Garden News Magazine June 2021
From blank canvas to pollinator paradise!
It’s my two-year anniversary of sharing monthly developments in Garden News magazine! What a lot has happened in two years; developing a blank lawn into abundant new borders and a cosy fire pit.
Plants have certainly settled in and flourished; each area now bursts with life. Herbs and roses weave throughout herbaceous perennials encased in a carpet of forget-me-nots, which are STILL flowering in June!
Sweet peas wrap themselves up supports next to ‘Purple Magnolia’ peas. Alliums, red valerian, salvia and Phlomis russeliana grow alongside, heuchera, Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle,’ echinops, meadow buttercups and foxgloves Digitalis purpurea and ferruginea, which drift through the former strawberry patch to the buzz of bees.
As an organic wildlife gardener I never use chemicals but let natural predators step in to solve ‘pest’ problems. It can seem hard to resist wanting an instant result but long term is the best plan for nature. The natural balance of the garden will provide food for all without wiping out a creature we personally don’t find so welcome. Everything has its place. Our garden has transformed from barren blank canvas to bustling ecosystem.
Our elderflower is COVERED in blackfly. It is completely infested but nature has come to our aid. Ladybirds patrol up and down the stems and enjoy the feast.
We’ve taken part in Plantlife’s No Mow May and our front garden has been utterly teaming with bugs and blooms. Local insects flock to our front lawn meadow, which has been a joy to watch. Grasses sway between tall ox-eye daisies, hawkbit and dandelions attract hungry pollinators and our cat Fred has loved exploring this new wilderness.
I have been enthralled to watch rose chafer beetles, ladybirds, thick-legged beetles, hoverflies, moths, butterflies, bees, bumblebees and flies flit from flower to flower. Our lawn sprung into life with ox-eye daisies, common daisies, lesser trefoil, cat’s ear and mouse ear.
I counted all the blooms in a metre square quadrant for No Mow May’s ‘Every Flower Counts’ survey and received a personal nectar score of 496 bees supported by our 16m2 front garden. It really illustrates how important it is to let flowers grows! If we had mowed our lawn, there would have been little habitat for insects. We can all do our bit to help nature thrive, welcome wildlife into our plots and at the same time enjoy a beautiful floral-filled garden!
Highlight: Taking time out to watch and photograph insects on our garden flowers.
All photos © Debi Holland