From berry garden to flower meadow

Wester-Amstel has received a generous grant from the 'Landscape Development Amstelscheg' fund. Using this money, we will transform the marshy terrain of our former berry garden into a vibrant flower meadow.

Photo: Winter dormancy on the flower meadow-in-play

Unraveling the mystery of the berry garden
For as long as anyone can remember, the field nestled in the park's back right corner has been known as the “berry garden,” yet the origins of this name remain veiled in mystery. While it likely hosted berry plants in the past, the specifics have faded from collective memory. What we do know is that in the 18th century a maze graced the land, succeeded by an orchard in the early 1900s. In the 1970s, a rose nursery and a small vegetable garden were introduced. However, the pond's 2005 deepening buried the last traces of the “berry garden” beneath sediment, leaving behind a damp patch covered with nettles.

But now it will - hopefully - become a flower meadow

Photo: Berry garden with dredge-inundated apple trees...(2005)

The future promises transformation
The subsidy from the 'Landscape Development Amstelscheg' fund, courtesy of the Province of North Holland, allows us to not only raise the ground the berry garden sits on, but also make the soil more suitable to a wide variety of flowering herbs and other insect-friendly plants. To fortify the weak soil, we topped it with a thick layer of it with nutrient-poor sand. Professionals from Zeldenrijk diligently prepped the soil, while dedicated volunteers meticulously dispersed a precise seed mixture of 0.8 grams per square meter across the plot. Choosing 'bird meadow happiness' and 'G2 flowering grassland' seed varieties from De Cruydthoeck, our volunteers measured and sowed the seeds with precision, employing sophisticated kitchen scales for accuracy.

Photo: Tillage and sowing - 0.8 grams per m2
Photo: Haying three times a year from now on.

We keep mowing...
The work is not yet finished. To develop a flowery grassland, mowing and weeding must be done consistently. On the still-fertile grounds of Wester-Amstel, this task demands attention three times a year. If we and the park volunteers are diligent for three to four years, the berry garden will transform into a beautiful flower meadow. So stay tuned!

By: Søren Ludvig Movig