wildflowers

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Wouldn’t it be good to have your own wildflower garden giving a succession of bloom from early spring to late autumn?

Building a successful wildflower garden is best accomplished through the use of native plants including shrubs, groundcover and grasses which are indigenous to the geographic area. A wild garden would usually feature a variety of species that form part of the pre-existing natural ecology of an area.

A good approach is to aim to replicate the conditions that your wildflower species would grow in naturally. Cheat them into believing they are still in their native environments by matching soil type and planting in shaded or more open spots.

Wildflowers ought to be transplanted after blossoming is over. You should have good drainage so the plants don’t become saturated with water. Try to get plenty of stones down into the beds. Take the time to prepare the soil before sourcing plants. For example, for plants you would find in a wood, the beds would be best prepared with a deep and rich soil full of leaf mould. Alternatively, some plants grow best in shallow sandy soil between rocks so you might want to consider recreating these conditions.

Try and follow guidance and recommendations on planting that you find on seed packets or books, whether it be in partly shaded areas or in more open areas that would give good exposure from sunlight. Remember to water well before planting and try to give sufficient space between plants.

You can find plants and flowers of many varieties from perennials like Agrimony, Betony and Birdsfoot Trefoil which flower during the spring and summer to annual and biennials like Cow Parsley, Dyers Rocket and Cornflower that flower at different times. Butterflies, birds, bees and other insects will love your new garden even more than you. By planting wildflowers you’ll be helping to support wildlife and pollination as well as encouraging some disappearing varieties of our native flowers.

Native plants provide more variety in gardens by offering a myriad of alternatives to the introduced species. You will have your own little ecosystem without the need for irrigation, pesticides and herbicides for a beautiful, lower maintenance garden.

Once you become acquainted with wildflowers you will become more confident in your selections and arrangements and can continue to develop your garden by adding new varieties.

For more information you can find a guide on most wildflower plants at The National Wildflower Centre.


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