"Increasing the number of pollinators present in the garden"
The UK has lost 97% of its wildflower meadows, which I think we can agree is a horrific amount. With this in mind I knew I wanted to fill the garden with as many pockets of wildflowers as I could. Not only are they absolutely beautiful, but they are a haven for our insects and pollinators.
As I mentioned previously, I quickly discovered that gardening is quite the expensive hobby, so I wanted to utilise what was already existing in the garden as much as possible to keep costs low. Dotted around the garden are several plastic plant pots that sit on the fences, walls and trellis. I’m going to be honest…. I not really a fan of them. However, I hate waste, and as much as they aren’t to my taste, they are perfectly functioning pots that don’t warrant being thrown away. Not only that, but I quickly realised that the lack of bare ground in the garden meant that these pots provided me with elevated extra growing spaces that if removed, simply reduced my growing potential.
So, I decided to make these pots the sites for planting my wildflower seeds. I began by clearing out any dead foliage and fluffing up the existing soil which in some had become pretty compact. Some of the pots on the trellis and fence already had plants growing in them, so I decided to leave these be and just focus on the empty sites.
I started out by planting out the trellis pots with some wildflower seed bombs that I picked up on a whim. I’d heard mixed reviews about their success, but they were cheap, so I thought why not. It was also exciting waiting to see what was going to become of them. It didn’t take long for life to begin showing and pretty soon the planters were alive with wildflowers.
*Quick interjection: as fun as it was waiting to see which wildflowers the seed bombs would pr4esent me with, upon reflection I wouldn’t use them for raised planters again. Simply because there were several poppies amongst the mix, as well as other taller varieties which in some areas made the planters look sparse in comparison to the denser, shorter wild flowers. *
I also picked up some wildflower seed packets for the garden; I decided to sow the planters under the window with borage and one of the previously gravel borders with night scented stock (as mentioned in my previous post). The borage Is now flourishing into a dense ensemble of foliage, displaying the most beautiful delicate flowers. I also decided to sprinkle some other wildflower varieties amongst the stony pockets of the garden after the surprise appearance and success of other flowering plants such as poppy and scabious varieties in those areas. They’ve taken a little while longer to emerge, however are now beginning to poke their way through the pebbles and I can’t wait to see them flowering as most of them are my favourite varieties of wildflowers. (I’m going to cover my top varieties of wildflowers in my next post).
This summer the garden has been alive with pollinators, particularly bees and hoverflies. The sparrows have also been a huge fan of the scabious it would seem, after I noticed several of them being responsible for the clean breaks in the stems which had me otherwise puzzled. On the topic of destruction though, please can we talk about how delicate poppies are. I kid you not, a new poppy flower will emerge and before the days out it will have lost its petals. I’ve sat and watched the bees tucking into the nectar of the opium poppies, with each petal gracefully falling one by one leaving but a bare head by the time its finished.
Whilst ‘destructive’, it brings me joy to see the garden being untitled for its intended purpose. Supporting wildlife. Increasing the number of pollinators present in the garden: Check. All for a grand total of £15.00 – Wildflower seeds.