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Mike's Blog - Day 158

A view of the Cornfield annual border.

It’s not done so well this year. I think the ground is getting very low in nutrients. These plants are good at competing with cereal crops for nutrients, but if there are no nutrients there, then there is little that they can do. Farmers would fertilize their fields and often burn the stubble which would put nutrients back in.

So for next year we definitely need to think about adding either fertilizer or perhaps some manure. That would add a bit of bulk back to the soil too as each year we lose a bit as we weed it. Of course manure from horses fed on good hay has the potential to bring in weed seeds of grass and other things, which might make it more difficult to weed…

The small tree is a Rowan, but not the one you would find locally. This is a Welsh one, Sorbus minima. It only grows in a few places in Breconshire.

We obtained our seeds for this when the Botanic Garden was first being set up, from a Botanic Garden in what was then Czechoslovakia. The border is full of other rare trees, odds and ends that were left over when other parts of the garden had been planted. It has quite a number of berries on it this year so we can offer them to other Botanic Gardens.