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5 Mar 2021

New meadow planting is a sensory delight at Brodie Castle

Written by Jacky Brookes
A wildflower border in a garden, with a lot of red poppies and other pink and blue flowers.
Last year’s display of wildflowers
Increasing the biodiversity of the Brodie estate, while adding colour and scent, is all part of the plan behind the ongoing meadow planting.

The Brodie Castle estate has always been a popular place to visit whatever the time of year. Daffodils carpet the grounds in spring and in summer the vegetable beds are brimming with healthy, delicious produce. Autumn brings the bountiful apple tree harvest and towards the end of the year the gardens and grounds become a true winter wonderland. Freely accessible, the estate grounds are a great place for family fun and exercise, much welcomed and needed during these ‘different’ times – an added bonus this year will be the new areas of colour and scent to experience along the way.

An area to the east of the castle, running alongside the Victorian shrubbery, will soon be given a seasonal colourful lift with the addition of meadow planting by the gardening team.

An avenue of trees in winter, with a lot of snow on the ground. The trees also have snow on their branches.
Cathedral Walk before the mature lime trees were felled

The historic ‘avenue’ chosen for this season’s planting is called Cathedral Walk – as it was once lined with mature lime trees which gave the feeling of being in the nave of a grand cathedral as you walked along it. Unfortunately, those trees developed a deadly fungal infection and were removed in 2015. But we have replanted with avenue with young lime trees, which will mature to create the ‘cathedral’ once again in years to come!

A garden with a stone wall to the right. Two long strips have been deturfed, ready to be planted. The trees have no leaves.
Removing the turf to prepare for the new meadow planting

Last year we removed some of the turf around the lime trees to create a defined pathway along the avenue. This winter and spring the team began sowing a meadow flower mix which will bring a swathe of colour along either side of the avenue, drawing people towards the sundial at the end next to the old gardener’s bothy.

A man is holding a yellow bucket, from which he is scattering seeds. Brodie Castle is in the background.
Sowing the wildflower meadow seeds

We first sowed meadow mix around the estate in 2020 during the pandemic and the results were very well received both by visitors and our resident insect population! We’re hoping that creating these meadow beds along the avenue this season will further increase the biodiversity of insects and help in reducing the decline of pollinators around the estate.

The gardens team are planting a mix of meadow seeds of different varieties, all of which are beneficial to insects – and with some great names, such as Medieval Carpet, Meadow Glints, Sunflower Rise and Express Summer. In a few months’ time, and throughout the summer, this will give a wonderful array of colour and scent – a true sensory delight. It’s a win-win for our socially distanced visitors and insects alike!

Around 10 packs of seed mixes on a table. The packets are gold-coloured with white labels.
The different varieties of meadow seeds being sown this year at Brodie

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