Saturday, 16 February 2013

My wild meadow project!

As a wildlife and natural history artist, I love wildlife gardening. Both my husband and myself believe that it is so is important in order to help maintain healthy ecosytems. It is also a fab way of attracting beautiful wildlife into the garden that make great painting subjects. It is a win-win situation for me!!........

We have an area in the garden that is largely redundant, so we are planning to plant a wildmeadow. We want it to look great and also to attract much more wildlife into the garden, especially insects, such as butterflies. This is the area in question. Work will start in march, with the purchase of wild flower seeds and plants and ground preparation.
If you have even a small area in your garden, it is a great project to consider for everyone who cares about preserving wildlife. At the moment we are at the research stage. I have found an amazing website that secialises in wildflower seeds and plugs. It gives useful info on what insects love them and when and how to plant them....a must for someone looking to do this for the first time. The wesbite is

So far we have learn that to start with you need to include certain plants that supress the aggressive growth of grasses. These semi-parasitic plants grow on the roots of grasses stopping their rampant spread, and thereby allowing meadow flowers to get established. Such plants include "Eyebright", "Lousewort" and "Yellow Rattle". A couple of which are sold on Naturescape's website.
We have also learnt that with poor soil, which is what we have, it is best to plant perennial wildflowers, so we are on the hunt for those, that also provide nectar and look great too. Flowers, like the Oxeye Daisy and Rosebay Willowherb and Common Toadflax.

We have decided not to take the grass off, but inject holes into the lawn and insert seeds and also plant plugs. We know that we already have some lovely wild flowers in the lawn in this part of the garden. So, it will be a case of allowing them to grow to their full height and then to just keep an eye the rampant weeds, such as thistle and nettle....even though we will allow some to stay, as they provide foods for peacock butterly larvae and the thistles provide seeds for goldfinches.

The meadow will take a few years to become established, but it will be a real labour of love for myself and my this space!!!.......

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