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[attachment=1I have a picture of one of the mulleins which have grown this year- to the right of the pond we’re making. The pond is the original well for the house, which was capped some 2ft. down, and we will be having a small fountain near the edge to keep the water sweet. Already it’s the favourite for birds to drink and bathe, and water boatmen have discovered it.
I’ve got a wildflower tub in motion ( courtesy of freebie packet of seeds from BBC). If it attracts bees and butterflies it’s all for the good.
I’ve discovered today that the white flowered bulbs I moved from the kitchen garden are Star of Bethlehem. I remember the name from school nature walks, but thought that referred to a small white campion.
I also discovered that the tall, furry-leaved plant, with a tall- about 5ft- spike of yellow flowers is a mullein. It crops up in different places each year.
I was in Hyde Park yesterday & there is an area by the Serpentine that looks like its been set over to wild flowers but its totally devoid of colour and just looks a mess vs. the otherwise well kept park.
I realise as I walk round this vast garden, that plants choose their spot. Once we’d scythed and strimmed many of the overwhelming brambles and nettles, we found areas where wild primroses lived, and there’s just one place for violets; another for a particular wild geranium. Campions congregate under one window, and a central island which I dug out last year has over a dozen foxgloves this year. We killed part of the kitchen garden last autumn, and dozens and dozens of little white flowers- a bulb, and like a scilla- appeared. What the difference in soil is, I don’t know, because it’s all rocky ice age sludge!
I don’t have enough space for a wildflower border, but I do like to let plants self seed – so I have lots of nigella, foxgloves, aquilegia and violas. It can look scruffy, but I love it. I also like to grow upwards to give a green backdrop, so have many trees and shrubs with clematis and climbing roses interwoven.
In keep a patch of nettles and a buddleia for the butterflies too. I don’t have much cash to spend on the garden, so this system works well for me (spent nothing on bedding plants this year).
I guess the problem with planting a whole border in one go, is that the stronger grasses will take over and you lose the original balance.
This post was prompted by Flowerpowerlife’s comments on Gardener’s World. Has anyone planted one of these and if so how successful has it been? What is your secret?
Son in law tried planting a wild flower border a couple of years ago. The first year it was really pretty but last year was quite disappointing as many of the plants hadn’t self set. This year it looks like being an overgrown mess with a lot of grass but few flowers.
The local council have planted several wild flower verges. Again these have been really attractive for the first couple of years but then seem to be overrun by rank weeds.