Hooters Hall

Posts Tagged ‘wildflowers’

No Mow May in the Garden

As part of our ten year plan of rewilding and meadow making we’ve stopped mowing the lawn at the front of our property and seeing what happens.

We’re not leaving it completely untouched but we are gardening with a light touch and wildlife in mind. Today I spent the day doing some weeding, digging up any large thistles and cutting back the nettles keeping them restricted to specific areas.

The grass has shot up and it looks beautiful when there’s a bit of a breeze — a sea of green waves with nodding seed heads.

There are some wildflowers amongst the grass and I’m planning on planting yellow rattle to thin out the grass a bit and create space for more wildflowers, eventually we’ll have a wildflower meadow with lots of perennial wildflowers.

We could speed this process up by rotavating areas to seed with wildflowers or killing off the grass with weedkiller then replanting but I prefer taking the slower, more natural approach revealing what wildflowers are stored in the soil.

As well as no mowing and encouraging or planting wildflowers we also have an enormous wood pile that we are leaving to rot down and I’m planning on making a small wildlife pond later this year.

For now we are just keeping the more robust wildflowers such as nettles and thistles under control then in late August / early September we will cut the area, leave the cut grass and plants to dry and drop their seeds before gathering it in, much as you would in a hay meadow.

I’m going to grow my own yellow rattle plug plants from seed ready to plant out next year together with other wildflowers suited to our soil type. Gradually over time we’ll increase the number of species.

Already the garden is humming with life full of bees, butterflies, insects and birds and without any mowing I have more time to enjoy it.

Britain in Bloom 2012: Free Wildflower Seeds

As you might have realised here at Hooters Hall we’re keen to promote the use of native plants / wildflowers. Whether in wild areas in your garden/ on the smallholding or in a more formal design. Awareness of the importance of our native plants has been growing in recent years and in 2012 will get a big boost thanks to the Britain in Bloom campaign. The RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) is offering a free packet of annual wildflowers to groups involved in Britain in Bloom, It’s Your Neighbourhood , RHS affiliated societies and schools involved with the Campaign for school gardening.

I’ve always associated Britain in Bloom with overly primped and tidy villages full of identikit  bedding plants so it’s refreshing to see my sterotype challenged and hopefully the campaign will lead to more people appreciating and  using native plants in their gardens.

The plan is for the event to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee here are the details from the RHS : http://www.rhs.org.uk/Gardening/Community-gardening/Britain-in-Bloom/2012-Britain-in-Bloom-launch

You need to apply by 12th March to get your free seeds.

To inspire you here’s a picture of a wildflower meadow in Lincolnshire ( you might need more than one free packet of seeds for a similar effect)

 

 

 

 

Cornish Wildflowers

We’ve spent the past week in Cornwall for our summer holiday. The weather was truly fabulous and despite spending a lot of time at the beach bodyboarding we did also take a few country walks and the Cornish countryside was quite spectacular. I haven’t posted much about native plants but they are one of my passions and hopefully one day we’ll be able to have our own native plant nursery. There’s loads of information online about planting up wildflower areas in your garden and they do look very beautiful. However, my interest is more in using native plants as you would other plants in a more formal way. If that’s something that intrigues you check out the books listed below. Meanwhile here are some pics of native plants growing wild in the Cornish countryside.

Here are the book details.

  • English Plants for your Garden ISBN 0 7112 1435 2
  • Gardening with Wild Plants ISBN 1 86108 165 0