by June Cynthia, 1st June 2022
Making your garden more biodiverse and attracting wildlife, like bees and butterflies, isn't as hard as you may think, says June Cynthia
What a momentous time we are experiencing at the moment. We've had the fabulous Chelsea Flower Show put back into its rightful month of May and I for one have been loving every minute of the tv coverage. I hope you gardeners have been watching and looking for inspiration to inspire you, and to note which designs are in vogue this year. There are certainly a lot of new plants available. Chelsea is one of the first shows to start off the year, but there are many others all over the the UK, not least all the smaller shows in our local towns and villages, which in some ways are extra special because most people can participate, including the children.
And if that's not enough, we've had the many street parties and celebrations in honour of our Queen Elizabeth, which signifies a magnificent 70 years of loyal service to her subjects. A once in a life time experience for us all to enjoy. "Happy Platinum Anniversary Mam." and to you all also.
It seems there's a lot of attention being paid, and rightly so, to biodiversity this year, a subject that has been dear to our hearts for some time now, I'm proud to say. If you would like to add a little biodiversity to your own garden this summer, here are a few pointers:
Choose a small area of your garden you can let 'go wild'. Why not add some water in your space and it doesn't have to be a large area. Maybe burying an old baby's bath, for instance, would do as the water feature. You could surround it by placing rocks and making nooks and crannies for the newts and frogs to hide in. Leave an exit using rocks again so that hedgehogs and birds can safely have a drink. Plant one or two water loving plants on a shelf in the water to make it look more natural. Even a dwarf water lily to give a little shade to whoever lives there. A small solar powered fountain would increase the oxygen levels in the water too. You will be amazed at how quickly the wildlife makes this space their home or 'go to' place for some water.
Let the grass in this wild area grow tall and plant wild flowers or a sow a wild seed mixture, which will come up in the future.
A few more suggestion that would fit in you new garden include; echinacea, poppies, scabious, wallflowers, chives, daisies, dandelions, king cups, marigolds, daisies and clover.
Hang up new bird and bat boxes, a bug hotel or even a little house for our much loved hedgehogs too. The children will be fascinated.
Plant some fragrant plants/flowers around to attract the pollinators. Flat headed plants like scabious for the butterflies or night scented stock to attract the vast array of beautiful moths we have. Cat mint will attract the bees in their dozens. There are so many plants that will give your wild garden a natural look. Dot around foxgloves, marigolds and even a few wild garlic plants or chives with their lovely mauve bonnets. Let the dandelions grow as bees love those too. They will all fit in nicely.
Just let your imagination flow and don't forget to visit your wild area. Sit on an upturned log and watch. You will be mesmerised and hopefully transported to Nirvana for a little bit of tranquility. Everyone should have a quiet, naturally wild area in their garden. Try it as it works wonders for the soul. Enjoy!