The meadow garden at Longwood is perhaps my favourite part of the garden. It has been a place for restful strolls and contemplation. It’s design takes you away to a rural idyll, the beauty being to me the feeling of respite at any part of the day. Historic buildings look out at you enticing you towards them through some lovely circular walks that take you to different vantage points and through a pocket of woodland at the bottom.
The meadow has fantastic ecology teeming with life. We have seen a multitude of insects and some beautiful birds flitting amongst the tall herbaceous stands. Longwood undertakes a breeding Bird Survey and today recorded 28 species. My favourite is still the red winged blackbird, having been one of the first birds I saw when I first arrived. Flashes of the red markings of their wings as they flew stick in the memory. Today many baby cotton tailed rabbits were exploring.
Over the past few months I have watched the meadow grow towards flowering maturity. Now beautiful associations reveal themselves like the Monarda fistulosa and the rudbekia.
This week I met a gardener who had interned with Piet Oudolf when the new perennial and naturalistic style was becoming apparent. It interested me the lag between the American adoption of this style and the European. Exported from America to Europe it is beginning to make an impact in the very place that inspired the style, but is still fairly young as a movement.