a bit like life itself, just like you describe it in your comment?
And Titania, welcome to my blog and thanks for your comment; yes, I would love to come back as a flower on a meadow, if that's possible! Maybe it sounds a bit morbid, but I don't mind being good compost for a garden either :-)
I just loved this post. I love Sweden.I love meadows. I have only been there in the Summer, however!
The first time I visited I was so impressed by the brilliant light and long nights. Birch tree everywhere! I felt like the country was like a natural garden. I love the high country...The high Sierras and the Tetons so I fell in love with the rock and wildflowers of Sweden.Your own meadow is a dream.
Oooh I love this post. Your meadow in Sweden looks absolutely perfect and I would like to transport myself there right now and romp around. What a view!
Your Saltsjöbaden meadow is inspiring. A delight to read your thoughts on meadow gardening as I am trying to re-design my new home to include Garry Oak meadows, too.
regards from your neighbour to the north
Love your posts and could see the raccoons even without the pics. also found the gates charming, not Bill but definitely the neglected one! Thanks. Obsession ia such a wonderful state, I fully subscribe to it!
If only more people with bigger gardens would let more of those lifeless lawns become meadows with a moved path instead of making these huge lawn deserts!
I have a great dislike of lawns after some thought to maintenance practices.
fungicides,herbicides to keep lawns is
an aberration. Irrigation a waste of a precious resource. Not only you pollute
water,soil,air but create an unfriendly
environment with noise and smoke to detriment of flora/fauna.
The case of golf is the worst in my opinion. My blog deals with this and related issues, from the perspective of a Caribbean isle.
Meadows and ground covers will certainly help our surroundings.
Great post. Thanks, until then
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