The Summer of Hay Making Begins.

Orchid in budIt’s a weekend of firsts – we had our first beginners scythe course of the season yesterday and we started the first hay making of the year.¬†Phil also found the first orchids in the hay field.

The first was in bud…….
and the second was starting to open.orchid in the hay field

The beauty of the scythe is that the mower is very aware of the vegetation that is being mown. Once spotted, the subtleness of the tool allows the mower to leave selected plants to flower on. You can see in the second photo how closely Phil is able to cut but still leave the orchid standing.

We will be hay making right through the summer now, in a “little and often” policy that keeps the work manageable and is beneficial for wildlife, with a variety of heights and maturity of vegetation being present at any one time.

This approach was being advocated by Bunny Guinness on Gardeners Question Time today (question starts at 24.30), although with 6 or so acres to mow this year our “small bits” will be bigger then the tenth of half an acre that she is discussing with the questioner!