Do you have a bit of a neglected corner in the garden? Are you fed up with lawn maintenance? November is a perfect time to start bringing some wilderness into your garden by planting up perennial native wildflowers and spring bulbs. A bit of a flowering grassy meadow will give much needed shelter and feed to many garden mini-beasts and reduce your ‘mower miles’ too. In this vlog, shot during one of our Sunday workshops, Peter gives you some tips on how to get started.
As you will see from the video, in our Biodiversity Neuk we used some native perennials from the wildflower border PLANT had sown at Scotscraig Drive a few years back (remember that it’s illegal to dig up any wild plants without the agreement of the landowner or from protected areas). It is now well established and gives a great and diverse flower show in spring and summer. We used seed mix from Scotia Seeds, a local and environmentally-friendly wildflower seed supplier. If you don’t have the patience to wait for plants to grow from seed you can also get small Scottish native plug plants from Perthshire’s Celtica Wildflowers. When you are planting bulbs consider buying from organic sources to minimise any pesticide effects on pollinators – for more see Alys Fowler’s article.
Adding wildflowers to our Neuk will expand yummy pollinator buffet of nectar and pollen already provided by ornamental plantings of the sensory border and culinary herb bed. But it will also add a feast of leaves, roots and stems for the hungry butterfly and moth caterpillars and other mini-beasts which rely on wild plants for food. Birds should be glad of the new source of tasty seeds and bugs too. The image below gives you an idea of which critters will benefit from several of the wildflowers we planted.
If you need more inspiration, our Community Garden Library has a couple of great books about gardening for wildlife:
- Gardening for Butterflies and Other Beneficial Insects by Jan Miller-Klein (Butterfly Conservation)
- Gardening for Birdwatchers by Mike Toms, Ian and Barley Wilson (British Ornithology Trust)
If you are looking for more information on Scottish wildflowers and plants, including their traditional uses and other stories, the following two books are an excellent start (available to borrow from Kaska):
- Flora Celtica: Plants and People in Scotland by William Milliken and Sam Bridgewater
- Scottish Plants for Scottish Gardens by Jill Duchess of Hamilton and Franklyn Perring
So, pop into the Garden, have a flick through the books and pick Peter’s brain for some wild gardening ideas;)