August sees the first signs of autumn with the first migrant birds departing our shores. One of the first and more obvious garden birds to leave are swifts and by the middle of the month most birds will have gone, their screaming calls no longer filling the air on warm summer evenings. Read more
Betony seeds – stachys officinalis– can be sown onto on a wide variety of soils and will grow well in a variety of habitats such as open woodland, hedgerows and grassland. Plants will tolerate sites where there is plenty of sunlight and also a degree of shade, so all in all this species makes for a very good Read more
As summer arrives, wildlife takes on an altogether more relaxed approach and by the end of the month birds appear noticeably quieter as the main breeding season draws to a close. The sound of birdsong and the dawn chorus is replaced by the begging calls of fledglings. On very hot days you may even notice Read more
English Bluebell Seeds can be sown in semi-shade or sun but will look best grown in shaded woodland settings where the rich blue colour will be more intense. In the wild bluebells have a preference for acid soils and grow in a variety of habitats including woodlands, hedgerows, grassy banks and even alongside open coastal cliffs. In gardens, bluebell seeds can be introduced under small trees, Read more
Selecting the right wildflower combinations
When choosing wildflowers that will grow well together it is important to ensure
a) that the flowering time is likely to coincide
b) That they will be well suited to the same habitat.
A lot can be learned from observing nature and if possible trying to mimic classic combinations that are commonly found in the wild. The photo gallery below is intended to offer a few ideas of wildflowers that look especially beautiful when grown together. Please bear in mind that flowering times can vary slightly from season to season so may not always coincide.
There are of course many, many more wildflower combinations that work equally well, and the best way is to experiment by growing species with similar flowering time and habitats.
The Wildflower Garden in May
As spring moves steadily towards summer, the breeding season is now in full flow for many of our resident birds. By mid month the dawn chorus will reach a peak and a very early morning walk in deciduous woodland provides an unforgettable experience. A visit to old woodland in May can also be a source of inspiration to the Wildflower gardener. In certain woods, vast swathes of Bluebell still exist and can be found flowering this month, along with many other woodland plants such as Violets and Campions.
In the Wildflower garden the theme has so far been yellow. By May however, white takes over, with species such as Cow Parsley, Hedge Garlic, Greater Stitchwort, Wild Garlic and various tree blossoms such as Cherry and Hawthorn decorating woodlands and hedgerows.
Look out too for hedgehogs this month. They are particularly active during May, often seeking out food at night. Left to their own devices, hedgehogs will help keep a check on the local slug population and other garden pests. If you wish to encourage them, then it is best to do so by putting out some tinned pet food and a simple tray of water.
If you have ordered plant plugs from us this spring they should be dispatched over the course of the next few weeks. We have already started dispatching plugs wherever possible , however as a result of recent lower than average temperatures certain species are a couple of weeks behind normal. As a result our next main dispatch of plant plugs is anticipated to be wk beginning 9th May. Orders for smaller quantities of 10 to 50 plugs will be dispatched initially, with larger orders sent out from around Mid May.
All orders for plant plugs that were received before 1st May, should be dispatched before 1st June. If for any reason you haven’t received your plugs by then, please feel free to contact us.
Full planting instructions will be supplied with all plant plug orders.
The Wildflower Garden in April
An unpredictable month weather wise, often with showers and sun but with the days lengthening and the ground starting to warm, April is the month that sees many of our native trees coming into leaf. Resident birds will already be egg laying and migrant birds such as swallows and warblers will be arriving into the country in huge numbers by the end of the month, the exact timing often affected by the various weather systems. Read more
Wildflowers for wet areas
Benefits of Wildflowers for wet areas
In February we wrote an article about growing wildflowers on clay. Clay soils often get very water logged in winter but what about areas prone to regular winter flooding that remain under water for long periods. Flood meadows have always played a part in flood alleviation and there are many benefits of growing specialist wildflowers for wet areas. As a scheme at Longford near Gloucester demonstrates, the restoration and creation of new wildflower water meadows can naturally enhance flood defense schemes as well as providing a valuable asset for the community and a haven for wildlife. Read more
grass seed with wildflowers
When sowing a mixture of grass seed with wildflowers it is vital to select the correct type of grass seeds. Grasses should always consist of fine growing varieties such as bents and fescues. These generally fall into the category of “meadow grasses” and will provide a sward in which native wildflowers can establish and thrive successfully. Read more