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  • Writer's pictureDebi Holland

Garden News Mag June

No Mow May gets results!

Great to see our No Mow May front lawn feature in Over the Fence, the 4 July 2020 edition of Garden News magazine (available in the shops from June 30).

In this feature our cat Fred makes a star appearance, hogging the limelight as he enjoys hanging out in the long grasses and wildflowers of the front garden.

The full page Over the Fence feature in GNM

For weeks we have been experiencing a premature endless summer with wall-to-wall sunshine. Although a blessing to lift spirits in lockdown, the garden has been crying out for some rain!

My water butts ran dry weeks ago so I have had to tentatively use our metered tap water. With rain due I’m sure our scorched lawns and dusty beds will soon be moist and luscious again.

My main project this month has been Plantlife’s ‘No Mow May.’ I left our front garden unmowed through April, May and now into June with incredible results. Left to its own devices our lawn has populated itself with ox-eye daises, bellis perennis, common mouse ear, lesser trefoil and cat’s ear.

Counting the wildflowers on our front lawn

Our lawn’s personal nectar score for ‘Every Flower Counts’ was ‘A’ for efficiency, supporting 508 bees. It’s not only an essential habitat and food source for bees but also hoverflies, butterflies, beetles, spiders and even the local cats have loved stalking through the long grass!

Our cat Fred has enjoyed using it as a new hiding place and nap zone. It is a real eye opener to see how easily we could all help pollinators by simply choosing to mow our lawns less frequently.

Every four weeks provides an optimum turn around for diverse growth. Try it…

Fred enjoying the daisy lawn

Our front garden flower borders have gone into over drive. Centranthus ruber, Red Valerian in every hue of pink to lilac dominate our roadside beds in a block of radiant colour, along with Salvia ‘Love n’ Wishes,’ which virtually glows, smothered in hundreds of pollinator-friendly flowers.

Salvia 'Love n Wishes'

I finally planted out my tomatoes sown from seed. This year I have grown Tigerella and Golden Sunrise, both free seed packets from Garden News magazine and through plant swaps I have acquired Sungold, Cherry and Gardener’s Delight. I use recycled chimney liners as planters; these are not only beautiful to look at but are fantastic long receptacles to hold deep soil, ideal to promote uninhibited root growth.

Roses are a passion of mine. Our David Austin ‘Munstead Wood’ has been sublime. Their intoxicating scent fills the air of these balmy hot days and despite the drought, they have absolutely excelled this year and produced an abundance of blooms. 'Ferdinand Pichard' and ‘Spirit of Freedom’ are not far behind.

Rosa 'Munstead Wood' sublime scent

Our garden showstoppers have to be foxgloves. The front and back garden has been inundated with self-seeded spires. In between working and homeschooling I have taken time to sit in the garden and admire the daily changes.

From blooms to wildlife, the simple pleasure of watching sunlight dancing through leaves and seed heads at the end of the day brings sanity and calm to challenging times.

Front cover of 4 July 2020 Garden News magazine

My highlight: My first ever Ranunculus bulbs flowering.

My first ever Ranunculus bulbs flowering

All photos © Debi Holland Gardening 2020

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