Much of the Botanic Garden consists of trees and shrubs maintained in long grass meadows through which paths are mown. These meadows are left uncut until full summer to allow the spring and early summer flowers to complete their life cycles.
This has led to development of flower-rich meadows and a great range of grass species. The buttercups are mainly Ranunculus bulbosus on our dry soil. They make a brilliant show throughout the Garden, joined by great carpets of delicate cowslip, Primula veris. Bluebells occur in pools here and there, particularly under the birch collection.
Great drifts of wild species Narcissus turn the Garden gold for a few weeks in spring. Along the Garden’s western border, the daffodils are mostly the delicate Narcissus pseudonarcissus, which has slightly twisted, pale yellow petals and a more golden trumpet. In the eastern garden, along the Fairway, great pools of gold are created by the Tenby daffodil, Narcissus obvallaris, a richer yellow with a lovely frilly trumpet.
The meadow flowers are swallowed up in a froth of Cow Parsley, Anthriscus sylvestris, by late May, the perfect foil for many of our flowering trees and shrubs.
The meadow areas are mainly cut in late summer to allow the flowers to set seed. We remove the hay crop rather than let it enrich the soil which would lead to the growth of vigorous grasses that could crowd out the meadow flowers.