Skip to main content

Five thoughts on creating a wildflower garden

You have to be bold, you have to be brave, and you have to know what you're doing, creating a wildflower wildlife garden. It's not just a question of letting the grass grow long and leaving some deadwood for the bugs.

Get it right and flowery and romantic can be yours. However, get it wrong, and your neighbours will start asking you how you're feeling, as they've noticed you haven't been able to cut the lawn?!  



The recent trends to introduce wildflower gardens is one of the biggest changes that I've seen in British gardens over the past decade and not something easily achieved in Australia. With our hot summers and bushfire risk, we are encouraged to be fire-ready:


'reduce the fuel levels around your house, 
by clearing long grass, raking leaves and twigs and pruning shrubs'

Which is probably why I love the wildflower gardens of Britain so much. The delicate flowers of my youth found on verges and hedgerows are welcomed into gardens, with a 'live and let live' Joie de Vivre!  


Top Left: Mown lawns at Tyntesfield Top Right: Yellow rattle

Be warned! If you are the sort of gardener that loves the see the stripes in the lawn, then the wildflower garden will take some serious restraint.

Of course, you can cheat, or be clever, which ever way you look at it, and start with a wildflower mat. This is a special turf, laid out, watered and off you go. But where's the fun in that? We thought this pretty wildflower meadow we came across in Chichester last year may have been grown in this way.





Oaklands Park Wildflower Meadow Chichester 2015
So how do you start?  I asked my Mother for her tips and ideas as she is currently working on two wildflower gardens! 

1. Find the right space: If you have a patch of land like my parents did, where it was hard to grow a good lawn then take note, this might be nature crying out to go wild!

                 


2. Watch and Wait: In the first year let a patch of land designated for a wildflower garden grow without cutting and see what happens.  




3. Harvest Seeds: At the end of the season, harvest seeds from the wildflowers you like. If you have yellow rattle collect as much seed as you can. The yellow rattle plant is your friend because it crowds out the unwanted meadow grasses. The bottom line is ultimately you want to:



4. Give nature a helping hand: In the second year although it may look like you can sit back to watch how beautifully your garden does grow. The reality is, if you want it to be decorative as well, then it does need managing.  



Which is where you step in and give nature a helping hand. Either by yanking out those plants you deem less worthy, or the most polite way, to encourage  the rattle keep at bay the unwanted competitive grasses. 

 Church Wildlife Garden Oxfordshire
5. Add in some more interesting plants such as orchids, field scabious and whatever takes your fancy and create space around them to grow. For best results introduce them as well grown on plants. 


Add in additional plants that you love

A lot of people want field poppies, for instance, Poppies look fantastic but need disturbed soil, so probably no good just tossing out the poppy seeds.


Here is a closer look at the plants growing in my parent's wildflower garden:


Top: Orchid & Yellow Rattle, Ox-Eye Daisy, Red Campion, Bottom: Hawksbeard, Orchid, Clover
There is much excitement about the single self-seeded orchid, isn't she pretty?! 

I find this move to wildflower and wildlife gardens fascinating and hope you have enjoyed a nosey around some of the best ones I have seen around.



Linking with thanks to Jesh at Seasons
and

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave
SaveSave

SaveSave
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Anyone for Tennis?

At the Australian Open qualifying tournament... 

Are you ready for the first Grand Slam of the year? The Aus Open starts next week (Monday 13th - Sunday 26 January) but Melbourne is already in full swing (ha ha) with tennis players and tennis action. 


You can pay to watch some of the top seeded Men's players in action at the Kooyong Classic, just down the road. Or, you can join me for what I say is one of the best value tennis, indeed let's say sporting tickets in the world. The Australian Open qualifying tournament (Jan 8 -11), where you can wander in for free. Yes free!

The 'Qualies' is one of the secret treasures of the Aus Open where players compete and must win matches on three consecutive days to secure one of the last remaining spots in the main draw.
For the past seven years we have been a host family for tennis players, which is how we have become so familiar with the highs and lows of this lead up event... 
So would you like a sneak peak inside Melbourne Park, whi…

Keep Calm And Birthday On!

So far I'm onto my fourth country celebrating my birthday. Usually, I don't fuss much about birthdays, I'm not one for the big girls night out, or to treat myself with a big splurge... 
But this year is different. I've moved country. I now have a new visa in my passport enabling me to stay in the Kingdom of Thailand until May 2018. I'm away from the kids and the dog and Mr Wren looked at his work calendar, scratched his head and declared a meeting with dinner on my birthday.

I thought for a moment about pulling the old 'I can't believe you've got a meeting with dinner on my birthday AND it's International Women's Day' complaint, but wait a moment, no... That's a perfect excuse to celebrate with everyone, everywhere! 
'Hey, but I thought you said  you never bothered much about birthdays...'
I can hear him call out as I am part way to booking a flight to Malaysia and using all his Airmiles for a return trip to the UK!

He's right, I&#…

I come from a land Down Under…

Where women blow and men plunder, or even chunder!




Mr Wren was away last weekend with his new Bangkok work colleagues. It was the annual office team bonding event.

I had to smile in sympathy when @verybritishproblems tweeted their four-word horror stories: 
Team Building away day  Tell us about yourself  We’ve run out of milk! At this event, every new employee is invited, the sort of invitation you don’t refuse, to introduce themselves to the broader team of over 250 people, in an entertaining manner. 

My Wren failed the audition to join an existing group of newbies who clearly were going all out to make a great first impression. They politely told him he wouldn’t have the time to catch up as they’d been working on their performance for months. Which considering that most Thai’s will never say no to anything, was a gutsy move! 
So poor old Mr Wren was in a right flap. I was sensing he’d be more comfortable standing on stage announcing a 2017 50% reduction in bonus payments than doing his solo…