Developing wildflower meadows for the enhancement of the archaeological landscape
During the last decade, there is an increasing interest in the development and use of wildflower meadows, as groundcover in landscapes. The establishment of such meadows in archaeological sites could prove beneficial, as the meadows might be better adapted to the landscape and therefore more aesthetically pleasing and less maintenance demanding. Furthermore, the meadow could suppress unwanted weed species that cause various problems to archaeological sites. The aim of the present study was to examine the establishment of two seed mixes for wildflower meadows, for use as groundcover in archaeological sites of Greece. The experiment was conducted at the Agricultural University of Athens. Treatments consisted of two seed mixes in combination with two mowing regimes (mowing, without mowing), in three replications. The seed mixes comprised of herbaceous native species that were recorded in archaeological sites of Greece and were either available in the international market or the Greek market. The mowing treatments were designed to manage the average height of the meadow, as well as suppress weed emergence. Seedling emergence counts revealed that some species established more successfully than other species. The plots that were mowed presented less than 20% weed contamination, while the plots that were not mowed over 85%. Mowing treatments reduced average plot height to 15 cm, while plots that were not mowed had average plot height of over 60 cm. Similarly, the average height per species during the flowering period was reduced in the mowed plots.
Kanellou, E., Papafotiou, M., Economou, G. and Paraskevopoulou, A.T. (2017). Developing wildflower meadows for the enhancement of the archaeological landscape. Acta Hortic. 1189, 43-48
groundcover, seed mix, weed contamination, mowing